Ethical fashion doesn’t always have to be more expensive. The founder of Made in the USA denim brand, Industry Standard, found a way to make affordable denim in the United States without compromising on style or quality.
Since fully committing to more responsible fashion choices, I’d purchased all (… 2 pairs…) of my new jeans at thrift stores.
As an aside: It took a couple years of scoring secondhand shirts and skirts before I had the confidence to aim for perfect thrifted denim. But it ended up being much easier than I anticipated.
When it came to denim, I suspected I would have trouble finding a great pair of jeans from a socially conscious company. They’re often out of my price range and mostly sold online. Denim seemed like an intimidating category to purchase sight unseen, especially when paired with a hefty price tag.
After being introduced to Industry Standard by the Why Do We Have Things? podcast from The American Edit, I was surprised to learn that Industry Standard solved both the price point and fit problems I expected to find with conscious denim choices.
First The Price
To keep prices reasonable, the company employed a couple of strategies different from their competitors. First, the company maintains limited styles and doesn’t necessarily rotate new styles each season. Both of these factors help decrease costs associated with manufacturing and managing inventory.
They also cut out “middle men” in the retail chain, focusing almost exclusively on direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Following a path not often traveled by traditional fashion brands, Industry Standard was able to produce the same quality denim without excessive margins or pricing pressure from large wholesalers.
Industry Standard also got connected to a pretty great manufacturing partner that made domestic production possible.
Then The Fit
To address the complexities of proper fit, particularly with respect to fitted denim, Industry Standard has devised an online fit quiz that leads new customers through a series of questions to ascertain their correct size.
After providing your own body measurements (height, waist, hips, etc..), you have an opportunity to compare your preferences to styles already in your closet. I found this section particularly helpful.
I’m glad I took this quiz. When I bought the Simone Highrise pair in black, I ended up being a different size than I expected, and they fit just right when I received them. The 20-second quiz proved its worth in awesome denim.
An Investment at a Reasonable Price
I don’t buy a lot of jeans. Good ones seem to get better with age (mostly) and an investment in the right pair last for years. I suspect these bad boys will be in my rotation for a long time to come.
I almost forgot to mention. Customers can elect to monogram their new jeans. How great is that?!
Because It’s Cool
While we’re on the subject of jeans and because it’s pretty interesting, check out this video from The Zoe Report about how jeans are made. Learn something new everyday, right?
Want to read more about the shirt I’m wearing? Check out this post about my favorite t-shirt brand.
Interested in tips about the easiest and most efficient way to shop secondhand? This is for you.