Organic Denim: Is it Worth Every Penny?

Organic Denim: Is it Worth Every Penny?

Amber Byfield
Jan 30, 2009

01_30_09_denim.jpgAfter wearing a hole through one of our favorite pair of blue jeans, we're in the market to replace 'em. But we got to thinking... what goes into denim production, and can we afford an organic pair?

We grew up in a small Texas town that used to be hailed as the cotton capital of the world, where our grandfather grew acres upon acres of the stuff. In fact, we knew the guy who flew the plane that dropped chemicals on the crops.

And therein lies the problem: conventionally-grown cotton is still sprayed with mounds of pesticides, and raw fibers, even if they're organic, could be sprayed with fumicides and the like. Blue jeans take extra work for their dyes and finishes--Salon says up to a pound of chemicals per pair of blue jeans can be used to achieve that "worn-in" look.

Grist has an article about organic cotton in the U.S., and it points out that improvements are being made in the industry. In fact, the solution might be to simply do things more naturally, like natural/organic pesticides and using very old-school planting techniques. How green is that!?

With organic jeans coming in well above our price range for clothing, and until the cotton farming industry and denim production make more advancements to the green side, it looks like Goodwill's gonna get some business from us!

And of course, we want to know how you feel about organic cotton and especially denim: have you changed your wardrobe buys?

Photo by Daniel Wildman via

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