October 03, 2022
Denim was founded in Nimes, France, and Jeans were first developed in Genoa, Italy in the 17th century. Different fabrics named for the areas where they were conceived and manufactured. Both found their humble beginnings among working class folks who needed a sturdy fabric that could stand up to harsh treatment. In the United States, Levi Strauss famously began his denim empire in the 1800’s mostly catering to hard-working people in the western U.S. Jeans/Denim did not become a vital part of American culture until the 1950’s when several famous celebrities brought them into the mainstream. It wasn’t until the 1990’s and early 2000’s that they became a wardrobe staple. 
What originated as a practical clothing choice is now a booming multi-billion-dollar industry that produces thousands of different washes, fits, colors, and styles of denim each year. While it is safe to say that multiple pairs of jeans reside in everyone’s closet (the average American owns 7 pairs of denim blue jeans), finding that perfect pair can sometimes be a daunting task. The Collective features three core lines of denim: DL1961, Closed, and Hudson. These companies offer a wide range of styles to fit every figure and are dedicated to creating a sustainable, high-quality, product. Most major fashion brands also design their own lines of denim so we occasionally will have some of those on hand if they meet our tough standards; a couple of notables are Munthe and Jonathan Simpkhai. The Collective staff has tried on every pair of denim that we sell and has seen jeans on thousands of bodies that frequent the store. As we head into fall and are excited to ditch the sundress for a pair of comfy denim jeans, our team is excited to share their favorites and why they love them!
Kristin’s go-to jean is the Mara straight midrise, instasculpt ankle by DL1961. This busy fashion designer and store manager appreciates how they hug her body in all the right places and highlight her curves. The Mara comes in a variety of colors and the slight flair at the ankle allows her athletic legs to be the best version of themselves. Because Kristin spends more time on the store floor than anyone, she can vouch for the fact that this jean looks great on almost everyone.
Mila tends to be part of the a la mode scene and she appreciates the refined denim produced by Closed. Her favorite jean this season is the Leira wide leg, high rise, cropped jean in light blue. As a mom of active twin boys, Mila likes a jean that allows her to move quickly! The Italian denim that Closed is famous for is always super soft and comfortable, and the unique fit of these jeans gives all who wear them a perky butt! Mila wears the Leira with a button-down shirt tucked in for a polished look, or a fitted crop top when she heads out on the town.
In addition to working at The Collective, Kat manages one of the local galleries in town, so she is always on the move meeting with artists or helping her clients with an install. Her most-loved pair of jeans is made by DL 1961 - the Hepburn wide leg, high rise, slightly cropped jean. She adores how the Hepburn hugs her waist and then slowly gets wider as it moves down the leg. She loves the fit because it is soooo flattering and she has the style in multiple washes. For long days at work, she fancies the Lark wash because it has less stretch, so it doesn’t lose its shape. The distressed detail at the hem gives an edgier look and she can dress it up by wearing a heel or be more casual with sneakers. She is also psyched that DL1961 is completely focused on sustainability (link to earlier blog).
As co-owner of The Collective and massive fan of all things denim, Kathy gravitates toward the Starlet jean from Closed. It has a low, sexy waist, a slight crop, and the kick flare makes her legs look longer. She likes them in a distressed wash or plain, and she owns them in every color. They have a little stretch but not too much, and she feels confident and comfortable as she dashes around town for a variety of meetings, boards the plane to visit one of her kids at college or meets up with friends for cocktails!
Co-founder and fashion guru, Katherine is also in the Closed camp with her first choice being the Baylin. It has a slim fit, mid-rise waist that hits right below the belly button and the celebrated cotton/elastic mix holds her in - in all the right places. The cropped length and kick flare make her legs look lean. Katherine loves the fact that Closed denim is made in Italy by a family-run business that pays close attention to both quality and environmental issues. She spends a lot of time on both coasts and this jean is easy to style so it is always in her suitcase!
Kristie prefers a lower rise jean, so her tummy is not encumbered! The Beth jean by Hudson has been one of her favorites for years and she is excited that she no longer has to travel to a large city to buy them! They are one of the few jeans available on the market these days that are long and meant to be worn with a heel (they look great with cowboy boots!); there are a few different washes available, and the button back pockets give a natural boost to the booty! If she were younger, she might wear them with a crop top, but these days she prefers a fitted button-down shirt, or a crisp white t-shirt, paired with a fun belt for a put together yet hip look.
In addition to her work at The Collective, Gretchen also models part-time, so she loves some of the high fashion jeans. One of her favorite pairs was released by Munthe last season. They have a super cool geometric print and can be worn rolled up or long. She has a long slim waist and athletic figure from growing up playing mountain sports, so the high waist and fuller legs are perfect for her. They work well with a cozy sweater for crisp fall days, and for nights out they look great with a body suit.
Karen embraces the mountain lifestyle in all ways, is a connoisseur of fine art, and is also one of the best looking 60-year-olds in Park City! She can often be seen wearing the Fayna jean from Closed which features a high waist with a fuller leg at the top that tapers down at the bottom. The black wash is perfect for work or evening fun. Karen especially likes the way these jeans can adapt to different occasions; with a graphic tee and some converse air high tops for casual days, or for a slightly dressier event, she can put on a silk tank and a heeled bootie.
Amanda loves the versatility of the Bridget high rise, cropped, boot cut jean in vintage wash by DL1961. When not putting together a gourmet meal for large groups of friends, she can be found hiking with her dog Nalu, or gravel biking with her husband. She loves fashion and will only wear the finest, most comfortable fabrics from brands that prioritize their impact on the environment. The instasculpt technology smooths, sculpts, and conforms to Amanda’s figure, for the perfect fit and just the right amount of stretch so she can move easily throughout her day. This style also comes in an assortment of lengths as well.
Visit The Collective this month and let our team help you find your perfect jean!
May 18, 2022
As the days grow longer, the birds start chirping, and the snow evaporates into the air revealing layer upon layer of dog excrement, we know Spring is approaching in the mountains. I struggle with finding good outfits this time of year; I am so over my heavy winter apparel and I want to welcome showers and flowers, but let’s face it – it can still be chilly out there and the weather is unpredictable. We can’t exactly leap into the vernal season here in Utah, so I met with the owners and style consultants at The Collective to tap their fashion brains for ideas about how to gracefully transition your wardrobe from snowflakes to tulips.
First, let’s ditch the bulkier items that have been dominating your closet since October: wool pants, corduroys, winter boots, dark leather, and heavy accessories. Let’s channel our inner thoughts of renewal, joy, sunshine, and embrace pops of color like the crocus straining through the ground beneath the last remnants of snow in your garden.
Spring is all about layering – the day might start off cool and end up in the 60’s and then head back down to the 50’s, so you want to be prepared for the roller coaster of temperatures that we experience over the next few months. We envision a fresh maximalist print pant, cotton tank, light colored cashmere cardigan, and leather sneakers - perfect for work or casual gatherings. For cooler days, pack a lightweight puffy from OOF in the happy shade of daffodil yellow, or the three-quarter sleeve silvery gray hooded flare jacket from Anorak.
April is a great time to pull out some of your neutral toned (pewter, sand, or pale oak) suede/lighter leather jackets. This is an intelligent way to capture the spirit of spring, while still providing warmth and texture. The Collective has some chic matte leather and washed suede options from JKT-NYC that can be paired with a bold print silky top, a pair of wide leg trousers and our Esquival mules – creating a stunning and comfortable ensemble for any spring dinner party.
Denim jackets/shirts, feather-weight cashmere ponchos, and lighter weight flannel shirts are your best friends in the spring. These versatile pieces can all be worn with an airy wide leg pant, gauzy or silk skirt, a maxi or mini colorful dress. Right now, The Collective has a super cool cropped jean jacket from DL1961, and a poncho from 27 Miles that would be a great addition to your closet and can be worn throughout the year. Accessorize with some platform sandals, and a woven handbag which are extremely á la mode this season.
Finally, have fun, live a little! Add some fringe from hot New York designer, Jonathan Simkhai – the chartreuse chunky cotton sweater is one of our favorites and it looks awesome with a denim mini or check out his stylish fringe skirt which would wow at any function. Nothing says Spring like the vibrant color in the sweaters of Kerri Rosenthal and Notshy, these are cozy yet fresh and look great slung over your shoulders with a crisp white tee and your most treasured pair of light wash jeans.
10 must-have pieces for spring
Stop into the The Collective and get into the spirit of the Spring season. Our style consultants are amazing at putting together versatile combinations that work well with what is already in your closet and will take your fashion to the next level.
March 10, 2022
Malia Mills is an artistic yet realistic designer. She is also a smart, successful, and savvy businesswoman, who changed her industry by not being afraid to make bold decisions. During our conversation earlier this year we discussed her inspirations and evolution as a designer, sustainability in the fashion industry, and what prompted her to create the unique, personalized experience that characterizes her brand.
Mills studied apparel design at Cornell University where she was exposed to Claire McCardle, a breakout designer in the 1940’s and 50’s who came to define American sportswear and the concept of wearing separates. McCardle published a book that focused on using all five senses while designing clothes. She was concerned not just with the aesthetics, but how do women feel when wearing a certain piece, are they cold or hot, can they move freely? What impact does it have on their confidence? McCardle emphasized appreciating the needs of her clients over fashion trends. Along that same vein, Mills was involved in a project where, as a student, she designed protective equipment for people working in the semiconductor industry. The employees had to wear suits that covered them from head to toe to achieve the zero-dust factor required by the industry. Her knowledge became very technical - what kind of stitching to use, how to keep the temperature comfortable, and evaluating the emotional impact of wearing the suit all day. She used a similar thought process when she eventually designed her first swimwear line. She begins by working on the design concept, then sketching, creating the patterns and finally to production but according to Mills, the magic happens when you put the product on the body. How does she move, how does she feel, does the fabric move with her, is it highlighting her best assets, does she exude self-assurance? From the beginning of her career, Mills learned the importance of understanding and listening to her customers; this approach continues to dictate her designs and business process today.
Running her business for over 30 years, Mills can talk supply chain, margins, payables, and cash flow, but she is also passionate about sustainability. Just as she uses five senses to design her swimsuits and clothing, her team analyzes the entire path of the garment and its impact on the environment. Before anything goes into production, they examine climate and seasonality, washability, where has it been sourced, what is its end use? Malia’s team considers the living wages of the women making and sourcing the fabrics, do they have access to capital, what skills do they need to progress in the industry, are they being fulfilled and challenged at their work, and what is the most climate-friendly way to transport garments? Everything is interconnected, and she believes that if we all give a little, there is much to gain. Malia subscribes to the Vivienne Westwood theory (Westwood is a British designer known for her Avant Garde designs) to “buy less, choose well, and make it last.”
Mills' direct customer interaction shows up in her hands-on in-store trunk shows and believes her designs deserve a fit-centric and personalized experience. She has crafted an in-store experience where women come in to be taken care of while finding a swimsuit that fits their body and makes them feel like a rock star TODAY, not after dieting for 3 months. Malia was one of the first swimsuit designers to lead the conversation about women being comfortable in their bodies. The consumer loved the suits and the message, and the media totally embraced her mission. It wasn’t until the mid 2000’s and the onset of social media that the fashion industry started to pay attention to what Malia had been advocating all along. Women were saying “We are going to celebrate ourselves even if you aren’t” and the fashion industry finally took note and decided to get on board. Having personally gone through one of Mills' personal swimsuit fittings, I can say I went in as a skeptic and came out of the experience with several great fitting suits that made me happy and confident!
While her intellect, expertise, and creativity are beyond impressive, she remains a grounded, gracious, humble person that is a pleasure to speak with, so please join us at The Collective on March 17th and 18th to meet Malia Mills and enjoy a personal fitting for bathing suits, beach cover-ups and her ready-to-wear collection. This year Malia is introducing some brighter colors including an Azul blue that will immediately take you to the ocean, a wisteria purple that is reminiscent of walking the streets of France, and a brilliant paisley pattern that is named for Toyama Bay in Japan. Other highlights of the 2022 collection are the Alexandra one piece swimsuit with a supportive and comfortable crisscross back, the new seaming on the Luna bottom, and the freedom and versatility of the Rosie Jumpsuit which is a must have for your next travel adventure!
February 10, 2022
More perfectly imperfect hearts please.
Bright, colorful, happy, love, playful – these are the words that come to mind when your meet Kerri Rosenthal and when you see her designs. We met Kerri in LA in March of 2020 and placed our first order just before the world shut down for the pandemic. As we all struggled to regain our footing, Kerri’s message of love and happiness was just the thing that everyone needed, and when we opened again full time, her designs flew off the shelves.
Kerri was raised in Brooklyn New York and attended NYU. She spent some time in Europe and worked at Oilily, the boldly colored and patterned Dutch children’s clothing line, for ten years – which has influenced her designs. She started painting about 15 years ago when she picked up a paint set and began experimenting in her basement. At work, during conference calls, her notes were always filled with doodles and hearts, so her paintings became a natural extension of those drawings. When she brought her art up into the light of the kitchen and showed them to her friends, they were delighted and immediately wanted to buy them. Kerri was officially inspired. A couple of years later she had a one-night show and sold every piece. Her background as a designer led her to think of incorporating her art into her design work - wallpaper, fabric, pillows, etc. Finally in 2016 she decided it was time to open a store of her own. She opened a small space and dabbled in her “blocks of love” among other art pieces. They only lasted a year in the space before moving to a bigger location, where they continued to experiment with transferring Kerri’s artwork to a small collection of sweaters, t-shirts, and other wearables.
Kerri is a fan of Picasso and Pollack, but mostly she is inspired by fashion. Yet her designs are timeless - they do not follow a trend - the print and color make it uniquely Kerri. You could almost say she has started her own genre. The process begins with one of Kerri’s mixed-media paintings, the team chooses a few of their favorites and then they send them out to be scanned on a variety of wearables and homeware items and see where it works best and if it needs to be tweaked for the ideal result. They then choose what they love and what makes them happy, because that tends to be what their customers choose as well.
Kerri’s happy place is creating her art, but she is a driven entrepreneur as well. She has a spirited work ethic and touches every piece of the business from the design to the merchandising, and even responding to customer service reviews personally. She believes art should be accessible, so her designs come in almost every price point and appeal to a wide variety of people. This has allowed her business to grow organically, and marketing has been mostly through word of mouth. A teenager comes in and buys a $38 block of love for her mom for Mother’s Day, and then the mom visits the store and buys a sweater, her friend buys a blanket, and the ball keeps rolling. There is an amazing community of women in Westport, CT, where Kerri started her business, and with their support and communications (social media/blogs) the wholesale business doubled in volume last year and they expect it to double again in 2022. In the past year their staff has grown from 8 to 22 people, and, like most companies, they are currently looking for more employees. The popularity of Kerri’s style and message continues to expand. Her clothing line is extremely versatile – from work to kids’ soccer game and restyled for dinner out. In the future she is doing some exciting collaborations and potentially opening another store location.
One of the things that motivates Kerry and her daughter Ali, who is an integral part of the business, is the people who reach out and tell them heartwarming stories about how they were having a hard time and that Kerri’s designs helped them to get through it, or they were able to give some of Kerri’s art as gifts to brighten someone’s day. Drop into The Collective this month and get your own piece of Kerri’s Happy Movement, we have sweaters, pillows, blocks of love and more!
November 11, 2021
“One of our missions with The Collective is to create a platform for selected, local artists and craftsmen to showcase and sell their wares. We want a part of The Collective to reflect the talents of our local community.” - Katherine and Kathy
As we talked with the artists featured in this edition of The Collective Thread, we were delighted to learn more about their inspirations, methods, goals, and attention to sustainability. In many cases, they have found beauty in the imperfections of their work, and for some, COVID was the instigation to take a step back and be able to finally listen to those creative urges. We find it encouraging to read about people in our community who have achieved fulfillment and success in both their art and in starting a business, and we hope you do too. Please stop in and check out the artwork from these talented individuals from now through the holidays.
Trip Hunter of Blue Fig Charcuterie Boards
Hunter is a bit of a renaissance man – by day he is a Senior Vice President at a tech marketing firm, but he was a boat craftsman in college which gave him his first exposure to epoxy and fiberglass. He went on to make custom furniture and cabinets for 7 years in New York City, before heading into the tech world. He inherited his creative instincts from his mother, who designed cufflinks for Tiffany’s; her work is nothing short of stunning.
Like most good stories, it all started with a bar. Trip Hunter was looking for a project during COVID, while he quarantined with his family in Park City, and decided he wanted to build a bar. To learn more about the process, he began producing smaller serving boards to experiment with different woods, epoxy, colors etc. Over the course of 12 months, he gave his “experiments” to friends, and when people’s reactions were overwhelmingly positive, the idea for Blue Fig emerged. He did eventually finish the bar, but now has a healthy following at The Collective where his boards offer the ideal integration of natural and modern elements.
Hunter finds inspiration in each beautiful slab of wood that he selects for the base of his custom charcuterie boards. He uses only repurposed wood ranging from Walnut to Teak, and most recently he is exploring exotic woods such as Black Limba and Guanacaste. He analyzes the grain and patterns inherent in the wood and contemplates what colors will best complement those elements. Producing the boards is an intense process that involves lots of sanding, pouring, blow torches, molds, temperature adjustments, and patience. As he sands and applies each layer, he unlocks new textures, patterns, and colors which keeps the creative progress exciting and interesting, and of course contributes to the distinct look of each piece. The final product arrives in a beautiful Blue Fig bag hand sewn by Trip! For this outdoor enthusiast, working with his hands is a creative release. Trip continues to come up with innovative designs, experimenting with new woods, and looks forward to working on more commissions in the future.
Sarah Ashley Peterson Fine Art
Sarah Peterson has successfully fused her skill in graphic design, her fine arts degree from the University of Utah, and her love of the mountains to come up with a trail-blazing personal style that is unlike anything we’ve seen before in the western art world. Peterson loves to mix organic shapes like mountains and clouds, with more geometric shapes that give her work a more modern aesthetic. Growing up in a small town in Idaho, she spent time camping and hiking with her family, so landscape has always been her primary source of inspiration.
Building and refining the panels that Sarah paints is an essential part of her technique; they must be completely smooth so the paint glides easily over the surface. Acrylic paint dries quickly making it the ideal medium for her to layer and add different colors to achieve her unique look. She usually begins with a reference photo from a place she visited, establishes a color palette, pencils in a quick composition sketch, and then lets the artistic flow take over. Sarah credits many of the classes she took at the U with helping her to become the artist she is today. She was often pushed outside of her comfort zone to experiment with different mediums, portraits, abstract, etc. She fell in love with the feel and grain of wood along with the texture it offered for her painting. As she has evolved as an artist, her work has become more detailed and abstract. Another interesting aspect of Sarah’s work is that her pieces are not always square or rectangular; they are available in a variety of shapes. Sarah took an installation class while getting her degree and found it scary but also freeing that art didn’t have to be confined to a canvas. She created floating installations, anamorphic images, and art that circulated a stairwell. Peterson believes that everyone should be able to enjoy art in their home, so her paintings come in a range of sizes, which makes it accessible to people of all economic levels.
The clever juxtaposition of modern shapes with a classic landscape on her custom made wood panels makes Peterson’s art a perfect fit for The Collective and we are excited to represent this talented young artist and new mother!
Ron Butkovich of RSB Design
The shelves in Ron Butkovich’s jewelry studio are filled with eclectic and quirky treasures – horns, buddhas, small and large gems, mixed metals, soft leather, pearls, old coins, rare beads, charms, watch cases, and branches. It’s like your grandma’s attic, but with a cool bohemian flair and a sprinkle of nature. It is a story of a life well-lived and an imagination that never stops. Butkovich finds inspiration for his jewelry designs everywhere – from the sticks, stones, and flowers in his own backyard to the markets he frequents in Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. Nature always plays a feature role, and Ron particularly loves to contrast natural details like pearls or horns with gold or diamonds, secured on a rough length of leather. Butkovich has been creating jewelry for over 30 years and during that time his style has become freer with a focus on highlighting the stone versus the jewelry that surrounds it. Combining old with new to create a one-of-a-kind design is at the core Butkovich’s creative method and he encourages his clients to bring in a brooch from their grandmother and or a sentimental stone and he will incorporate it into your custom piece. Butkovich has been with The Collective from the very beginning, as his style thoroughly melds with the vision of the mountain modern lifestyle that Kathy and Katherine were looking to create.
Lindsay Arnold of Quincy Candle Co
Lindsay Arnold’s love of candles started as a kid back in New England where power outages are frequent, so candles were used all over the house. Artistry was in Arnold’s DNA; her grandmother was an artist, her mother taught her how to create candles, and she was a studio art major at the University of Virginia. However, it wasn't until she had some free time away from her full time job as the event director at The US Ski and Snowboard Team during COVID, that she was able to turn her artistic talent and passion into a thriving business.
The gift of light has been around for thousands of years, and she was drawn to the opposition between the glittering natural light source and the industrial calm of concrete. She also knew she wanted to make art that people could reuse. At first, her intention was to have the candle holders look machine made. Time and again during the pouring, cooling, and molding process the forms would have holes, textures, and they were maddeningly not completely smooth. Even though she was striving for consistency, none of them came out the same. As she continued through trial and error, sometimes the holes would look like a face, or exactly four dots would create a cool pattern. She discovered that beauty was in the imperfection. Each concrete form was its own little work of art, and what’s even better is that they are reusable as a planter or a pen holder. Customers can order a refill of wax from Arnold’s website, or at The Collective.
Arnold had to master the science of blending the soy wax at the right temperature to maximize aroma and burning time. She uses only all natural scents which she mixes and matches to create specific blends that appeal to her customers. For The Collective, Arnold worked with Kristin, the store’s manager, to formulate a fragrance that represents the mountain modern milieu that is characteristic of the Park City boutique.
Kris Hanaman Fine Encaustic Art
Don’t be surprised if you see Kris Hanaman on the side of the street, bent over a dumpster retrieving some textured packing cardboard. The encaustic artist sees opportunity all around and collects everything from guitar strings and discarded screens to antique stamps to incorporate into her work. She is motivated by the colors in nature, like the vibrant red of a Hibiscus flower, or the orange of a La Jolla sunset. Feeling an empty space in her life after her children left home, Hanaman embarked on a variety of workshops to find an outlet for her creative “whisperings,” as she calls them. She finally took an encaustic class with Jeff Juhlin at the Kimball Art Center, and felt an immediate connection to the medium. Drawn to the playful, experimental element of using beeswax and resin, and in particular - the layering and scraping that would continually reveal new patterns and textures. Hanaman likens it to an artistic treasure hunt, where the unplanned turns into something magical. Another aspect of encaustic that Hanaman feels good about is the ability to melt down and reuse all her wax scraps, so there is no waste.
The encaustic medium is an ancient art form dating back to 500 BC, when Greek shipbuilders used it to repair and weatherproof their ships. Eventually they started adding color, which allowed it to be used for decorative purposes. With the help of modern technology and the ability to easily provide constant heat, encaustic has become a mainstream art form in the 21st century. Finding the necessary heating element required Hanaman to find a well-ventilated space to work, so she rented a studio in Salt Lake City, where she was fortunate to meet and be mentored by another artist across the hall. After months of working and learning, her friend encouraged her to submit her art to the Springville Museum’s annual spring salon and much to her surprise, she was accepted – for three years in a row! This early validation gave Hanaman the needed encouragement to show and sell her work. Kris is grateful to The Collective for supporting local artists like herself and helping increase the breadth of her customer following.
Stefani Kimche, Saam Beads
With a lifelong passion for the visual arts, Stefani embraced an opportunity to combine her wanderlust with creativity. Her collegiate studies of archeology and fine art fueled a fascination with the historical importance of beads. Acquired throughout diverse cultures; beads have retained constant significance as a form of trade, worship, and beauty. She is especially drawn to vintage rosaries, mala chains and prayer beads. Stefani’s interest solidified when she began collecting the ancient Hebron trade beads which are featured in her strands. Hundreds of years old and made from the sands and salts of the Dead Sea, these beads were prized throughout Africa and Europe. The beads have traveled through many countries and cultures, gathering a shared history along their journey. Each unique strand contains a mix of rare and collectible beads, organic material, and fair-trade sourced components. Whenever possible, female artisan products are used. The curated selections, which are only available in Park City through The Collective, are thoughtfully strung together, allowing their combined history to continue in someone else’s story.
November 05, 2021
Sustainability at The Collective
Sustainability is important to The Collective Park City’s mission of being a good environmental steward. About 80% of the lines and designers they offer meet their commitment to sustainability, which includes companies offering fair wages, humane and safe work environments, no child labor, and working to reduce their carbon footprint through renewable energies, recycling and repurposing where possible. The following companies highlight The Collective’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
Denim used to be one of the worst climate offenders wasting thousands of gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans and the harsh dyes were washed down drains that emptied into our waterways, streams and rivers. However, several denim brands are now utilizing a variety of techniques to reduce and reuse waste water. Whether it is sourcing fabric that doesn't use toxic chemicals and dyes, optimizing manufacturing processes to create less waste, and using recycled green packaging, denim designers are working hard to make a high-quality product while minimizing their carbon footprint.
One of our best-selling lines, DL 1961, utilizes Jeanologia’s Environment Impact Measurement (EIM) software to keep track of each garment’s water, energy, and resource usage. This approach makes sense because the first step in addressing any problem is knowing how to measure it, and subsequently assessing the consequences of each change and how it affects the environment. All the Lenzing fibers used by DL1961 are made from cellulose which comes from a renewable and biodegradable wood source to replace the the use of petroleum fabrics that emit micro plastics into our environment
The family-owned and run company is also using recycled denim and plastic bottles to create eco-friendly, high- performance denim. DL 1961 uses a state-of-the-art water recycling system that reintroduces 98% of the water they use back into municipal drains. The Jeanologia Ozone Eco G2 machine allows the company to use air to create wash variation without using water. In fact, the average pair of jeans uses approximately 1500 gallons of water, whereas the average pair of DL1961 jeans uses less than 10 gallons! The New York based manufacturing facility has self-power generation that uses a heat recovery system for their production needs, and the plant is partially powered by solar energy to further offset their carbon footprint.
DL1961 is committed to treating their employees with respect and working with factories that offer fair wages, reasonable hours, supportive and healthy working conditions.
Zahra Ahmed, vice president of marketing, DL1961, told Women’s Wear Daily“DL was founded on a mission to do things differently. From Day One, we focused on how denim was made, and what improvements we could make on every step of the process. We use premium materials and innovative fibers alongside the most efficient production methods available to ensure a product that looks good, feels great but also does better for the environment.”
Another family owned and operated New York based company, Faherty is committed to being a good steward of the environment for future generations, as well as a thoughtful and supportive community partner. 77% of the materials used in their clothing lines are made of sustainable fibers like organic cotton, ethically sourced cashmere, recycled polyester, linen, and hemp. They also strive to use non-toxic dyes and water-efficient processes wherever possible. They have replaced their recycled poly packaging with an eco-friendly paper bag and their goal is to be 90% plastic free by the end of this year. Faherty has partnered with several organizations committed to making the world a better place including 1% for the planet, Surfrider Foundation, and Blue Sign (link to these sites). Additionally, Faherty is proud to partner with Native American artists, Doug Good Feather (Lakota Tribe) and Bethany Yellowtail (Crow/Cheyenne Tribes) whose work and wisdom are an integral reminder of our universal connection to the land and to each other.
The Graf Lantz sustainability and business policies are classic and simple: use quality materials and waste as little as possible. “True Sustainability begins with the choices we make every day.” The team works hard to ensure every scrap and off-cut is utilized somewhere in their product line. Graf Lantz has been sustainable from the beginning - even before it was fashionable. Their home accessories are built to last, produced domestically, and are renewable, biodegradable and made from natural materials using low waste practices. For the Los Angeles based company, quality and sustainability go hand in hand. They are concerned with where their material is sourced, how the product is made, and how they treat the people whose art and passion transform the raw materials into Graf Lantz products. The primary material used by Graf Lantz is Merino Wool Felt, which is 100% natural and grown year-round from the Merino wool sheep. It is also 100% biodegradable - wool fibers naturally and quickly decompose in soil and, in effect, release valuable nutrients (like nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon) back into the earth and fertilize the soil. Merino Wool is also 100% Renewable - every year Australian sheep produce new fleece, making wool a completely renewable fiber. Merino wool is made up of 50% organic atmospheric carbon coming from their pasture diet and supports a renewable lifecycle and system. Graf Lantz products are epically durable – the designers consistently strive to create timeless products that are built to last. Choosing quality materials and sustainable practices over trends and convenience sets them apart from other vendors and their customers and partners recognize and appreciate the effort.
When it comes to sustainability, ANDI’s motto is all about doing more with less. They use every single piece of material in their manufacturing so that no waste goes to landfill. Fabric offcuts are used as stitching reinforcement to make ANDIs more durable. They test and build their products to last, back them up with a robust warranty and recycle, and repurpose and/or donate any damaged products.