Zero Emissions Day
Did you know the 21st September is Zero Emissions Day? If you haven’t heard of Zero Emissions Day before, it is a worldwide movement to help spread awareness about climate change and encourage the use of sustainable, renewable energy resources rather than fossil fuels. The movement started back in 2008 when there was a call for the 21st September to be a day where no fossil fuels were consumed. The message was simple – to give our planet one day off per year. This idea came from the fact that people often get a ‘rest day’ so why not give our planet a rest day from emissions and pollution! Electricity, something that we all use every day, is primarily derived from fossil fuels, the biggest contributor of emissions into the atmosphere. The amount of energy consumed by modern society is huge. With new electronic devices frequently becoming part of our daily lives, most of which need to be charged via electricity, this is an issue that continues to grow. How to Celebrate Zero Emissions Day We can use this day as an opportunity to raise awareness about the amount of fossil fuels that are used and the effects they are having on climate change. We can also share information about how each of us can help reduce our carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere). Since a lot of our electricity is derived from fossil fuels, the best way we can reduce our emissions is to reduce the amount of energy, particularly electricity, that we use in our daily lives. Here are KEEPER Denim’s top tips on how to reduce your energy usage both on Zero Emissions Day and every day: Turn off Heating/Cooling Turn off any heating/cooling systems before you leave the house. Turn off Appliances/Electronics Turn the switch off at the wall for any household appliances, computer and/or printer when you’re not using them. In your down time, instead of watching TV or doing any other activities that involve the use of electronics, try catching up with a friend, going for a walk or playing a board game. Use Heating/Cooling More Effectively If possible, close any doors to shut off the rooms that you’re not using in your house, so you are only heating/cooling the rooms you’re currently in. Choose to Bike, Walk or Take Public Transport Instead of using your car to get to work or run errands, try where possible to walk, ride a bike or use public transport, not only will this reduce energy usage, but it can also be great exercise! Plan a No-Cook Meal Kitchen appliances use energy, so trying to make a meal that requires no cooking is not only a healthy alternative, but it will also save energy. Some examples include salads, rice paper rolls, wraps sandwiches, rolls, the list is endless! We hope you found these KEEPER Denim tips useful! These small, everyday changes in your power consumption are cheap and easy to do and they all add up to making a big positive impact on our planet.READ MORE
Why we Became Accredited by ECA
At KEEPER Denim we love supporting brands that are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) because it means they have a transparent and ethical supply chain from design to final product. It also means they support the local textile, clothing and footwear industry - providing local employment, developing local manufacturing skills and make high-quality products. By choosing to shop with an ECA accredited business, you know that your clothing is made ethically and by garment workers whose rights and working entitlements are protected. KEEPER Denim has recently been accredited by ECA and we are honoured to be among the other incredible businesses who support the Australian manufacturing industry. So why did we become accredited by ECA? In the local industry many garment workers are not aware of their rights and what they are entitled to and a lot of businesses have multiple manufacturing locations by outsourcing their work to both factories and people who work from home. An ECA accreditation certifies that a business cares for and values the people who make their garments. So, no matter where they work, whether it is in a factory or from home, a third party audits and verifies that the Australian workplace laws are being met at all stages of the supply chain. By being ECA accredited, a business is helping to contribute to a more ethical manufacturing industry within Australia. To obtain the ECA accreditation status, a business’s entire supply chain within Australia is audited by an officer from the Textile Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Union to ensure that the local garment workers are being paid appropriately, receive their full legal entitlements, and have safe working conditions. The audit includes workers from all the different stages of the manufacturing process, such as in design, pattern making, cut, make and trim and all value adding services. To maintain the accreditation, a business’s supply chain is audited annually. ECA protects the rights of both factory workers, as well as outworkers– people who work from home. Outworkers are considered vulnerable within the industry as they are often isolated, face unrealistic deadlines and typically work long hours. In their own words, ECA’s mission states: “We are a joint industry ad union initiative that embraces a multi-stakeholder approach and works towards a more transparent industry whereby supply chain management and adhering to workplace laws is the TFC industry standard. The ECA accreditation and labelling system also provides consumers and buyers with a simple way to identify and support ethically made Australian TCF products.” At KEEPER Denim, all our jeans are made right here in Australia and this accreditation ensures our local manufacturing supply chain is transparent and legally compliant. The audit process required a significant amount of time by both us and ECA, however it was incredibly rewarding. Now when you shop with KEEPER Denim, you can trust our jeans are being made the right way. Click here to visit the ECA website and learn more about what they do and find the other incredible businesses that have also been accredited.READ MORE
What is Vegan Leather?
There are many negative impacts from the conventional leather industry including cruel farming practices, the health and safety of factory workers and carbon emissions. For many years leather was a by-product from the meat industry and was traditionally used for clothing and accessories due to its durable quality. However, currently in a world with fast fashion, the large-scale production of this material is having a much bigger impact on people and the planet. What is vegan leather? Today, there are many ethical and sustainable alternatives to conventional animal sourced leather. They have been developed and have a better impact on the environment and don’t involve the harming of any animals. At KEEPER Denim this is very important to us, which is why we chose not use conventional leather on our jeans. Instead, our KEEPER Denim brand patch on the back of each pair of our jeans is made from a material called jacron. Jacron is made from cellulose and is a great alternative as it looks very similar to leather, but is made without harming animals. That is why our KEEPER Denim jeans have recently received the PETA-Approved Vegan certification. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organisation in the world. This certification confirms that our jeans are made without any animal products, so they are free from materials such as leather, silk, wool and cashmere. Check out the list below of some other incredible vegan leather alternatives: Apple Leather Apple Leather is made from the apple skins that are a by-product from both the juice and cider industry. In addition to apple leather being able to replace conventional leather for a variety of fashion accessories. Bananatex® Bananatex® is a waterproof fabric made from Abacá banana plants, which are organically grown in the Philippines. To date, this fabric has been used to make fashion accessories, including handbags. Cork Similar to conventional leather, cork is durable and water resistant, however it is also recyclable and easy to keep clean. Cork is a natural fibre which comes from cork oak trees, the bark is harvested from the trees, however the trees continue to love and grow, helping to reduce deforestation. Jacron Jacron is made from cellulose and is a vegan alternative to leather, made without the use of animals. It is most commonly used for brand patches on jeans given its strength and ability to withstand washes, which is why we chose to use it on our KEEPER Denim jeans! Mylo™ Mylo™ looks and feels like conventional leather, however it is made from Mycelium, the fungus part of a mushroom that grows underground. It is biodegradable and can be produced in a number of days, rather than years, minimising the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Piñatex® Piñatex® is a vegan alternative to leather made from pineapple leaves. The finished material is soft, durable and flexible and can be used for a wide range of products including fashion accessories and furniture. Vegea Vegea also known as wine/grape leather is an environmentally friendly, cruelty-free alternative to conventional leather. It is made from the grape skins, seeds and stalks that are discarded during the wine production process.READ MORE
What is Slow Fashion?
There are so many different terms used when we talk about ethical and sustainable fashion that it can get confusing at times. So here at KEEPER Denim we wanted to go through two of the most important words that you might have heard – Slow Fashion. What is Slow Fashion? It refers to a movement where the impact of the clothing is considered at all stages of the supply chain, both on the environment and the people involved in making them. The embodiment of slow fashion is high-quality clothing, manufactured in smaller quantities, that is made to last. The term slow fashion was first coined by Kate Fletcher, an eco-textile consultant and author who defined is as “about designing, producing, consuming and living better. Slow fashion is not time-based but quality-based (which has some time components). Slow is not the opposite of fast – there is no dualism – but a different approach in which designers, buyers, retailers and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities and ecosystems.” Slow fashion is considered the opposite to fast fashion, which is defined as low-quality clothing, made in large quantities to meet seasonal trends. The impact these clothes have on both the planet and garment workers is not considered. Why Does Slow Fashion Matter? On average, we bought 60% more clothes in 2014 than we did in 2000. Today, clothes are often seen as disposable and only worn a handful of times before they are disposed of and end up in landfill, having a huge negative impact on the planet. Prior to the industrial revolution, most of our clothing was made from locally sourced materials and manufactured nearby. These garments were typically good quality as they were made to keep for many years. Slow fashion today is in many ways a return to this method of purchasing clothes. We start to ask the important questions, including:READ MORE
- Where was it made?
- Who made it?
- What is it made from?
What is Eco-Guilt?
Many, including us here at KEEPER Denim have suffered from eco-guilt at some point, especially with the climate crisis today. Whether it’s when you forgot to bring a reusable coffee cup to your local café or you weren’t sure which plastic containers were safe to go into the recycle bin – you’re not alone! What is Eco-Guilt? Eco-guilt is what you feel when you think you have done something that is bad for the planet. Unfortunately, this feeling often leads to a negative chain of events as you feel inadequate and, in the end, this can lead to paralysis of taking any positive action towards the climate crisis as you feel overwhelmed. So even though you care deeply about climate change, you might feel like you don’t have the right to participate in the movement to help reverse the effects of it. To add to this, eco-guilt can drive us to only purchase products that are marketed as eco-friendly, natural etc. This is a great start but it’s only part of the solution, as we also need to reduce our overall consumption of these products. With greenwashing alive and well today, it can be hard to determine if what brands say is true. Greenwashing is when companies provide misleading information to consumers about their products, suggesting they are more environmentally friendly than they really are. Instead, it’s important you do your research into a brand and how their products are made. Consider the transparency of their supply chain and whether they have any certifications to formalise their commitment to producing ethical and sustainable products. The solution Whilst it is still so important that we make small changes in our everyday life to care for the planet, we must remember that these solutions might not be available to everyone due to a variety of reasons including finance, culture, and accessibility. The solution to reversing the effects of climate change is fundamental systemic change, and the good news is, this is something that we can all be a part of! A great starting point is staying informed, and you can do this with the following incredible resources: The Good on You App Rates over 2,000 fashion brands on a scale of 1 to 5, in terms of how sustainable and ethical their business practices are. It also provides a summary of the key criteria used to generate the rating. Fashion Revolution A non-profit global movement that raises awareness of the current state of the fashion industry to help create one that values people and the planet over profit. Eco Age They work with fashion brands to help them develop more sustainable business practices. They have a blog on their website which is regularly updated with articles discussing the latest news in the industry. Conscious Chatter A podcast that provides valuable information about the garment industry and how each of us can make a positive change towards a more ethical and sustainable future. We hope you found these KEEPER Denim tips helpful and remember – forget the eco-guilt, there are so many ways that you can take part in the action against climate change and creating a better future or our planet.READ MORE
The Weekend Edition
KEEPER Denim Merges Sustainability and Style With Eco-Friendly Jeans Range Originally published 5 December 2019 by Georgia Brooker on The Weekend Edition. Read the full article here For the socially conscious, finding a decent pair of jeans that are both eco-friendly and well-fitting is comparable to discovering a needle in a haystack. Enter Keeper Denim, the Melbourne-manufactured denim label challenging the fast-fashion industry, which produces a whopping six billion pairs of non-sustainable jeans each year worldwide. The denim-making journey began when Keeper Denim’s Founder, Kate Bartuccio watched The True Cost – a documentary that focused on the garment industry within the developing world. Overwhelmed by the unsustainable and unethical business model of the fast-fashion industry, Kate wanted to be part of the solution – thus, Keeper Denim was born. To combat waste and environmental impact, Keeper Denim’s jeans are ethically crafted and detailed by expert artisans in small toxic-free production runs using sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled materials. Keeper Denim produces all your favourite cuts, including high-rise, skinny, and ankle-cut jeans to suit all shapes and sizes. Considering each and every detail, every pair of jeans even includes a vegan-friendly brand patch. Are you after some wardrobe staple-worthy jeans that are circa-2001 Britney and Justin approved? Keeper Denim’s first product – The Elwood Skinny Jean – are now exclusively available to purchase through their Kickstarter campaign.READ MORE
The Post Newspapers
Finders Keepers Originally published 7 December 2019 by The Post Newspaper. Read the full article here on page 76. How often do you think about how the clothes you wear affect you and the environment? Keeper Denim is a new West Perth-based startup proving that it’s possible to merge sustainability, ethics and style. The label is challenging the “fast fashion” industry and its low-quality mass-produced clothing, poor working conditions and its harmful effect on the environment. By using small production runs and sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled materials, Keeper Denim makes ethical jeans with reduced waste and minimal environmental impact. The company says that conventional cotton, which is used to make most jeans, is grown using a host of synthetic chemicals, accounting for approximately 16% of the world’s insecticide use and more than 7% of the world’s pesticide use. These cause damage to the environment and they are also harmful to the health of both farmers and consumers. According to Keeper Denim, globally, six billion pairs of conventional, non-sustainable jeans are made each year, with a chemical intensive production process involving heavy metals and bleach. Working with such substances has a negative effect on both the health of the garment workers and the environment. When you wear clothes containing these toxic chemicals, they can be absorbed through the skin. Keeper Denim is hoping to solve these issues by using organic cotton and a toxic-free production process to make comfortable and stylish jeans. Kate Bartuccio, Founder of Keeper Denim, wanted to follow her passion for style and sustainability. “I watched a documentary called The True Cost, which focuses on the fast fashion industry and the many sweat shops in the developing world,” she said. Keeper Denim’s Elwood skinny jean is available through their Kickstarter campaign.READ MORE
The Herald Sun
Ethical Brunswick Brand, KEEPER Denim Needs Kick Start to Launch Sustainable Label Originally published 7 December 2019 by Grace McKinnon Leyton in The Herald Sun. Read the full article here. Uber-cool new Brunswick brand Keeper Fashion’s #GirlBoss co-founder is fighting fast fashion – and looking good while she does it. Here’s how you can help kickstart the sustainable label. Brunswick-made jeans from Keeper Denim are one of the few sustainable denim brands in the country. But they need help to get off the ground. Made from Australian sustainable materials including organic cotton and recycled materials, the innovative Aussie brand is fighting fast fashion – and looking good doing it. The brand source denim from organic suppliers with a transparent supply chain to help minimise their environmental footprint and look after their farmers, garment workers and consumers. Keeper Denim Founder Kate Bartuccio said keeping it local in Brunswick meant garments could be ethical from start to finish. “It was really important to us to have our jeans manufactured in Australia as this supports local economic growth and increases employment opportunities,” she said. “Our jeans are crafted and detailed locally by expert artisans in a factory in Brunswick East. “It is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, which ensures local garment workers are paid fairly, receive all their legal entitlements and work in safe conditions.” The first product released of the line was the Elwood Skinny Jean – a high-waited, skinny, ankle cut design. Ms Bartuccio said garment workers is the developing world were forced to work in unsafe conditions with low wages and limited rights, and this was the real cost of fast fashion. She said the brand was asking consumers to think about where their clothing comes from, and to realise someone else is paying the cost of cheap garments. Keeper Denim are still in their infancy and asking Melburnians to buy a pair and join the “denim revolution” to get their first major line of production up.READ MORE
The Evolution of the Skinny Jean
Our KEEPER Denim Elwood Skinny jean is a timeless staple. It is the perfect addition to any capsule wardrobe as it can be paired with both classic and seasonal pieces. It can be worn all year round and can take you from day to night depending on how you accessorise it - the options are truly endless! This jean has undergone many transformations over the last 16 years, yes that’s right 16 YEARS! since they first appeared in the fashion magazines. So let’s go back and take a look at the evolution of the skinny jean and how it became the one that we know and love today. 2005 The first skinny jean was made popular by Kate Moss, however this jean was different to what we are used to today. It was made with traditional Japanese, which is comprised of 100% cotton and has no element of stretch in it, so they weren’t skin-tight. They were also more of a straight leg style jean, as they were loose around the ankles. 2008 This was the year we started to see skinny jeans available in a variety of different coloured denims, particularly bright colours and the colour blocking look was just starting to be more popular! 2009 The highly distressed denim look took off, with big rips, shredded denim and large amounts of fading. This style was inspired by the vintage Stove Pipe jeans of the 1960’s made popular by rock ‘n’ roll musicians. Just quietly, we are glad this look has become less popular over time. 2011 The jeggings trend started and instead of the usual 2% elastane for stretch, they had 70% elastane! This made for very thin and stretchy jeans that didn’t take long after a few washes and wears to lose their shape. They were not a very sustainable option, given they didn’t last for very long. 2013 The skinny jeans we have come to know and love started to become more popular. With traditional denim and a small amount of stretch, they had less fading and distressing, making them a more timeless wardrobe staple. 2015 Up until now, skinny jeans were only low to mid-rise, but this was the year we started to see more high-rise skinny jeans, with many finding the high-rise more comfortable and flattering, you can include us in this category! 2016 Enter the high-rise, skinny ankle cut jean. We all became aware of how versatile this length was. You could wear them with flats, heels or boots in winter and they flattered so many women of all different shapes and sizes as they came in at your waist and elongate your legs. 2021 Today the skinny jean is still one of the most popular style of jeans, with their versatility and flattering silhouette, they are the perfect addition to your wardrobe! Learning about the evolution of the skinny jean has made us here at KEEPER Denim appreciate it just a little bit more, if that was even possible and we hope it has done the same for you!READ MORE
The Dark Side of Denim
Have you ever wondered what goes into making a pair of jeans - how the denim is dyed or how you get that faded, slightly worn look? This fashion staple is timeless, but what you might not know is there is a dark side to denim, one that is harmful to both the garment workers and the environment. “Currently, 5 billion pairs of jeans are produced every year. To produce these, about 420 million m3 of water and 900,000 tons of chemicals are used and over 2 million people are exposed to techniques that are detrimental to their health,” - Carmen Silla, Director of Marketing and Communication at Jeanologia The Dark Side of Denim Here are just some of the process’s denim undergoes to transform it into a pair of jeans: TEXTILE DYING The manufacturing of conventional denim often includes several chemical-intensive washes. These washes may contain heavy metals such as manganese, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead and copper, which can all be poisonous to the nervous system and carcinogenic. The contaminated water leftover from this process is then often dumped into surrounding rivers and streams, polluting local drinking water supplies. Over the long term, this impacts the health of the people who live in the local area. At KEEPER Denim we chose to source our denim from ISKO, a denim Mill in Turkey as it has been awarded with both the EU Ecolabel and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. This means the denim has been tested to make sure it doesn’t contain chemicals that are harmful to either our health or the planet. ISKO also have a filtration system that cleans the water used during the manufacturing process of their denim, so it can be recycled and re-used, Reducing their water usage and pollution! DENIM FADING Sandblasting is one of the most common methods used to fade the colour of denim today. A high-pressure hose filled with sand is used to literally blast it onto the denim, which fades and softens the denim at the same time. Although this may make jeans look amazing, it can be harmful to the health of the factory workers. They breathe in small particles from the sand which can become trapped in their lungs, causing illnesses such as lung fibrosis and emphysema. Many factory workers in the developing world are aware of the impact this process can have on their health, however they are forced to continue to work, earning as low as $70 a month just so they can support their family. So, is there a better way? Yes! There are more ethical and sustainable ways to create this worn look, such as the use of lasers or manual techniques. At KEEPER Denim we have chosen to use a more ethical and sustainable alternative. Once our jeans have been sewn together, our denim artisans use a brush to lightly fade the fabric. This minimises our impact on the environment and creates safer working conditions for our garment workers by reducing their exposure to chemicals during the manufacturing process.READ MORE
Sustainable Self-Care Routine
With everything that is happening to our planet today due to climate change, we can often feel like these changes are out of our control. You might think to yourself – I’m only one person, how can anything that I do have an influence on the planet? Well, the answer is… A LOT! It can feel overwhelming when you first start to live more sustainably but remember - you don’t need to be perfect. We are always learning new ways of doing things and at KEEPER Denim we believe we can all have a positive impact on the world, by taking small steps each day. No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, there are easy ways you can start to implement these changes. A great place to start is your self-care routine. We use these products every day and there are many options to choose from when it comes to a sustainable self-care routine that reduce our need for single-use plastics. How to Create a Sustainable Self-Care Routine Firstly, look through your bathroom cupboards and drawers. Start to sort through your items and see which ones have expired or you don’t use anymore. It’s easy to accumulate a range of products over the years that end up at the back of the cupboard without being used. So, this is a great time to strip back your collection to a small number of products that you can use every day. See below for our top 5 sustainable alternatives that you can add to your bathroom to reduce the number of single-use plastics:READ MORE
- Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
- Refillable Deodorant
- Reusable Makeup Wipes
- Silk Dental Floss
- Reusable Razors
When it comes to looking at ethical and sustainable fashion, one of the most important questions to ask is – what is it made from? Have you ever looked at the tags on your clothes to see what the fabric composition is and not known what it meant? There are many innovative sustainable fibres used to produce our clothes and accessories today and it can be overwhelming at times remembering what each of them are. So, we have put together a small guide of these sustainable fibres, some of them you may have heard of before, others may be new to you. We have divided them into two categories - Natural Fibres, Natural & Innovative Fibres and Recycled Fibres. NATURAL FIBRES These fibres originate from plants and are commonly used in a variety of different clothing. Organic Cotton Organic cotton differs from conventional cotton as it is grown without the use of toxic synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which is better for the soil and safer for cotton farmers. The cotton used in both our KEEPER Denim jeans and tote bags is organic cotton, certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This ensures the fibre meets several social and environmental standards throughout the production process, from the growing of the crop, through to the final product. Hemp Hemp comes from the Cannabis Stavia plant, which requires a low amount of water and no pesticides or herbicides to grow. It also naturally fertilises the soil it grows in. Some of hemps' properties include weather resistance, strength, and its ability to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Tencel™ Tencel™ is made from cellulose produced by dissolving wood pulp. Less water and energy are used to make Tencel compared to the production of other fibres. The fabric is soft, breathable and has anti-bacterial qualities, therefore it is commonly used for active wear. NATURAL & INNOVATIVE FIBRES You might not have come across the following fibres before as they are new and not commonly used yet, but they are very exciting! Orange Fibre Orange Fibre is an ethical and sustainable alternative to silk, made from the by-products of the citrus juice industry. The fabric is soft, lightweight and can be made to be either opaque or shiny, depending on the look required. Bananatex® Bananatex® is a waterproof fabric made from Abacá banana plants, which are organically grown in the Philippines. To date, this fabric has been used to make fashion accessories, including handbags. Parblex™ Parblex™ is a bioplastic made from potato waste and is currently being developed by Chip[s] Board®. It is biodegradable and the production process doesn’t involve the use of any toxic chemicals. Given the materials’ plastic-like quality, one of the potential uses for it is buttons on clothing. RECYCLED FIBRES Fibres made from recycled materials not only creates a second life for an old material, but it also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, having a positive impact on the planet. Econyl® Econyl® is derived from synthetic waste including fishing nets from the ocean, industrial plastic, and fabric. These materials are then recycled and turned into yarn. Econyl® has very similar qualities to nylon, including strength and its ability to not shrink when washed, however it requires less water and creates less waste during the production process. Recycled Polyester This fabric is made from recycled PET plastic bottles that have been discarded, helping to reduce the amount of plastic in landfill. The denim used in our KEEPER Denim jeans contains recycled polyester made from post-consumer PET plastic bottles. We hope this KEEPER Denim guide on sustainable fibres is useful for when you are next out shopping for ethical and sustainable fashion and reading the tags on clothes to see what the composition of the fabric is before you buy.READ MORE
Plastic Free July
We are now in July, which means it is the start of the Plastic Free July challenge! Did you know it only takes one minute to create one tonne of plastic waste? That is enough to fill a shipping container, every single minute! Plastic is also the second biggest factor contributing to climate change, so if we don’t take action and try to reduce our use of plastics, it will have a huge impact on wildlife and the natural world as we know it today. What is Plastic Free July? Plastic Free July is an initiative that focuses on reducing our plastic waste, to help our planet and create a better future. As many as 326 million people from around the world have taken part in this movement! Visit the official website here for further information on the campaign and how you can get involved. When we choose to live more sustainably, we start to focus on products that have social, environmental, and economic benefits throughout their life cycle. When it comes to plastic, this means finding alternative products to replace the conventional plastic options. It certainly can feel overwhelming when you first start to live more sustainably, but you don’t have to be perfect, it’s journey and we are always learning new ways of doing things. At KEEPER Denim we believe we can all have a positive impact on the world, by taking small steps each day, together we can create a better future. No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, there are easy ways you can start to implement these changes each day. When it comes to plastic, we have some great suggestions that you can implement as part of the Plastic Free July challenge, see below:READ MORE
- Coffee Cups
- Water Bottles
- Produce Bags
- Shopping Bags
- Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Organic Cotton vs Conventional Cotton
KEEPER Denim jeans are made with denim containing organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). To obtain this certification, the cotton must meet specific social and environmental criteria as well as comply with toxic chemicals tests. Organic cotton has many positive environmental and social impacts. See below for a more detailed look at the difference between conventional cotton vs organic cotton. No chemicals Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic synthetic chemicals, so it doesn’t damage the soil. This enables farmers to grow more than just cotton on their farm, which supplements both their food and source of income. Less water Organic cotton uses 88% less water than conventional cotton. Conventional cotton is repeatedly gown on the same area of soil and overtime, depleting the natural nutrients within the soil. This reduces its’ ability to retain water, so the crop requires more water to grow. In comparison, when growing organic cotton, a technique called crop rotation is used. This is when several different crops are grown in the same area of soil, so the natural nutrients remain in the soil and it retains more water. Less greenhouse gas emissions Growing organic cotton produces approx. 94% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional cotton, making is better for the planet. Better social conditions Organic cotton farms are safer for both the farmers and their families, as they are not exposed to toxic chemicals on the farm or through their food and water supply. Safer for our skin Our skin is the largest organ of the human body so we need to be conscious of what it comes in contact with it and protect it. When we wear clothing that contains chemicals, they can be absorbed through our skin which can have an impact on our health and general well-being over time. By choosing organic, we help to reduce this exposure. Fairer treatment of workers Often when it comes to conventional cotton, the farmers are treated poorly and don’t receive a living wage. When organic cotton is certified by GOTS, a requirement of the cotton factory is that it be regularly inspected to ensure it has safe working conditions and the cotton farmers are paid a fair wage. Better Quality Organic cotton is often much softer to the touch compared to conventional cotton. This is because conventional cotton is machine picked to keep up with the high demand and supply, which can lead to cotton fibres being damaged. In comparison, organic cotton is handpicked, ensuring each fibre of cotton remains long, intact and pure, resulting in a softer feel. At KEEPER Denim we are dedicated to having a transparent supply chain and have consciously chosen the suppliers that we work with to ensure we minimise our impact on the environment and the people who make our jeans. We have sourced denim with the highest quality, sustainable, cruelty-free fibres including organic cotton and recycled materials, that respect our planet, so our jeans will last for many years to come.READ MORE
How we are Giving Back
Carbon emissions, mass consumption and water pollution are some of the major environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry. Since the beginning, we at KEEPER Denim wanted to give back by supporting charities that are doing incredible work to help heal these effects on our planet. During our first year, we supported the International Elephant Project and their work in the conservation of Elephants in Sumatra and protecting their natural environment. They do this through the protection of rainforests and local community partnerships. One of the main threats these elephants in this region face is loss of habitat, due to forests being cleared for agriculture. They enter the farms for food, causing conflict between the farmers and the elephants. The International Elephant Project work with the local communities to help reduce these issues through education and by protecting the elephants’ natural habitat. With a hope to create an environment where both humans and elephants can co-exist. Now that KEEPER Denim is in our second year, we have chosen to focus on the effects of water pollution and the toxic production process of the fashion industry that contributes to this issue. Synthetic chemicals are used in the growing of many raw materials such as conventional cotton, as well as the dyeing of various fabrics. The contaminated wastewater run-off from these processes is often dumped into streams, polluting local waterways, effecting the health and wellbeing of the people who live in the surrounding areas. That is why we now donate $5 from each pair of KEEPER Denim jeans sold to Water.org.READ MORE
- Did you know 785 million people — 1 in 9 — lack access to water and 2 billion – about 1 in 3 – lack access to sanitation?
How to Recycle Your Old Cosmetic Products
Once you’ve finished using your makeup and cosmetic products, it’s easy to just throw them in the bin if you’re not sure what else you can do. Given the high number of cosmetics that are sold around the world each year, it’s important we start to consider the impact these products may be having on our planet once we dispose of them. How to Recycle Your Old Cosmetic Products TerraCycle is a global recycling company based in the US. They operate in more than 20 countries around the world by collecting and re-purposing almost any kind of waste products for free. TerraCycle has also partnered with many cosmetic brands right here in Australia to offer recycling programs for a wide range of products including haircare, skincare and cosmetics packaging (including bottles and caps), lipstick cases, mascara tubes, compacts, palettes, foundation bottles, concealer tubes and eyeliner pencils. How Does it Work? Refer below for a list of the beauty brands that have partnered with TerraCycle and learn how you can recycle your products: Maybelline Drop-off your empty makeup packaging to be recycled for free at participating Priceline stores. David Jones Drop-off your empty makeup packaging (from all beauty brands) to be recycled for free at your closest David Jones store. Jurlique Jurlique have a free recycling program for their product packaging and there are two ways to collect used beauty products in this program:READ MORE
- Drop off waste at your nearest participating Jurlique boutique to receive a 10% discount on your next purchase.
- Sign up to the program to send your waste for free via Australia Post.
How to Recycle Your Old Clothes
We are all aware of the need to recycle our household waste, however what you might not have considered is your wardrobe and how to recycle your old clothes once they have reached the end of their life. Firstly, here are some statistics around the problem with global textile waste:READ MORE
- 150 billion pieces of clothing are made each year - Most of these garments are ‘Fast Fashion’ (clothes produced in high volumes, at a low cost).
- More than 50% of the fast fashion that is produced today is disposed of in less than 1 year, due to ever changing trends and the poor quality of these clothes.
- Approximately 92 million tonnes of textile waste end up in landfill each year.
How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe
Welcome to the KEEPER Denim’s beginners guide on how to create a capsule wardrobe. But before we begin let’s look at: What is a Capsule Wardrobe? It is a collection of a few essential and timeless pieces of clothing that won't go out of fashion. You can pair them with other basic and seasonal items to create a variety of different looks. A capsule wardrobe can include as few as 10 pieces or as many as 50 pieces, if they are items you will wear, it's completely up to you! The Benefits The best thing about this type of wardrobe is it will save you so much time! Whenever you open your closet to decide what to wear for the day, you will find a small collection of pieces that go well together, can be mixed and matched depending on the current season and you actually want to wear them! No more of those clothes at the back of your wardrobe that you don’t really like but haven’t had the time to sort through them and never wear. Sounds like a great idea right! Now let’s move on to how to create one! How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe Step 1 - Look When was the last time you went through your wardrobe? If it was more than a year ago, then the best place to start is by taking everything out of your wardrobe and putting it all on your bed where you can see it. Here you can begin to look at what you wear and what you don’t. Step 2 – Sort Next, create four piles of items based on the following:READ MORE
- Maybe - items you like but not sure if you want to keep, these can go into storage
- Donate to charity
- Repurpose - for example an old t-shirt with holes beyond repair makes a great cleaning rag around the house.
- A white t-shirt
- Pair of jeans – A pair of our KEEPER Denim Elwood Skinny jeans is perfect if we don’t say so ourselves!
- Pair of classic black pants
- Black dress
- Pair of white sneakers
- Pair of black pumps
How to Care for Your KEEPER Denim Jeans
The more you wear your jeans, the more they will begin to reflect your story and how you wear them. They will start to develop character such as light fading on the legs and creases in the hips from crouching or sitting routinely. When you make an investment in a great quality wardrobe staple like a pair of jeans, you want to make sure they stand the test of time, whilst taking care of our planet too. Here are our top tips on how to care for your KEEPER Denim jeans sustainably, to make sure they last for many years to come and you reduce your impact on the environment: Wash less often We recommend washing your jeans less often, to help save both energy and water usage which will reduce your carbon footprint and benefit the planet. Do full loads When you do wash them, make sure you do full loads, as the washing machine uses the same amount of energy whether you have a half or full load. That way you can reduce the number of times you have to do the laundry (we will all be happy about that!) and you will save more energy. Wash Inside Out Place your KEEPER Denim jeans in the washing machine with similar coloured items and turn them inside out. This will help to protect the outside of the denim against fading and shrinkage, with multiple washes over time, making them last much longer in your wardrobe! Use cold water Energy is required to heat up the water, so by using cold water whenever possible, you will help to reduce your energy usage and the planet with thank you for it. Opt for Natural Detergents When we use conventional detergents, the wastewater run-off ends up in our drainage system and can pollute our waterways. By choosing eco-friendly detergents that are free from artificial additives, you will help to reduce water pollution and your skin will love it too! Air dry when possible When possible air dry your jeans rather than putting them in a dryer as you will reduce your energy usage. You will also preserve the quality of your jeans as air drying is a gentler option, rather than putting them in a dryer, which may weaken the fibres within the denim fabric. No ironing That’s something we all love to hear! Because our jeans have an element of stretch in the denim, within the first hour or so of wearing them, the crinkles will disappear. This will save both energy and time, who could complain about that! Prolonging the life of your KEEPER Denim jeans, by either repairing or up-cycling them is important to us as it helps to reduce our impact on landfill. So once your jeans come to the end of their life, you can return them back to us and receive a 10% discount when you purchase your new pair. We hope you found these tips on how to care for your KEEPER Denim jeans useful for when you next do the laundry!READ MORE
Green Goodness Co
This new Ethical Organic Denim Brand is Dropping on Kickstarter, Get on it! Originally published 1 October 2019 on Green Goodness Co. Read the full article here This NEW Sustainable Denim Brand is Ethical AF, Comfortable & Stylish No Wonder it is Shaking Up The Fashion World. Hold on Kickstarter this brand is about to take off. We have a real and raw conversation with the founder and the inspiration behind Keeper Denim. How did you think of the product? I have always been passionate about fashion and style, but when I watched a documentary called The True Cost, it opened my eyes to the dark side of the fashion industry and I knew that I wanted to make a difference. After further research, I realised that the denim industry is one of the most polluting sectors within the garment industry. I wanted to create a brand that helps to educate people on how unsustainable the fast fashion industry business model is today so that people will start to think about the clothes they are buying and ask themselves, who made my clothes? where were they made? and what are they made out of? What makes it sustainable? Organic cotton uses a lot less water than conventional cotton and it is also grown without the use of toxic synthetic chemicals. Ensuring farmers work in safer conditions and the negative impact on the environment is reduced. The recycled polyester is made from post-consumer PET bottles. A manual brushing technique was used to fade the denim slightly to create a ‘worn’ look, instead of applying bleach to the fabric. The denim is Standard 100 OEKO-TEX® certified and has been awarded with both the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. What is your background? After working in the corporate world for a few years, I was looking for a change in my career, one where I could make a difference and follow my passion for style and an ethical, sustainable lifestyle. This is how Keeper Denim was created, a brand where style meets sustainability, by designing high quality, denim jeans for women, made from organic cotton and recycled materials, manufactured in Melbourne, Australia. What do you love about the product? When designing the jeans I thought about what I want in a jean. I also spoke to a number of women of all different ages, sizes and body shapes to see what they look for. I love a high-rise jean as it’s not only flattering on many body shapes but I find it’s also the most comfortable. The ankle cut length looks great on women of various heights but it’s also incredibly versatile in terms of footwear as you can wear them with flats, sandals, high heels and boots! The denim fabric has 2% elastane, which makes them super comfy for all different body shapes as they contour and mould to fit you. The dark denim is really flexible, as you can dress it down with a tee for a casual look or dress them up with a blouse/shirt and high-heels or boots.READ MORE
Fashion Transparency – What Does it Mean?
Fashion transparency is used to describe how much information a brand discloses about their supply chain regarding policies and practices. Here at KEEPER Denim transparency is at the heart of what we do. When did people start to look for transparency of fashion brands? Rana Plaza Collapse On the 24th April 2013 the Rana Plaza building, located in Bangladesh, collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring over 2,000 others. The 8-storey building housed 5 garment factories that manufactured clothes for popular global fast fashion brands. It is one of the worst industrial accidents to date. Fashion Revolution After this tragedy, the Fashion Revolution was formed, an organisation and global movement that aims to change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed. Every April, the Fashion Revolution runs ‘Fashion Revolution Week’ and the #whomademyclothes campaign, which serves as a reminder for consumers to demand transparency from fashion brands. Each year Fashion Revolution also releases a report called the Transparency Index, where they review 150 of the largest global fashion brands and rank them based on how much they disclose regarding their social and environmental policies, practices, and impact. Check out the fashion Revolution’s website here to see the latest Transparency Index. It is important to remember that according to the Fashion Revolution “Transparency does not equal sustainability.” A brand may be disclosing a lot of information around their supply chain, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are acting both ethically and sustainably. There is a lot of greenwashing out there with some brands using clever marketing tactics to make their products appear to be more sustainable than they really are. However, at least if a brand is transparent, consumers can assess the supply chain for themselves and decide if they want to purchase clothing from them and support their practices. Transparency at KEEPER Denim When we started KEEPER Denim we knew transparency was one of the key things we wanted to focus on, as we wanted to be as open and honest with you as we possibly could be. We have consciously chosen the suppliers we work with, ensuring we minimise our impact on the environment and the people involved in making our jeans. That is why we have a page on our website dedicated to the transparency of our supply chain, check it out here. We list each of our suppliers and manufacturers, their locations and further information behind each company. By sharing our supply chain with you, we hope you can be confident in knowing who made your jeans and where they were made. Remember, you as an individual have so much power to create change within the industry as you can vote with your dollar. Whenever you make a purchase from a transparent brand that has ethical and sustainable practices, rather than one that does not, you are advocating for change. By doing this, we can create the future that we want, a fashion industry that is safer for both the people who make our clothes and our planet.READ MORE
Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Resources
The fast fashion industry is having a devastating effect on both the environment and the people involved in making our clothes. Fast fashion is defined as garments produced in high volumes, at low cost (underpaid garment workers) and of low quality, in response to the latest trends. With most of this clothing being produced in the developing world, some of the impacts include human rights violations and toxic production processes. An Alternative to Fast Fashion Ethical and sustainable fashion is the positive alternative to fast fashion and it is defined as garments that are produced with a focus on reducing the impact on the environment, animals and the people involved in making them, across all stages of the supply chain. It is what we at KEEPER Denim stand for. Whether you have been an advocate for ethical and sustainable fashion for many years or you are just starting out, we have a number of resources we would love to share with you to help you along the way: The True Cost This documentary is why we started KEEPER Denim. It shows just how much devastation the fast fashion industry is having on the garment workers and the environment in the developing world. A must see for anyone who wants to know more about ethical fashion. Check out the website for this film here and find out how you can watch it. Good on You This is a free app you can download on your phone and it rates over 2,000 fashion brands on a scale of 1 to 5, in terms of how sustainable and ethical their business practices are. It also provides a summary of the key criteria used to generate the rating. Visit the Good on You website here. Fashion Revolution A not-for-profit global movement that raises awareness of the current state of the fashion industry to help create one that values people and the planet over profit. Check out their website here and find out more about the incredible work they are doing to bring about change within the fashion industry. Eco Age An organisation that works with fashion brands to help them develop more sustainable business practices. They have a blog on their website which is regularly updated with articles discussing the latest news in the industry. Conscious Chatter A podcast that provides valuable information about the garment industry and how each of us can make a positive change towards a more ethical and sustainable future. Visit their website here to find out more about their latest episodes. Slave to Fashion This book is written by Safia Minney, the founder of ethical fashion label People Tree. It includes a range of interviews of all the men, women and children who are caught in slavery within the fashion industry in the developing world and the actions needed to eradicate modern slavery. We hope you find these ethical and sustainable fashion resources as useful as we did since we started KEEPER Denim! If you are just starting on this journey, it is important to remember that you don’t need to be perfect. It is about making small changes, because if we all did our part and made small changes in our everyday lifestyles, we could make a big positive impact!READ MORE
Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Definitions
We are conscious of climate change and the impact that we are having on our planet. When looking for ways to reduce our impact, a great place to start is with our wardrobe, given the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. With the rise of fast fashion today (clothes produced in high volumes, at low cost), most of the clothes are made in developing countries where labour is cheap. This has many negative impacts including:READ MORE
- Human Rights Violations
- Toxic Production Processes
- Climate Change
Melbourne Made Jeans Designed by Women for Women Originally published 12 November 2019 on Ekko. World. Read the full article here Keeper Denim’s Ethical and Sustainable Jeans for Women have launched on Kickstarter. Keeper Denim Jeans are made from organic cotton and recycled materials and are manufactured in Melbourne, Australia. In sizes 4 - 18, the high-rise ankle cut Elwood Skinny Jean is now available to pre-order on Kickstarter. The Elwood skinny is designed to look great on any size woman as they elongate legs and taper at the waist, have strategically place bum pockets and the ankle cut goes with pretty much any shoe. The 92% organic cotton, 6% recycled polyester jeans are stretchy enough to be hug-gable, but comfortable. When Keeper Denim began their research, they were overwhelmed by the unsustainable and unethical business model of the fast fashion denim industry. They wanted to make a positive contribution to the industry and create jeans where style meets sustainability and that's how their line of jeans was born. The fabric used for Keeper Denim’s jeans is made from organic cotton, which uses a lot less water than conventional cotton and is grown without the use of toxic chemicals. It also contains recycled polyester, made from post-consumer PET bottles. The brand patch is made from vegan leather, the tote bags from organic cotton, swing tags from recycled paper, packaging from The Better Packaging Co and shipping is sent through Sendle. Kate Bartuccio is an ex corporate world workers, who was looking for a change in her career, one where she could make a difference and follow her background in design and passion for style and a sustainable lifestyle.READ MORE
Easy Sustainable Swaps
It can feel overwhelming when you first start to live more sustainably, but did you know many of the sustainable swaps you can make to be more eco-friendly are easy and not too expensive to implement? It’s important to remember you don’t need to be perfect. We are always learning new ways of doing things and at KEEPER Denim we believe we can all have a positive impact on the world, by taking small steps each day. No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, there are easy ways you can start to make some changes today. See below for KEEPER Denim’s top 10 easy sustainable swaps that you can add to your daily life:READ MORE
- Tea Bags
- Soap Bars
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Reusable Paper Towels
- Silicon Baking Mats
- Soap Berries
- Reusable Containers
- Natural Household Cleaning Products
Busting Common Sustainable Fashion Myths Part 2
At KEEPER Denim, we are busting some more common sustainable fashion myths. A few weeks ago we did a post busting out first top 5 myths, now we are doing part 2! When it comes to sustainable fashion, the journey involves a lot of learning as you go, so like we have said before - you don’t need to be perfect. You can still make a positive impact by changing some of your habits as you discover new things on your journey to sustainability. See below for 5 more common sustainable fashion myths: MYTH 1: All Sustainable Fashion is More Expensive Yes, it is true that many ethical and sustainable brands have pieces that are ore expensive compared to the fast fashion alternatives. However, keep in mind this is because they are made from sustainable fabrics and the people who made them are paid a fair wage, so this increases the manufacturing costs. They are also much high quality than the fast fashion alternatives, so if you do spend more on each piece, you will be able to keep them for many years to come. However, sustainable fashion also includes second-hand or vintage clothing that can be purchased online, from your local op shop or even swapping with your friends! MYTH 2: Sustainable Brands are Hard to Find This may have been true many years ago, but today we are spoilt for choice! There are a wide range of ethical and sustainable fashion labels to choose from both internationally and locally! Plus, there are even resources available to you that can help you locate these brands. For example, you can check out the Good on You app which rates over 2,000 fashion brands on a scale of 1 to 5, in terms of how sustainable and ethical their business practices are. It also provides a summary of the key criteria used to generate the rating. MYTH 3: I am Powerless to Change the Industry As a consumer, you have the power to choose which brands you support, so you are essentially – voting with your dollars. Support brands that have values that align with yours and don’t purchase from brands that you are unsure of and instead ask them questions – where are their clothes made? do they pay their garment workers fair wages? what fabrics do they use? The more questions you ask, the more that brands will realise their customers value transparency, and this will help to bring about change within the industry. MYTH 4: All Vegan Leather is Eco-Friendly There are a wide range of vegan leathers available today and many of them are eco-friendly, however not all of them are. For example, popular vegan leathers include PU (polyurethane) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) both of which are made from plastic and therefore have a negative impact on the planet as they don’t breakdown over time. MYTH 5: It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Buy, if You Recycle Some of the fast fashion brands today now have recycling programs in place, where they have donation bins in their stores, where you can drop off your old clothes and often receive a discount for your next purchase. Unfortunately, many of the fabrics used in this clothing cannot be recycled so they often end up in landfill. A better option may be to repair any damaged clothes so you can keep them for longer, donate them to an op shop or swap them with your friends. We hope you found our KEEPER Denim Part 2 post on busting the common sustainable fashion myths insightful and one you can refer back to when you’re next shopping for new pieces.READ MORE
Busting Common Sustainable Fashion Myths
At KEEPER Denim, we are busting some of the common sustainable fashion myths! When it comes to sustainable fashion, the journey involves a lot of learning as you go, so like we have said before you don’t need to be perfect. You can still make a positive impact by changing some of your habits as you discover new things on your journey to sustainability. See below for the top 5 common sustainable fashion myths that are out there today: MYTH 1: You Must Clear out Your Wardrobe of All Fast Fashion The key to any sustainable wardrobe is making the most of the clothes you already own. It's when it comes to purchasing new items of clothing that you start to ask the important questions like - where was it made? Who made it? and What is it made from? So, you can ensure you make ethical and sustainable purchases going forward. MYTH 2: High Fashion is More Sustainable than Fast Fashion There is a common misconception that when it comes to luxury fashion, the high price tag is associated with sustainable practices, however this is not the case. In many cases, high fashion labels use unsustainable manufacturing processes to produce their products. That is not to say that there are no high fashion labels making waves in the sustainability space - Stella McCartney has been an advocate for sustainable vegan fabrics and practices for many years. MYTH 3: High Fashion is More Ethical than Fast Fashion It may come as a surprise to you, but in some cases, premium labels have their products manufactured at the same factories as fast fashion labels. These factories are often in the developing world where the garment workers may not have any rights, safe working conditions, or receive a living wage. A higher price tag is no guarantee that the garment workers who produced a piece of clothing were paid a fair wage, because the cost of labour only makes up a small amount of the total production costs. MYTH 4: Donating Old Clothes to Op-Shops is the Most Sustainable Way to Clear Out Your Closet Approximately only 5% of the clothes that are donated to op-shops in Australia, go on the shop floor as they are not in good condition. Instead, they often end up in landfill or are shipped off to third world countries where they are sold at low prices and consequently destroy local industry. That is not to say you shouldn’t donate to op-shops – if you make sure the clothes you donate are in good condition then they can still be re-used by someone in need. MYTH 5: If a Brand Says They Are Sustainable, then They Are It would be much easier of this was the case, however greenwashing is used a lot within the fashion industry. Greenwashing is when companies provide misleading information to consumers about their products, suggesting they are more environmentally friendly than they really are. Instead, it’s important you do your research into a brand and how their products are made. Consider the transparency of their supply chain and whether they have any certifications to formalise their commitment to producing ethical and sustainable clothing. We hope you found this KEEPER Denim post on busting the top 5 common sustainable fashion myths insightful and one you can refer to when it comes to sustainable fashion.READ MORE