The best sustainable jeans to buy now and wear forever

By now, we’re all aware that the most sustainable thing to wear is what’s already in our wardrobes. With a staggering estimated 100 billion new garments made each year, it’s more important now than ever to rethink how we buy clothes, and to make sure what we do buy we’ll still reach for in years to come.

Jeans are one of the hardest working items in our wardrobes, and have been a staple around the world since their inception way back in 1873. Though they’re usually very hard-wearing and long lasting, they’re renowned for being water-intensive to make.

That’s where these sustainable brands come in, who are using organic and recycled cotton, relying less on virgin cotton and, importantly, taking responsibility for their jeans throughout their lives by offering fixing services to prolong their lives. This also extends to the end of the jean’s life too, where plenty of companies are working hard to create a proper circular economy with take back schemes that keeps materials in use by turning old jeans turned back into new jeans.

Despite these hugely positive strides, even the best made clothes won’t actually forever. Besides, we all change sizes throughout our lives and there’s not many of us who can wear the same reliable pair we loved five, ten or 15 years ago.

So, to help you find the perfect sustainable pair of jeans, we asked some of our Live Frankly brands for their most popular denim styles, so when you do need to invest in a new pair of jeans, you know these are the styles to go for, to keep forever, or to pass on to someone else to love. 

Best sustainable jeans UK at a glance:

1. Brothers We Stand: MUD Jeans Slimmer Rick: £109 

The best sustainable jeans UK: Brothers We Stand: MUD Jeans Slimmer Rick

Why we love the jeans:

  • It’s easy to see why these are one of BWS’s most popular jeans – they’re a simple style with an already worn in look, that seemingly never goes out of fashion
  • The ‘slimmer’ fit, mid-rise style with a decent amount of stretch, which makes them easy to wear with anything, forming a great everyday pair
  • They’re made from 20% post consumer recycled cotton, 75% organic cotton, 3% eco T400 (an eco Lycra), and 2% eco-elastane
  • MUD champions short supply chains, and has long contracts which gives job security to those who make the clothes. 
  • The team at MUD also visits the manufacturers regularly and works closely with them.

Why Brothers We Stand is a better choice:

  • Not only championing making sustainable clothing affordable, Brothers We Stand also sets the bar high when it comes to transparency. 
  • BWS has come up with its own six-point standard for deciding which brands make the cut onto the platform. 
  • Each item is then assessed independently, regardless of whether the brand has already had sign off to ensure each product meets BWS’ criteria.
  • BWS also lists a ‘product footprint’ for each item, detailing the product’s impact on people, the planet and, crucially, and it goes one big step further, by detailing areas where they think the brand could improve. This highlights that sustainability is a journey – no one’s perfect and there’s always more to learn from and to improve. 

  • Sizing: W28/L32 – W38/L34
  • Colours: Authentic Indigo, Authentic Black, Sunny Stone
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2. Project Cece: Organsk Bracing Wind: £237

The best sustainable jeans UK: Project Cece: Organsk Bracing Wind

Why we love the jeans:

  • With a nod to the Nineties thanks to their wide leg, high waist and an acid blue wash look, these jeans are a great statement pair.
  • Organsk launched in 2023 with the ethos that although it might not be the best in the world, it will ‘be the best for the world’, which is certainly something we can admire. 
  • Organsk uses GOTS certified organic cotton, plant based patches and even recycled zip flies.
  • It offers membership programmes to shoppers to share jeans, as well as a take back service to recycle them after use. 

Why Project Cece is a better choice: 

  • Project Cece is female-founded and owned.
  • It’s a platform for sustainable products, with over 200 ethical fashion stores and well over 400 fair trade brands, resulting in over 40,000 products in one place.
  • All brands on the site fall into five main categories: Fairtrade, environmentally friendly, vegan, good causes and locally produced.
  • Each brand is vetted and must meet Project Cece’s criteria (with a minimum of being fair trade and environmentally friendly) to be featured on the website.
  • If a brand’s standards slip, it is removed from the platform.

  • Sizing: W25/ L32 – W29/L34
  • Colours: Bright blue
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3. Lora Gene: Cropped balloon leg denim jeans: £145 

The best sustainable jeans UK: Lora Gene: Cropped balloon leg denim jeans:

Why we love these jeans:

  • A modern style of jeans, this balloon shape is a welcome change from more classic shapes like straight or wide leg.
  • Black jeans will go with anything, so you’ll be wanting to wear these all the time.
  • The cotton used in these jeans is from surplus stock, helping to prevent waste by giving the surplus materials new life. 
  • As everything from Lora Gene is made upon order, items can be tweaked slightly for the best fit for you (though it’s not a made-to-measure service). These jeans can be made in a longer 36 inch leg, which can often be hard to find. 

Why Lora Gene is a better choice:

  • Founder Lora Nikolaeva truly believes the people who make the clothes are the core of the brand.
  • The brand has worked with the same factories and workshops for at least five years, and Lora Nikolaeva visits the factories it uses in Bulgaria every three months.
  • The factories are independently audited three times a year.
  • All of the tailors working for Lora Gene earn a living wage.
  • About 90% of the collection is made to order, so there’s no surplus stock.
  • 98% of the materials are natural, with more than half being made from pure silk.

  • Sizing: 6-26. Pus, the added option of longer lengths 
  • Colours: Black, Denim
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4. Shop Like You Give A Damn: MUD Jeans Mams Stretch Tapered Blue: €129.94 (about £110)

The best sustainable jeans UK: Shop Like You Give A Damn: MUD Jeans Mams Stretch Tapered Blue

Why we love the jeans:

  • Another entry from MUD, this mom-style pair are another classic shape you’ll reach for time-and-time again. Don’t think their cropped length rules them out for winter though, just pair them with ankle boots. 
  • They’re made from a mix of organic and recycled cotton, with just a little stretch.
  • MUD champions short supply chains, and has long contracts which gives job security to those who make the clothes. 
  • The team at MUD also visits the manufacturers regularly and works closely with them.
  • Everybody in the supply chain earns above minimum wage.

Why Shop Like You Give A Damn is a better choice?

  • Shop Like You Give A Damn is like an online department store, bringing together more than 20,000 products within hundreds of brands (across fashion, homewares and beauty).
  • They’ve done all the hard work and everything it sells is 100% vegan, fair and sustainable. It also champions inclusive and mission-driven businesses. 
  • They encourage customers to shop with passion and buy consciously rather than making rash purchases.
  • The brand’s staff are all paid a living wage along with benefits.

  • Sizing: W24/ L27 – W33/L29
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Authentic Indigo Blue, Stone Indigo Blue
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5. Shop Like You Give a Damn: Kuyichi Jeans Loose Flare Harper Vintage Zwart: €120 Euros (about £102)

The best sustainable jeans UK: Shop Like You Give a Damn: Kuyichi Jeans Loose Flare Harper Vintage Zwart

Why we love the jeans: 

  • For anyone who loved the wide flares of the Seventies (and many decades later) these jeans will tick all your boxes, and are easy to dress up or down. 
  • They’re made from a mix of organic cotton, post-consumer recycled cotton and elastane 
  • They are with dry denim, which hasn’t been washed or bleached, which means you essentially break them in yourself to give them your own personal and natural ‘worn’ look. 
  • The Dutch brand was born after seeing some of the terrible conditions of cotton growing in Peru, and so only uses organic GOTS certified cotton.
  • Kuyichi is constantly innovating to find new techniques to make its jeans more durable.
  • All of the brand’s jeans are made in a GOTS certified factory in Turkey.

Why Shop Like You Give A Damn is a better choice:

  • The platform model allows you to make it easier to shop consciously with so many  brands in one place. This not only keeps delivery costs down, but also shopper’s carbon footprints by reducing multiple deliveries and packages.
  • Every item and brand is vegan, fair, sustainable, inclusive and mission-driven. 
  • Shop Like You Give A Damn encourages its customers to shop with passion, rather than making rash purchases.
  • The brand’s staff are all paid a living wage along with benefits.

  • Sizing: W24/L30 – W34/L34
  • Colours: Dark Blue, Vintage Black
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6. Project Cece: Kuyichi Bobbie Barrel: £102

The best sustainable jeans UK: Project Cece: Kuyichi Bobbie Barrel

Why we love the jeans:

  • The barrel leg shape of these jeans creates a really contemporary look, which we’re big fans of. With a high waist and loose-fit throughout the leg that’s slightly cropped, they’re a casual pair that will see plenty of wear. 
  • Made from 100% organic cotton, which hasn’t been dyed. Instead, it keeps the natural colour of the cotton and saves water in doing so. 
  • The Dutch brand was born after seeing some of the terrible conditions of cotton growing in Peru, and so only uses organic GOTS certified cotton.
  • Kuyichi is constantly innovating to find new techniques to make its jeans more durable.
  • All of its jeans are made in a GOTS certified factory in Turkey.

Why Project Cece is a better choice: 

  • The female-founded and owned platform has over 200 ethical fashion stores and more than 400 fair trade brands, which results in 40,000 products in one place.
  • All brands on the site fall into five main categories: Fairtrade, environmentally friendly, vegan, good causes and locally produced.
  • Each brand is vetted and must meet Project Cece’s criteria (with a minimum of being fair trade and environmentally friendly) to be featured on the website.
  • If a brand’s standards slip, it is removed from the platform.

  • Sizing: W24/L30 – W33/L30
  • Colours: Natural Organic Cotton Off White 
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7. Shop Like you Give a Damn: Torland Slim Jeans Benny Zwart: €129 (about £110)

The best sustainable jeans UK: Shop Like you Give a Damn: Torland Slim Jeans Benny Zwart

Why we love the jeans:

  • These slim fitting jeans have an already ‘worn in’ look, and will likely easily go with anything you already own.
  • They’re made from 97% organic cotton and 3% elastane, giving just enough stretch so the jeans don’t feel constricting.
  • Based in Vienna, Torland is founded by environmental scientist Sascha Hümbeli, so you know caring about the environment is at its core.
  • The brand’s mission is to reduce environmental pollution, energy and water consumption while also practising fair working conditions.
  • Made in a GOTs certified factory in Turkey.

Why Shop Like You Give A Damn is a better choice: 

  • The platform brings together more than 20,000 products within hundreds of brands across fashion, homewares and beauty.
  • They’ve done all the hard work and everything it sells is 100% vegan, fair and sustainable. It also champions being inclusive and mission-driven businesses. 
  • They encourage their customers to shop with passion, rather than making rash purchases.
  • Shop Like You Give A Damn‘s staff are all paid a living wage along with benefits.

  • Sizing: W28/L32 – W38/L34
  • Colours: Black, Dark Indigo Blue, Grey
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8. Project Cece: Mud Jeans Wyde Sara: £110.46

The best sustainable jeans UK: Project Cece: Mud Jeans Wyde Sara

Why we love the jeans: 

  • If it’s a super wide flare leg you’re after, these are the jeans for you. They’re nicely fitted at the top and loose from the thigh onwards, creating a great flowing shape.
  • The deep traditional indigo colour of the denim has been achieved without any chemicals.
  • MUD champions short supply chains, and has long contracts which gives job security to those who make the clothes. 
  • The team at MUD also visits the manufacturers regularly and works closely with them.
  • Everybody in the supply chain earns above minimum wage.

Why Project Cece is a better choice: 

  • The  female-founded and owned platform has over 200 ethical fashion stores and more than 400 fair trade brands, which results in 40,000 products in one place.
  • All brands on the site fall into five main categories: Fairtrade, environmentally friendly, vegan, good causes and locally produced.
  • Each brand is vetted and must meet Project Cece’s criteria (with a minimum of being fair trade and environmentally friendly) to be featured on the website.
  • If a brand’s standards slip, it is removed from the platform.

  • Sizing: W25/L30 – W33/34
  • Colours: Indigo Blue
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About the author

Emma Henderson

Emma Henderson

Emma Henderson is a freelance writer and editor and has been a journalist for 10 years, where for most of that time she worked at The Independent. She specialises in food and drink, covering everything from plastic free tea to sustainable fishing. She was the Editor of IndyEats, The Independent's digital food magazine. She writes widely about sustainability, ethics and greenwashing in food and beyond.

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