| blue collar | You Wouldn’t Believe Some of the Issues Surrounding the Denim Industry, But These 12 Denim Toppers Are From Brands Doing It Better


I love me a good denim jacket and/or chambray shirt, or both, or all of the above. Like for serious.

If you see me out and about the odds are high (about 99.1%) that I will be wearing one of those two things, or both, as one of my final layers (yes, I said layers, living in San Francisco requires multiple).

The problem with both of these items is that, similar to the jeans, when you’re dealing with chambray or a jean jacket, you’re also dealing with the denim industry. Within the fashion industry, the denim industry is one of the worst at committing the social and environmental impact no-nos.

One of the biggest issues is water usage. Throughout the lifecycle of a pair of jeans it is estimated that 2,500 gallons of water are used. It starts at the beginning, the base fabric for most denim is cotton, which uses a TON of water to grow. I mean, if we’re getting technical, more than a ton, but I won’t get into that. They also use mass amounts of water for production and wet processing (dying the denim and getting the washed, worn and distressed look).

Next we have the chemicals. Growing cotton often uses high amounts of pesticides. And tons of chemicals are used in traditional denim production, like formaldehyde, potassium permanganate and sodium metabisulphite. And let’s be honest, not one of those sounds like a good thing.

This doesn’t even go into conditions for factory employees or people working in the cotton farms. Not only are fair wages usually in question, but they’re also being exposed to all of above chemicals in addition to other harsh working conditions.

But, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — there are companies that are doing it better. Even beyond vintage or thrifted, which is definitely preferable — I mean there is no beating the quality, fit and authentic distressed look of a good vintage denim jacket.

Below are a few of my top picks for all your layering pleasures.


Kings of Indigo Eric Jacket in Mid Marble

I mean, just look at that wash.


DL1961 Mercer & Spring Regular Shirt

A light wash chambray shirt can be pair with anything from a black pair of jeans, to a dark wash pair of jeans, to a medium wash pair of jeans, to a…okay I’ll stop now.


The Jessie Oversized Jacket in Brooklyn from Amour Vert

One word — obsessed.

Levis Tailored Western Shirt in Vintage Medium from their Water<Less Collection

Gotta love a good western shirt.

DL1961 Zoe Oversized Jacket

Diggin’ the raw hem.

DSTLD Womens Denim Button Down Shirt In Light Vintage

Classic, I tell you.

The Relaxed Linen Shirt in Medium Indigo from Everlane

Okay, okay, technically linen, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t look the part.

Amour Vert Denim Jacket in Worn Blue

Perfect for throwing over your favorite dress.

Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket in Indigo Memory – Customized from their Water<Less Collection

Because embroidery.


Amour Vert Nari Short Sleeve Top in Medium Wash

Throwing in a short sleeve for good measure.

Mud Jeans Kim Long Denim Shirt

Because we all need a good tunic.

DSTLD Women’s Denim Jacket in Black Rinse

For your inner rocker.

What’s your layering must-have? Where did you get your favorite denim jacket?

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