This interview was originally posted on ragtrader.com
The Aussie Brand Fighting Against Toxic Denim and Unethical Production
Raising the focus on ethical denim, Queensland-based womenswear label, L&F is stepping up the fight against toxic denim and unethical production practices with its new range of conscious jeanswear.
It is estimated that it takes around 10,000 litres* of water to produce a single pair of jeans. That, combined with the denim industry’s high energy consumption and chemical pollution makes jeanswear one of the fashion industry’s primary environmental offenders.
Partnering with Outland Denim’s Cambodian-based manufacturing arm, Maeka, who’ve made denim ranges for the likes of Karen Walker, L&F’s new denim collection uses organic cotton, non-toxic dyes, innovative water saving technology and socially responsible manufacturing to combat this environmental impact.
Starting out as a means of offering training and employment to survivors of exploitation, Outland Denim soon turned to addressing the environmental responsibilities of the fashion industry as well. Their subsequent manufacturing facility, Maeka has opened up their sustainable denim to other brands looking to create jeanswear with conscience.
Made with 100% traceable organic cotton, Maeka’s denim uses innovative technology that requires up to 86% less water and 96% less energy during the finishing process, and uses only certified non-toxic dyes.
Just as importantly, they work to create a cycle of freedom for the people they employ. “They have invested in their workforce, and their environmental practices are very transparent and progressive,” Attests L&F’s creative director, Fleur Richardson. “No humans have been harmed in the creation of an L&F Denim garment!”
As a 100% Australian-made brand, finding a partner manufacturer that aligned with L&F’s own conscious values was intrinsic to the success of the Denim range. We tried denim manufacturing onshore and the experience was very disjointed,” explains Richardson.
“The direction of offshore manufacturing is changing. It’s not about cheap products and minimal quality. For us it’s about discovery, finding and aligning with manufacturing partners that are experts in their craft and kicking goals, ethically and sustainability, in the market. In this case it has been Outland Denim, and we’ve been able to combine their expertise in denim with ours in fit, form and function,” continues Richardson.
The result of the partnership is a capsule range of four Denim styles: two jeans and two jackets. The Sia, a skinny jean in Indigo Denim, features back leg seams to contour and lift whereas the Ariza Jean in Midnight Denim is high-waisted with wide, flared legs.
Designed to create luxurious denim suiting, the Deagon Jacket is collarless and tailored with seams through the torso while the Brady Jacket is a blazer style with a single button fastening.
L&F delivers confidence without compromise, and with their full clothing range available in sizes 8 to 24, they follow this philosophy right through the size range, for all women and every body shape. The Denim range is no exception.
“These garments are designed with all we know about the L&F woman in mind. We have incorporated our combined years of experience and our L&F fit and grading principles to make these Denim pieces feel like they were made just for you,” says Richardson.
*Quoted by the United Nations in a Facebook post in 2019 and based on figures featured in UNESCO’s United Nations World Water Development Report 4 (p489), which reports the average water footprint of printed cotton in a pair of jeans weighing 1kg is 11,000 litres. The average jean weighs about 0.89kg.
L&F is an Australian-based fashion label with 10 years experience creating well-fitting, size inclusive clothing for women. Owned and directed by fashion operations expert Fleur Richardson, the brand is committed to bringing confidence that fits through luxurious-feeling fashion in sizes 8 to 24. A champion of Australian-made clothing, L&F’s commitment to their social and sustainable responsibilities sees them continually striving to enhance their conscious impact.