The Designer Difference: When You REALLY Get What You Pay For

A few years ago, I did something I’m not super proud of: After growing out of a very expensive pair of jeans and swearing off designer denim forever, I went to a *fast fashion* store (that shall not be named) and purchased a $10 pair of what can only loosely be described as “jeans.”

They were blue and to some extent covered my legs, but the fabric was thin and felt cheap; the fit was weird in every possible way; the closure button rattled when I walked; the zipper would not stay closed; and almost every seam was frayed after 2 weeks of wear.

In short, they sucked. And what made it way worse was that by this point, I actually knew how great premium jeans were in comparison, at least in terms of quality and fit. But I was surprised to learn later on that a higher price tag goes way beyond things like that.

Refinery29 asked AG, Big Star Denim, and a few other designer brands what gives when it comes to premium jeans and the answers are pretty illuminating. The key differences include:

  • the type of cotton used
  • where jeans are manufactured
  • environmental safeguards for production
  • wash/finishing treatments
  • construction quality
  • production batch sizes

Here is a massive infographic that goes through the specifics:

And don’t forget, not only are there quality implications for you…

…There is the huge environmental impact of buying cheap, fast fashion denim that ends up in landfills by the ton within a few months of purchase,

AND there is the human toll of supporting companies with manufacturing or sourcing practices that are dangerous and unfair to workers.

What all this boils down to is that in order to wear jeans that stand a chance of having been ethically created, use sustainably sourced materials, and are overall meant to last, you’re going to be spending over $100.

I think we can all agree that we want to support the good things that come along with premium jeans, but price tag can be a lot sometimes. And that’s a big part of the reason we started Redenim.

By making designer denim more affordable we hope to get women into jeans that are not only high quality but support fair labor practices, are manufactured in sustainable ways, and won’t end up in landfills. So step away from the cheap, fast fashion jeans and give premium denim a try in a way that will make both your wallet and the planet thank you!

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