I know, I know – at the start of this whole clothes malarkey, I pledged not to buy any more clothes for an entire year. Well, not even a month in, and I’ve already had a fail. Actually, two fails. But in my defence:
1. I got rid of two bin bags full of clothes. They went to the local charity shop AND I added gift aid as well (because, who doesn’t?)
2. On this little journey, I’m slowly working out the things that I wear repeatedly, and those that never leave the cupboard. So it’s only right to stock up on the winners, no? Ahem.
I’ve discovered recently that the one item of clothing I turn to, over and over again, are jeans. Jeans with the husbands t-shirts, jeans with retro knits in Winter, jeans with floaty-hippyesque tops and sandals in Summer, jeans in the sun, wind, rain and snow. Jeans for running around with the kids in, jeans for going out for dinner in (well, we might go one day…), jeans for working in, jeans for lounging in. Jeans, jeans, jeans. I do love a good dress (I’ve got enough of the bloody things), but I just feel more ‘me’ in jeans. Which is why, after the sad demise of yet another pair of old favourites bought from eBay, I was going to invest in a brand-spanking-new pair of ethically made jeans. And I knew exactly where I was going to find them, too.
Ever since I started reading about ethical fashion, I’ve known about Monkee Genes – beautifully made, on-trend jeans, manufactured in a way that doesn’t harm the planet and helps people to earn a living wage. Soil Association certified, this ethical wonder-brand pride themselves on using a manufacturing process which contains no allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals, and affects neither the environment or the wildlife. As a certified organic company, the cotton in their jeans is produced without harmful pesticides, and anybody involved in working in the factory where they’re produced is employed in high social conditions – workers can expect a good rate of pay, regular breaks and reasonable hours. Not only that, but they’re also working on a project to help save the bees. What more can you ask for?
I spent a long time on the website, peering at the gazillion different shades, fits and styles, and pondering over what was most important to me in my selection. I was hugely tempted by the pistachio sateen skinny jeans, and also the eye-popping colour of the aqua sateen skinnies, but in the end I decided to be sensible, and opt for a normal, bog-standard denim. These had to be multi-functional, after all. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to jeans, especially concerning the softness (my absolute pet-hate is stiff denim that feels like you’re wearing cardboard trousers), so I emailed to ask which style was the most comfortable and had the most give to it – Natasha replied almost straight away with loads of advice and tips, and I ended up opting for the Bamboo Denim skinny jeans – they’re mid waisted, which means no builders bottom effect when I bend over to retrieve a pen / crochet hook / errant child, and it also means that they can be worn higher up, with tops tucked in, or lower down for a more relaxed look (i.e. when you’ve eaten too much cake, and you’re wearing your husbands t-shirt to hide the evidence).
|Shirt – thrifted // Jeans – Monkee Genes // Loafers – Kate Kanzier|
I honestly cannot rave about these jeans enough. I dread buying denim, because most of the time, you have to endure that awful, uncomfortable period where you ‘break them in’, but these arrived as soft as a baby’s bottom, and ready to go. They’re versatile, they’re skinny without being so tight you have to be winched into them (fine for youngsters, not so great for those of us who have been through two pregnancies….), and most importantly of all, they’re comfortable. Ahhhhhhh. Monkee Genes, I salute you.
Natasha also let me have a sneaky peek at the lookbook for Fall 2013 – and it’s a goodun. Think ticking, contrast turn-ups, rich colours and jewel tones – I know what I’m going to be dressing my legs in this Autumn (and Winter, Spring… Summer….)
Check out Monkee Genes on their website, and read more about their ethical commitments here. If you’re not looking for jeans, do check out their range of shorts and chinos – they’re not just a one-trick-
Disclosure: I didn’t receive any free goods for this review, but the lovely people at Monkee Genes gave me a discount, which was incredibly kind of them. I would have bought them regardless, and will be returning again as a very satisfied customer.