Sister clothing retailers J.Crew and Madewell, based in the United States (US), launched their first major Fair Trade-certified, sustainable denim collections in 2019, which use 75% less water, significantly less energy, and 65% fewer chemicals.

Owned by New York-based (NY) J.Crew Group, J.Crew and Madewell have partnered with eco-certification group Fair Trade USA and manufacturer Saitex, the Vietnamese company that is the foremost producer of sustainable denim.

While J.Crew Group has collaborated with Saitex before, this expanded denim effort was fueled by “‘appetite from customers,’” Madewell president Libby Wadle told Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).

Saitex, based in Ho Chi Minh City, formulated a denim-production process that reduces water—the largest waste factor in denim production—from the usual 140 liters required to produce a single pair of jeans, to one liter. They are also a zero-waste facility.

The J.Crew Group’s involvement with Fair Trade USA, based in California, is a step towards sustainable fashion, as well as improved working conditions for manufacturing employees.

J.Crew Group director of corporate social responsibility Gonzalo Pertile indicated that his company has a five-year plan to bring more of their factories, located in 26 countries, into the sustainable fashion realm.

With prices starting at $59.50 (USD), Madewell and J.Crew offer their Fair Trade collections that together comprise 31 pieces, including, jeans, skirts, shorts, denim jackets, and overalls.

Further Madewell social responsibility information is found here:

Further J.Crew social responsibility information is found here:

Written by Nicole Foulke