Cult-favorite clothing brand AYR (All Year Round) produces luxe, timeless essentials as the antithesis of fast fashion. Now, the New York City-based line is thinking about health (of the Earth) as well—by investing in sustainability in a big way. Its new line of Aloe jeans is made using just one cup of water each. While this statistic may not sound sexy in comparison to, say, the parade of gender-fluid models with beautiful bodies of all sizes at New York Fashion Week, it’s actually just as groundbreaking as anything that’s recently taken place on a runway.
“The water consumption for denim production is usually 1,000 gallons per single wash load, which [makes] roughly about 60 jeans,” says AYR co-founder and creative director Jac Cameron.
The Aloe is “washed” instead with ozone gas, which gives the jean its bright, light shade without guzzling Earth’s finite resources in the process.
Do the math, and Cameron’s figure averages out to nearly 17 gallons of water per pair of jeans. To avoid this level of waste, the Aloe is “washed” instead with ozone gas, which gives the jean its bright, light shade without guzzling Earth’s finite resources in the process. What’s more, Cameron says, the water is then extracted and filtered to make a cup of tea. “Literally—we watched our wash master do this in front of our own eyes,” Cameron says. (And if it’s not used for tea, it’s used to water AYR’s succulent garden.)
The Aloe is not just eco-friendly in terms of its water consumption, it’s also made from recycled cotton which has, she says, traditionally been difficult to use in the luxury world. “Historically, it has been hard to find a quality that speaks to a premium look and market using recycled fibers,” she says.
As ecologically driven as the Aloe’s mission may be, the designers didn’t want to sacrifice aesthetics for sustainability. “First and foremost, we wanted to create a great-looking, great-fitting jean,” says co-founder and CEO Maggie Winter, who points out the Aloe’s silky stretch fabric, inky indigo wash, and body-hugging silhouette.
If Cameron has her wishes, this type of innovation will spread to the industry as a whole. “We hope that one day, using recycled fabrics and alternative wash methods isn’t newsworthy,” she says. “Sustainability will become par for the course.”
Shopping with a conscience? Emma Watson has your kicks covered, Paramore singer Hayley Williams will handle your hair, and, of course, there are plenty of activewear options, too.