Ethical jeans brands?
To produce this shopping guide to ethical jeans, we researched and rated a number of companies and assessed them against our ethical ratings. Here are some of the highlights of how they scored.
If a company offers a significant environmental alternative (for example over 90% of its materials being sustainable, such as organic, recycled, or secondhand), half a positive Company Ethos mark was awarded.
Beyond Retro, Finisterre, Living Crafts, MUD, Monkee and Pangaia received this half mark.
Half a mark was also awarded to companies that offer a free repair services: Hiut, MUD, and Nudie.
It’s rare for clothing companies to use no animal-derived materials at all, so a whole positive Company Ethos mark was awarded to Monkee and MUD for their animal-free policies.
People Tree received a positive Company Ethos mark for being fair trade certified.
Supply chain management and tax
Brands that scored worst under Supply Chain Management were: ASDA, Boohoo, Burton, Coast, Diesel, Dorothy Perkins, Lee, MissPap, Nasty Gal, Oasis, Pangaia, Pepe, Pretty Little Thing, Shein, Wallis, Warehouse, and Wrangler.
There was no middle ground when it came to Tax Conduct among jeans brands – all lost either no marks or a whole mark. Nearly half of the companies rated in the jeans guide scored a worst rating.
Jeans are the second most bought item of clothing in the UK within a fashion industry that has a significant carbon footprint – estimates vary from 2% of global emissions up to much higher figures.
In our Environmental Reporting category we expected companies to discuss environmental impacts of cotton, water, climate, chemicals, transportation and leather (or be a small company offering products with a low environmental impact).
Best-scoring brands included Beyond Retro, Calvin Klein, Finisterre, H&M (and associated brands), Hiut, Howies, Kuyichi, Living Crafts, M&S, MUD, Monkee, Monki,and People Tree, Thought, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Companies considered to have best practice regarding action on climate change were: & Other Stories, Beyond Retro, Calvin Klein, COS, H&M, Kuyichi, Levi’s, Living Crafts, MUD Jeans, Monki, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Most companies lost a whole mark under Climate Change, including: Asda, Boohoo and its associated brands, Diesel, G Star, Gap, Lee, M&S, Nudie, Primark, Pepe Jeans, Rohan, Sainsbury’s, Shein, Tesco, and Wrangler.