Denim is one of the most popular materials used by the fashion industry, with a worldwide annual net worth of $63.5 billion. That's approximately one new pair of jeans for every single person on the planet each year! But denim is also usually made of cotton, which is a highly intensive crop requiring intense amounts of irrigation and chemicals to grow. The weaving and dying processes used to make denim are also energy intensive, and the dyes pollute waterways and kill wildlife. Much of the denim industry is also closely associated with fast fashion, where consumers are encouraged to buy large amounts of products that can end up in landfill.
But cotton isn't the only option for making denim. Flax (also known as linen) is one of the oldest farmed fabrics in the world - there is evidence of the plant being used for fabric which dates back to the Bronze Age. Although popular throughout history, flax fell out of favour after the Industrial Revolution due to the invention of cotton mills that could create large quantities of the fabric much more quickly than the traditional looms that were used to weave flax.
In 2021 with the pandemic, Brexit and the climate crisis altering the way we see and use products in our lives, regenerative agriculture has become increasingly popular. Regenerative agriculture is a way of farming that not only grows products to provide for the population, but also creates fertile and healthy land from areas that have historically been abandoned or contaminated.
Homespun is a project by the BBC’s Sewing Bee presenter and Saville Row Tailor Patrick Grant, who moved to Lancashire during the 2020 lockdown, and his not-for-profit Community Clothing. The aim is to turn unused land on the edge of Blackburn that had previously been used for fly-tipping into a field of flax and woad, with the flax harvested and spun into linen fabric in an attempt to make a pair of jeans with the lowest possible impact. The finished product is on display in Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery until mid-December. If the project is a success it could herald the future of a new sustainable fabric option for the UK.
New denim brand on the block Flax and Loom aim to create affordable denim that whilst also ensuring the safety and well-being of people and planet. They want to:
To provide a safe and fair wage to everyone within their supply chain, including the Turkish factory the brand uses which promises a safe and healthy workplace.
Design out waste - Materials used by the brand are carefully selected to ensure they have minimal impact on the planet, including certified sustainable cotton and flax seed.
Maintain a low carbon footprint - All the growing, dying and production takes place in a small region of Turkey, reducing the carbon footprint of the product by keeping all production in a small area.
We have 3 styles of mens jeans from Flax & Loom in store and online.