What makes Blue Jeans fashion the most enduring trend?

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Blue jeans are America’s great equalizer: equal parts yee-haw Americana and New York Fashion Week. They are the unspoken uniform of camp counselors and French generation Y. They are punk rock-meets-scumbro-meets-girl-next-door. Your mother owns a pair, as does Pete Davidson. So what is it, say, pre-owned 501s that make them so democratically, enduringly iconic… minus the ambitious price tag on something like a Chanel bag?

Well, you could say that a good pair of jeans hints at simpler times – nostalgia in the form of button flies and slanted pocket seams. Maybe your favorite denim brings you closer to your dad. Maybe you and your friends once discovered a single pair of jeans that magically fit perfectly into each of your figures – and in turn, a “brotherhood” was born. Anyway, your jeans are representative of a great and essential maxim in the field of fashion: all trends are not ephemeral.

However, the great tradition of quality denim is not limited to fashion: according to Levi’s sustainability report, more than 85% of clothing currently ends up in landfill, i.e. the impact of the priority given to longevity in fashion is not negligible. “If we wear our clothes twice as long, we can reduce our environmental impact by 44%,” says Leah Thomas, environmental activist, author and creator of TikTok. “We need to invest in things that will last and stay relevant.” And for her, it’s part of Levi’s longstanding prominence in the upper echelons of the fashion world. To use a cliche, well-made classics will never go out of style.

“It’s about buying better and wearing longer,” says Thomas. “So look to items with thicker, more durable materials that will last, in neutral colors and styles that will stay relevant,” she says.

Thomas’ accolades are hardly limited to his social following (which falls into the 200,000s). In 2020, after working full-time positions at the National Park Service and Patagonia headquarters, she went viral for an Instagram post in which she coined the term “intersectional environmentalism.” His position compelled the environmental community to stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous and POC communities regularly impacted by environmental justice — and that has been the driving force behind his work ever since.

The following year, Thomas launched a separate Intersectional Environmentalist Instagram account advocating environmental justice and inclusivity, before writing his first book, The intersectional ecologist: how to dismantle the system of oppression to protect people and the planet. And as Climate Week rolls around, she’s joining forces with VICE and Levi’s to talk about how mindful apparel shopping works as a key part of her broader mission.

Watch the TikTok video above for more insight from Thomas on conscious fashion, then head over to Levi’s sustainability page to learn more about how your shopping habits can play a vital role in building a greener future.

created in partnership with levi's

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