As one of the most resource-heavy, environmentally damaging items we buy, denim gets a bad rep. Made from cotton, which is mostly grown using harmful fertilizers and pesticides and requires a lot of water to produce (and results in over-farmed land and soil erosion), the impact our denim buying habits have on the health of the planet is significant. But it’s not all bad news. Denim is also one of the hardiest and versatile materials in our wardrobes and deserves its fashion staple status. Shopped wisely and sparingly, a classic pair of jeans can (and should) transition effortlessly from season to season.
Thankfully a growing number of brands have come up with a solution to satiate our love of denim while limiting their environmental impact (scroll through to shop their latest jean styles). Specializing in vintage denim, reworked into modern cuts using deadstock materials, these brands keep the focus on localized production meaning each stage of the manufacturing process takes place in a small area which, to put it simply, caps their carbon footprint.
And it’s not just jeans that are being created with a sustainable mindset. Everything from jackets to skirts and dresses is being reworked for today’s more mindful shopper. Bahraini designer Noof Al Shekar has taken it one step further, adding a capsule of shoulder, top handle, and belt bags in recycled denim to her signature luxury line, NS By Noof. We caught up with the designer to discuss her planet-friendly offering…
Why denim? Why now?
“When I started thinking about a sustainable line I wanted to create something hip and cool but at the same time classic, to suit every age – that’s when we had the idea of recycled denim.”
It must have been a challenge to work with a material you’ve never used before.
“I started looking into materials back in 2019…I wanted to create something that was influenced by my kids and the awareness this new generation have on the environment. The challenge was to create a practical design with geometric cuts that can be worn day to night, while maintaining the brand DNA.”
Ethical practices are certainly a big focus for the fashion industry in general right now.
“I believe there’s an awareness of the environment and how we can make the world a better place – every profession has a way to express it and this is how [the fashion industry] can help.”
Who will this collection appeal to?
“Women who like to stand out by carrying a bag that looks chic but don’t necessarily want to show off the brand. Everything from the material we use to the hand-stitching reflects the quality, yet it’s also discrete.”
Do you think ‘trends’ are still relevant?
“There will always be trends – they keep people excited about what is coming next; but I also believe people today are more aware of their own style and how to express who they really are…this is the art of fashion.”