Ocean Friendly Product

In our other life we are sustainability consultants and constantly reviewing products for our clients that offer reduced impacts on the environment we live, work and play in. Every week we now aim to share what we’ve learnt and why we choose the outdoor kit we use for our book writing and research journeys. It’s not all perfect, but we believe these products and the people behind the brand are on a great journey to minimise the impacts they have. This is not aimed to be a performance review – here we just focus on the product sustainability review. We are not paid by any of these companies, this is just our view on what we wear and use. We thought we’d share it as we have grown so tired of the greenwash.

This week’s Ocean Friendly Product is jeans. Although we love wearing jeans, Denim doesn’t have the greenest of reputations, but a few companies out there have made some big leaps in helping us make more responsible purchases. Our pick for sustainable denim is Alpkit Jeanius range. This blog explores why denim is bad for the ocean and environment and what Alpkit has done to address the key issues.

Why is denim bad for the environment?

Denim production is associated with extremely high water, fertiliser, pesticide and energy usage in the production of cotton – the largest non-food crop grown in the world The implications of cotton growing for the environment is huge. Here are just a very few ‘fun’ facts:

  • the Aral Sea has shrunk by 80% due to water extraction for cotton production
  • 97% of the water in the River Indus, India, goes to producing crops like cotton
  • rain water in Brazil contains 19 different pesticides – 12 of which were used in cotton production
  • Much of the pesticide used in cotton production will end up in rivers and estuaries

To add to that cotton is often grown in areas where forced or poorly paid labour forces abound.

What’s good about Alpkit’s Jenius Jeans?

Alpkit use Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certified cotton, a scheme that has robust auditable and transparent standards with specific targets to:
• Reduce pesticide use
• Improve soil health
• Better pay for workers
• Reduce Co2 emissions per tonne of raw material
• Improve conditions for women within the cotton industry

Woven with Cordura to make them 4x more durable, we can personally verify that they are rugged. We use them on our coastal adventures where they are guaranteed to get a hard time.

All of the Jenius Jeans are made in factories operating to high ethical and audited standards where Alpkit openly declare what factories they work with as well as promote long standing relationships

Alpkit are a certified Bcorp company who have signed up to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance.

On top of that Alpkit take back the old jeans when you have finished wearing them as part of their Continuum project, which passes on your unwanted clothes to others that need them most – or they recycle them appropriately.

What could be improved

We would love to see our Jeanius Jeans made of organic cotton and a declaration on what dyes and finishing agents are used.

Check out our other sustainable gear reviews

Keen UNEEK Sandal


Find out what you can do to look after oceans and rivers

What Can Do To Look After Our Seas

What We Can Do To Look After Our Rivers

Find inspiring places to paddle, walk and swim

Walks in Special Blue Places

SUP Routes of the Week

Check out our latest guide books

Visit British islands and blue spaces