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I’m someone who shops vintage. Due to personal style preferences and environmental considerations, I’ll almost exclusively browse Goodwill, eBay, or a delightfully dusty vintage shop when I’m looking to expand my wardrobe. With such a large number of clothes already in circulation, why go the fast fashion route (if you can avoid it)?
And when it comes to denim, all of my best jeans are lucky vintage scores. My size 14 boys’ Wranglers are quite possibly my favorite piece of clothing in my entire closet. But the emphasis here is on the word “lucky.” Shopping vintage denim is a time-consuming, exhausting process -- and you’ll likely end up with a pair that doesn’t quite check all of your boxes. My Wranglers are a tiny bit too short, and my beloved light-wash Levi’s jeans fit well at the hips, but are falling apart at the belt loops.
I needed an upgraded solution: jeans that looked vintage and were similarly kind to the planet, without all of the ill-fitting, time-consuming pitfalls of actually shopping vintage. Enter: RE/DONE.
Sustainable Denim: Always In Style
RE/DONE is...redoing how we do denim. The digitally-native brand launched in 2014, initially just upcycling vintage Men’s Levi’s into more modern fits and silhouettes. Its first drop of 300 reworked pairs of jeans sold out instantly on-site. Today, the denim brand continues to keep heritage brands alive and is dedicated to sustainable, conscious fashion. RE/DONE has expanded its operations to include reduced-water denim made at its Mexico and Turkey-based factories, which are Cradle to Cradle certified and a part of the Alliance for Responsible Denim. You can read all about the brand’s transparent processes and eco-friendly manufacturing initiatives directly online. So, while RE/DONE still sells plenty of upcycled pairs, they also produce new sustainable jeans ready to be loved.
While I was instantly in love with RE/DONE’s mission (and collection of denim), I wasn’t yet a true believer. At $255, the brand’s best-selling High Rise Loose Jean isn’t cheap. While I understand that sustainable, ethically-made garments are often more expensive than their fast-fashion counterparts, this denim needed to seriously impress to be worth the price tag.
A Denim Lover’s Dream
I’ll cut to the chase -- I’m obsessed with these jeans. The High Rise Loose Jean comes in a variety of washes and styles; I selected these in the “Worn Blue” colorway, which is a classic faded indigo wash, evocative of a pair of well-worn Levi’s. They’re intentionally long, designed to hit at the bottom of the shoe.
Let’s pause to discuss some technical details. I’m 5’5 -- and while I do have long legs, I knew these jeans would be quite lengthy on me (even in a size 23). These jeans do fit completely true to size, but be sure to note the style of the jean you select when choosing a size (e.g. these jeans are intended to be a bit longer and looser in the leg). While some might be bothered by a long silhouette, the length on this jean is actually what I fell in love with first. While vintage denim often hits at a strange length or weird cut, these jeans are long enough to wear with a heel. And, because the rigid denim holds structure, they cuff perfectly to shorten the length when styled with a flat shoe.
They’re also, as the name indicates, a loose jean. Like any great pair of vintage denim, they hug closely around the waist and pockets (translation: your ass will look amazing, as it should) with a more relaxed fit in the legs. RIP skinny jeans.
I’m someone who loves rigid denim -- get the jeggings away from me. While denim produced by newer brands can often feel starchy or uncomfortable, I could literally feel the quality of my RE/DONE jeans: they fit perfectly, both after the first wash and a few wears, holding their shape throughout.
TLDR; This Is The Perfect Jean (Really)
There’s only so much I can write about these jeans to demonstrate how much I love them. Instead, I’ll let my wearing habits speak for themselves. Since the day I met my High Rise Loose Jean, I’ve worn them multiple times a week, every week, in the LA summer heat. That’s how good they are. I’ve taken them to the beach, dressed them up with heels for dinner and drinks, and wear them regularly while working or hanging around my apartment (yes, I enjoy wearing denim in the comfort of my own home, sue me). In short: wardrobe staple is an understatement.
I love styling them with RE/DONE’s Heritage Cotton Classic Tee in Vintage White, a product of the brand’s collaboration with Hanes. For the collaboration, RE/DONE and Hanes created a brand-new recycled cotton fabric, developed from a 1950s tee in the Hanes archive -- this shirt fits and feels like a dream.
An added perk of any RE/DONE purchase? The compliments -- which are almost as gratifying as knowing I’m wearing incredible jeans made by a brand dedicated to slow fashion and sustainability.
5 More Things To Love About RE/DONE
- Environmentally friendly, with the numbers to prove it: Through their RE/DONE x Levi’s collection, the brand has upcycled over 161,100 pairs of vintage Levi’s, saving over 2.5 million gallons of water
- One-of-a-kind (and kind to the planet): RE/DONE’s Upcycled collection re-purposes vintage scraps and materials to make unique new pieces you’ll love.
- Full-circle sustainability: The RE/SELL Marketplace is RE/DONE’s peer-to-peer resale marketplace for RE/DONE items. All pieces are sold for 80% store credit, and remaining profits are donated to Sheltersuit, a nonprofit using upcycled materials to create coats that transform into sleeping bags for unhoused individuals.
- Denim forever, whatever the weather: Not into wearing full-length vintage jeans in summer? RE/DONE has you covered with the perfect selection of upcycled denim shorts. I’m currently pining for their collection of floral embroidered Levi cut-offs.
- Fully fitted: Yes, RE/DONE does shoes, too. These suede clogs? With that denim? Say less -- this brand is about to take over my entire wardrobe.