Local Love: A sustainable denim jacket fit for the eco-warrior


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When Triarchy Denim first blasted onto the fashion landscape, eco-consciousness wasn’t top of mind. The denim label, designed by siblings Adam and Ania Taubenfligel, came to be in Canada and got its wings in Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until LA was caught in the midst of a drought that the designers began to question the role they were playing in the fashion industry.

“It became hard to ignore the amount of water consumed in order to manufacture jeans,” says Adam in reference to the drought.

After the team watched the doc The True Cost, there was no covering up what they had learned. “The movie unveils the shocking environmental impact of the industry, and it stopped us dead in our tracks,” Adam says.

With one pair of cotton jeans — just one! — eating up a casual 2,900 gallons of l’eau, equating to 10,977 water bottles, the truth was hard to stomach. “It pushed us to change everything,” Adam says.

So in 2016, production of the denim label came to a standstill while the siblings scratched their heads, wondering what to do. The solution? Put everything under a microscope, move production to a factory in Mexico City that uses 85 per cent recycled water, intro Tencel into the fabric, use recycled sheet metal for hardware and recycled leather for labels. “To date we have saved over 1,000,000 gallons of water,” Adam says.

Triarchy also launched an entirely sustainable offshoot, Atelier Denim, which is made in LA from vintage repurposed denim. “The amount of detail that goes into the Atelier pieces are very high,” says Adam. “We build these pieces to last and be passed down.”

Their fringed denim jacket ($894) uses about 1.75 pairs of jeans, with each piece cut separately and then sewn. An entire day is eaten up in the creation of one jacket, and that’s not even including the process of making the fringe, which is attached by hand. The result is a true statement piece perfect for the eco-warrior.

“Sustainable and ethical manufacturing is the future and the only way forward in the denim industry and the fashion industry as a whole,” Adam says comparing the change to the food industry and its walk away from fast food into a slower food movement. Slow fashion is where it’s at.

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Karolyne Ellacott is senior editor at Post City Magazines. She can oft be spotted at Toronto’s most nostalgic diners wearing glittery heels and pink faux fur. Follow all of her eclectic writing interests on Twitter @kellacott and Instagram @itismekar.

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