In September, Everlane started selling jeans, which makes a lot of sense for a brand known for basics. It’s a wardrobe staple that a lot of us can’t live without. But it took them two years to source a factory for their denim because they were searching for an environmentally-friendly factory. You see, denim production (and textiles in general) is a dirty, dirty business. Many fabric dyes contain nasty chemicals like cadmium, mercury, and lead, according to this article from Time, which looked at how Xintang, China, the “Jeans Capital of the World,” was suffering from polluted waterways. And if it’s not the water that’s polluted, it’s the air.
Everlane found what it says is one of the most sustainable factories to produce its jeans. According to this story, the Vietnam-based, LEED-certified factory is nearly half-powered by alternative energy and recycles 98% of its water. Did you know that making a single pair of jeans can take 1,500 liters of water?! But this factory uses a closed water system which only loses .4 liters of water per pair of jeans. The factory even mixes the denim’s byproducts with concrete to create bricks, which are then used to build homes in the area. Now, these are jeans that I can feel good about buying! And it won’t break the bank to do so, either. Everlane’s jeans are priced at $68, which I find quite reasonable (and comparable to the price point at Levi’s).
Everlane’s women’s jeans come in three cuts — Mid-Rise Skinny, High-Rise Skinny, and Modern Boyfriend — and in two lengths: regular and ankle length. (Fellow petites, rejoice!) Right now, they offer four washes: mid blue, dark indigo, black, and white.
As you might have noticed from my previous posts, I’m all about the high-rise cut, so that’s what I tried on. Here’s what they look like on a model:
And here’s how they look like on me. I’m wearing the black High-Rise Skinny in ankle length.
The inseam on these is 26.5″ and the length was perfect for me. I’m 5′ 3″ for reference. (The inseam on the regular length is 28.5″.) I’m wearing my usual denim size, which I found a bit tight. They were fine to stand around in, however, they were too tight when I sat down. I tried the same size in the indigo wash, and while they were not quite as tight as the black pair, they were still too tight for sitting comfort. So then I went one size up in the indigo. Bingo! They’re still nicely skinny, but more comfortable to sit in.
Overall, I found the fit to be fantastic — they don’t gap at the waist, bunch weirdly across the front, or flatten my behind. Of course, how they fit on different people will be different. (A friend tried them on too and they didn’t fit her well in the derrière). But for me, I think these might be the best fitting skinny high-rise jeans I’ve ever tried. The denim is 98% cotton and 2% elastane, but it doesn’t really have much stretch. It’s a stiff Japanese denim that seems like it will keep its shape.
Let’s take a moment to compare to other brands. On the more affordable end are Target and Uniqlo. As I mention in this post, I find Target’s pants to be of low quality. Their jeans run about $28 and don’t seem like they’re made to last. The fabric is on the thin side.
Uniqlo’s jeans are $40. In the high-rise cut department, they have this high-rise slim cut, this high-rise cigarette cut, and even a pair made with their HEATTECH fabric for the winter. Their jeans are made out of a stretchier fabric than Everlane’s. I have an earlier iteration of their high-rise jeans (the Ultra Stretch High Rise Ankle Jeans, now on clearance for $20) and find them to be comfortable. The fabric is a medium weight, definitely weightier than Target’s.
I’ve also tried Madewell’s High-Rise Skinny Jeans, which start at $128 for a basic pair and go up to $158 for an embellished pair (though you can bring in an old pair of jeans to recycle for $20 off). These jeans are somewhere between Uniqlo and Everlane when it comes to fabric stretchiness. They’re definitely stiffer than Uniqlo, but not as stiff as Everlane. One thing that I don’t like about Madewell’s jeans are that the front pockets are shallow. You could probably put your keys in there, but not a phone. This annoyed me to no end. On the high end of the spectrum, I’ve tried 7 For All Mankind’s $200 High Waist Ankle Skinny, which is the stretchiest of all but also has shallow pockets.
One mistake that I’ve made with jeans, particularly black ones, is not using dark color detergent to wash them. (I do now after having some jeans fade on me.) Everlane claims their Stay Black dye process “ensures that jeans keep their rich black color longer.” If this is true, hooray! I would love a pair of black jeans that don’t fade.
Since I already have a few pair of Uniqlo jeans right now, I’m holding off on buying Everlane’s. I do like my Uniqlo jeans, but I like the fit of the Everlane ones better and they seem more durable. As soon as my other jeans wear out — or as soon as Everlane come out with another wash I could use (how about olive green or dark gray?) — I’m going to get me some eco-friendly, ethically-made denim!
By the way, this review is not sponsored. But if you find my Everlane reviews helpful, please use my referral link to Everlane to make your first purchase. I’ll receive a credit and use it towards more items to review. Thank you!