Replay have continued the recent micro-trend of new denim washing techniques with their newest variation: Laserblast jeans. The technique involves replacing traditional washing with laser treatment – reducing the amount of water used by 85% and stopping the need for chemical usage. The resulting trousers are then individually distressed and worn down, leading to every pair being individual.
The collection is made up of a variety of cuts and styles, but all are fundamentally classic in their design. The main focus is on the innovation in techniques, not the innovation in styles. For an item whose variation is usually limited, this is not surprising. Selvedge – a type of denim produced by a slow weave – has been the leading denim trend of the last few seasons and fitted in with the heritage aesthetic. Could this shift be the beginning of the end for heritage influence?
Levi’s Water<Less jeans focus on a similar context and were released in March. Like Replay’s collection they claim to save water and be more ecologically friendly (42 litres per pair of jeans) and base the collection around that.
Clearly, this movement in jeans has the potential to continue. With big denim producers leading the way we might see it spread into smaller boutique denim specialists. But whatever influence or future this trend has, this particular collection has a clear central idea: that fashion and ecological awareness can coexist.
Maybe this spate of ecological consideration within jeans is more of a gimmick than a movement, but the questions raised about the sustainability of fashion are important regardless. Will more brands move to recycled materials? Or maybe involve social responsibility in the ethos (see Toms)?
With the drought the UK is currently experiencing (I won’t make that joke about rain again) there couldn’t be a better time for those questions to be asked.
Check out and shop the collection over at Selfridges.