9 Sustainable Brands For Men’s Jeans & Denim In 2023
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What’s more quintessential to a man’s wardrobe than denim? (Nothing, we dare say!)
Denim is our most-trusted friend in our wardrobes—it matches nearly everything, is great for work and play, and offers a casual, yet clean-cut style we love. Unfortunately, most denim is processed from questionable cotton and is often treated with pesticides or hazardous chemicals. Even manufacturing can be environmentally taxing, using hundreds of gallons of water for just a single pair.
Instead, we’re featuring nine brands below that are changing the denim game. From organic and upcycled cotton blends to low-waste production and secondhand shops, these jeans are comfortable, conscious, and curated perfectly for your closet. 👖
Best For | Selvedge denim
Ethics | Fair trade & ethical production, sustainable materials, gives back to various causes, secondhand shop
Sizing | 28–38
Prices Starting At | $148
Outerknown is committed to serving the planet, instead of harming it. The brand prioritizes responsible sourcing, Fair Labor certified practices, and circular design through its secondhand shop—as well as moderately affordable pricing. The S.E.A. Collection carries more than two dozen styles of men’s jeans, but our favorite is the selvedge denim. The denim is spun from organic cotton and woven with tight bands on the edges (aka what selvedge means!), so they’re crafted for extra durability. Jeans are among the most worn parts of a wardrobe, so we highly recommend investing in a pair or two from Outerknown—you won’t regret it.
Best For | Performance jeans
Ethics | Certified B Corp, Fair Trade certified production, sustainable & upcycled materials, gives back via 1% for the Planet, secondhand shop
Sizing | XS–XXL
Prices Starting At | $129
You probably guessed that Patagonia is a leader in activewear—but did you know you can find men’s denim and twill here, too? That’s right! Check out the various styles here, including jeans made from hemp denim and performance twill jeans sewn from organic cotton and polyester. (Patagonia’s on track to use only bio-based polyester by 2025.) Though they’re all styled like normal jeans, we love the added performance details, from the weather-resistant and moisture-wicking fabric to the durable pockets. Patagonia’s line is made ethically, like in a Fair Trade certified factory in Sri Lanka. Consider these jeans to be for some serious work and play.
3. Buck Mason
Best For | Slim & standard fits
Ethics | Responsible production, sustainable materials
Sizing | 28–40
Prices Starting At | $145
Buck Mason is all about timeless American style—and nothing says America quite like the quintessential pair of jeans. The BM team scours the globe for the highest quality materials and production; case in point: Most of the denim here is milled in Japan and sewn with a bit of stretch for comfort. We love the various dyes and colors here (including the natural unwashed option!), and that the styles are impeccably fitted without feeling baggy or too tight. And if you really want to unleash your inner American cowboy, don’t sleep on the full saddle jeans either. 🤠
4. Taylor Stitch
Best For | Denim jackets & shirts
Ethics | Organic & deadstock materials, responsible production, recycled packaging, gives back to environmental causes, secondhand shop & repairs
Sizing | 28–38 for bottoms, XS-XXL (36–46) for denim shirts
Prices Starting At | $125
Taylor Stitch’s tagline is “responsibly built for the long haul,” and we’ve gotta agree. Every step of the production process here has been thoughtfully considered, including the Long Haul Guarantee for repairs and replacements and the secondhand ReStitch program, so you can get the most out of your pieces. We’re also obsessed with this comprehensive collection that includes denim shirts, jackets, jeans, and even a hat. Natural selvedge jeans? Check. Light wash button-down? Check. The everyday denim jacket? Check, check, check. Don’t forget to check out the “Workshop” for additional denim products that are still being crowdfunded until they’re sustainable enough to produce without excess waste.
5. Organic Basics
Best For | Clearance denim
Ethics | Certified B Corp, organic & recycled materials, responsible production, gives back via 1% for the Planet, carbon-neutral shipping
Sizing | S–XXL (30–36)
Prices Starting At | $135 (Sales start at $67.50)
Denmark-based Organic Basics is one of our go-to sustainable shops for well…basics. Their gender-fluid pieces are flexible, well-made, and easy to style—and the denim bottoms here are no exception. Choose from the Circular Denim 5 Pocket in three washes or the Circular Denim Chino, both made with pure organic cotton. Both are on sale for a final time, so once they’re gone, they’re gone; you can see exactly how many are left in stock on each product page. For less than $70, you can stock up on denim pants that are ethically made, responsibly produced, and even vegan-approved. Yes, please.
Best For | Vintage & secondhand denim
Ethics | Eco-friendly practices, secondhand shop, gives back to various causes
Sizing | 24–58
Prices Starting At | $70
Denim that’s already broken in? Yeah, sign us up! As one of the biggest denim brands in the world, Levi’s has a responsibility to be as sustainable as possible—especially since denim production can be particularly wasteful. That’s why we’re thrilled that Levi’s has the SecondHand shop, which stocks hundreds of vintage styles. Narrow down your needs by size, fit, condition, or collection, and enjoy deeply discounted prices. (Since sizing varies by decade, use this video from the team to help determine your size.) Take clothes out of the landfill and put ‘em right in your closet.
7. Warp + Weft
Best For | Affordable jeans under $100
Ethics | Vertically integrated company, responsible production, energy-efficient factories, natural materials
Sizing | 28–48 (S–1XL)
Prices Starting At | $78
For in-style denim that doesn’t break the bank, Warp + Weft can’t be beat. This vertically integrated company does everything in-house, from sourcing and processing the American-grown cotton to the assembly and finishing, which means they can also keep prices affordable. Plus, the team aims to be as size-inclusive as possible, with men’s inseam lengths from 28 to 36, in-between waist sizes (31, 33, 35), and extended Big & Tall sizing up to a 48 waist. These straight and slim fits are classic choices—and sewn with a hint of stretch, they’re incredibly comfortable, too.
8. Friendly Blues
Best For | Recycled denim
Ethics | Recycled cotton & upcycled plastic material
Sizing | 28–40
Prices Starting At | $89
For more options under $100—but with a twist!—take a look at Friendly Blues. Each pair here is made with premium french terry denim, so it’s kind of like you’re wearing sweatpants more than jeans. How do they do it? Well, the fabric is made from recycled cotton and plastic bottles (and it’s REPREVE certified!). There are two main styles available: the Slim and the Skinny. Opt for the Slim if you prefer a looser fit, or go for the Skinny if you want a sleeker fit. (If you want non-traditional jean colors, don’t miss the dark olive and granite grey colorways.)
Best For | Athletic fit jeans
Ethics | Organic cotton, sustainable factories, responsible production, recycled packaging
Sizing | 28–40
Prices Starting At | $98
Every year, Everlane releases an Impact Report showcasing the brand’s biggest wins as well as its shortcomings. In its most recent recap, the team shares that they’re pursuing a B Corp certification, switching to all organic cotton for denim, continuing to commit to fair wages, and more. As for the bottoms, there are five main denim ‘fits to choose from: Skinny, skim, straight, tapered, and athletic. And we haven’t seen many other brands carrying athletic fits otherwise (with a slightly tapered leg but a roomier hip and thigh). Equipped with four-way stretch, this style is perfect for everyday wear. In fact, the Athletic Fit Performance Jean comes with the Uniform
Featured image from Organic Basics