Get the Skinny on Sustainable Jeans Made with Bamboo

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According to Generation Z, skinny jeans are very much out of style and a sure sign that you are ‘OLD’ and ‘PAST IT’. Well, I beg to differ. Until Lockdown dressing made lounge wear every day wear, you’d have had to prise me out of my skinny jeans. But now they aren’t looking so desirable from a comfort perspective… or at least that’s what I thought, until I discovered comfortable, sustainable jeans made from bamboo and organic cotton! It took me a year or so to get on board with skinny jeans after my long love affair with flared jeans. But I wore them through two pregnancies (with expanding waistbands of course). If you get ‘jeggings’ they are really comfy and so versatile, especially if, like me, you love an ankle boot.

Becky stands in front of the mirror to take a photo of herself wearing BAM sustainable jeans and a white organic cotton t-shirt from Thought Clothing

But should we even still be wearing jeans at all, never mind the question of what leg shape? It seems that conventional jeans are one of the worst offenders for wreaking our environment. We’re talking a massive amount of water usage, pesticides for conventional cotton, microplastics, (yes, really) harsh chemical dyes, water pollution, the adverse affect on farmers and garment workers’ health, oh and the landfill of thrown away pairs. (Don’t believe me? This article makes for sobering reading). Aside from organic cotton, hemp, and recycled plastic, I’ve noticed more brands using bamboo as a sustainable alternative in their clothes. So is bamboo the answer to our environmental issues? Read on to find my take.

In my quest for a more sustainable life in general and wardrobe in particular, I am looking for clothes made of more eco-friendly fabrics.

BAM Bamboo Clothing is one of the best bamboo clothing companies, and have strong ethical and eco credentials. Their clothing is mainly active wear but last year I noticed they started selling organic cotton and bamboo jeans. So I asked for some for Christmas from my husband. And I have to say I’m impressed.

OK let’s start with the look and feel of my BAM jeans. I bought my BAM Bamboo Jeans in size 10, also known as 28. This was a bit of a gamble, as I am normally a 12, but they only had stock in 10 at the time of ordering. And it was fortuitous as they fit perfectly! They are a little on the long side so I tend to roll them up with boots, or down with trainers. They now come in two leg lengths so that is better, I would choose the shorter one.

Becky, wearing BAM sustainable jeans, a pink jumper and Veja trainers, looking over her shoulder as she walks in to her house, throygh a pink front door decorated with a homemade wreath
Becky, wearing BAM sustainable jeans, a pink jumper and Veja trainers, looking over her shoulder as she walks in to her house, throygh a pink front door decorated with a homemade wreath
Becky sitting on the bottom step of her stairs putting on her trainers, wearing BAM sustainable jeans, a pink jumper and Veja trainers, smiling at the camera
Becky sitting on the bottom step of her stairs putting on her trainers, wearing BAM sustainable jeans, a pink jumper and Veja trainers, smiling at the camera
Becky Pink standing in front of a pink front door wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and a pink jumper
Becky Pink standing in front of a pink front door wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and a pink jumper
Becky Pink looking over her shoulder in front of a pink front door wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and a pink jumper.
Becky Pink looking over her shoulder in front of a pink front door wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and a pink jumper.
Wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and slippers
Wearing BAM organic cotton and bamboo jeans and slippers

These organic cotton and bamboo jeans are really comfortable and are truly skinny, which I love! So many skinny jeans are more like straight leg, in my experience. My jeans are more like jeggings, so pretty comfortable. They do fall down a little but that is common for me, I think it’s just my shape. I would say they are mid-rise.

We’ve used organic cotton and bamboo as it needs no additional irrigation, saving thousands of litres of water. The deep indigo colour has a classic feel but also means the fabric doesn’t need to be bleach washed. Even the button unscrews to make recycling easier.

BAM Bamboo clothing

There is something missing from these jeans: rivets. But there is a sustainability reason for this: it makes them much easier to recycle once they are worn out. Clever hey?

The button is also clever: I was a bit careless with my button and forgot to tighten it, and one day it popped off! I was standing on some gravel at the time and even after a long search I could only find one side. So I emailed BAM and the next day they arranged for a new button to be sent out! What brilliant customer service! Here it is, it couldn’t be easier to screw in place.

Screwing a new button into BAM bamboo jeans
Screwing a new button into BAM bamboo jeans
Poke the back of the button through the hole…
BAM sent me a new button in two pieces, after the original one worked loose and popped off.
New button replaced on BAM bamboo jeans
New button replaced on BAM bamboo jeans
… screw it up tight and they are as good as new!
BAM skinny bamboo jeans in compostable packaging
BAM skinny bamboo jeans in compostable packaging

My sustainable jeans arrived in a strong, easily reusable or recyclable paper bag. They were wrapped in a compostable bag. Unfortunately it can only go into industrial compost, not the one in our garden but where we live, we do have a green bin collection so I popped it in there. The swing tag is made of recycled paper and so is the thread.

Instead of adding additional care labels to their bamboo and organic cotton jeans, BAM print all the info on the inside of the pockets. These jeans are developed in line with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Jeans Redesign.

They are made from 74% Organic Cotton, 25% Bamboo Viscose, and 1% Elastane. It takes over 2000 litres of water to make a regular pair of jeans, which is the same amount of water as a person drinks in 3 years! BAM jeans use 74% less water, and because they are high quality, they should last for years and years.

BAM bamboo and organic cotton jeans eco instructions are printed on the inside of the pocket
BAM bamboo and organic cotton jeans eco instructions are printed on the inside of the pocket

BAM became Climate Positive last year and bamboo is one of the most sustainable fabrics. It doesn’t need pesticides, making it better for the environment, and workers.

Bamboo helps clean the air we breathe. Bamboo grass absorbs five time more CO2 from the air than the equivalent amount of hardwood trees. Not only that, two thirds of the carbon is stored in the soil and root system which — unlike trees and cotton — isn’t dug up when the bamboo is harvested so the carbon stays in the ground. Bamboo also releases 35% more oxygen than its hardwood tree equivalent.

BAM BAMBOO CLOTHING

BAM are a Living Wage Employer and did not cancel orders at the start of the pandemic. They are joining the Fair Wear Foundation this year. So all in all, I am really pleased to have found these jeans, and will no doubt be buying more of their active wear in future.

You can buy BAM sustainable organic cotton and bamboo jeans for £85 and they also have men’s jeans,

SHOP SUSTAINABLE JEANS

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