WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
Finding the perfect pair of jeans was once a difficult feat – that’s before sustainable label Reformation skipped its way into our lives with its range of look-good, feel-good and do-good denim. Nowadays, we practically live in our Reformation jeans; there really is nothing quite like them.
Just a few months ago, the LA-based brand provided us with yet another reason to buy their denim: they teamed up with traceability technology company FibreTrace to provide customers with detailed information on the lifecycle of their jeans. By simply scanning a tag attached to the jeans, customers can access the entire story of the denim they’re about to wear – from the origins of the cotton to the countries the jeans have visited. Essentially, it’s a passport that aims to encourage shoppers to care about the history of their garments.
To find out more about Reformation jeans, we spoke to a Ref representative who touched on the FibreTrace partnership, the size and fit of Reformation jeans, styling the most popular denim pieces and more. Additionally, we spoke to a notable customer of the brand – none other than NYC-based creative Sophie Wood, AKA @goodwoodx – who told us all about the experience of owning and interacting with a pair of Reformation x FibreTrace jeans.
Reformation Jeans, In Their Own Words
What are your best-selling jeans? How would you style them?
The Cynthia High Rise Straight Jean is our best-seller. We recommend styling these jeans with an oversized shirt, chain necklace, leather jacket and a pair of chunky loafers.
The Alyssa Patch Pocket Wide Leg Jeans and the Alyssa High Rise Wide Leg Corduroy Pants are also big sellers. We’d recommend styling these pairs with vintage pieces – think collared knits, classic boots, retro scarves and shearling layers.
How do Reformation jeans fit?
Our jeans fit true to size. If you are in-between sizes, we recommend sizing down as they will become slightly roomier the more you wear them.
What makes Reformation denim sustainable?
The fashion industry has a huge opportunity – and some may say, responsibility – to educate consumers about the environmental impact of creating denim.
At Reformation, our mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone and to make sustainable manufacturing the status quo. We launched Ref jeans in 2017 to tackle the most polluting type of clothing in the fashion industry: denim. Americans purchase approximately 450 million pairs of jeans a year, and, unfortunately, each pair is created using more than 1,500 gallons of water.
Here at Reformation, we try our best to create jeans in the least harmful and most sustainable way possible. Ref jeans are made from sustainable and deadstock materials, and one pair of Ref jeans uses 800 gallons of water less than the average pair. As we grow, we want to continue challenging ourselves and improving our supply chain.
Why was working with FibreTrace important to Reformation?
We're always searching for ways to expand on our traceability efforts, and when we came across Australian-based company FibreTrace and saw what they were doing, we instantly knew we had to work with them. The FibreTrace team have created such a unique solution to providing customers with deep visibility of their products; we thought their technology was perfect for applying to our new collection of climate-positive denim.
Naturally, we were super-excited about launching our denim collection, featuring first-of-its-kind fibre traceability technology. Created by FibreTrace, the tech embeds scannable luminescent pigments to the denim. Customers can scan a tag on their FibreTrace jeans that allows them to view the denim’s entire lifecycle – from fibre to production to finished garment. Farm to thighs, if you will.
What do you aim to achieve by working with FibreTrace?
FibreTrace allows us to be clear and upfront about our fibre standards production processes; plus, it allows our customers to make more informed shopping decisions. It’s on us as a brand to work as ethically and sustainably as possible; it's on the consumer to understand where their clothes come from. Ultimately, we’re hoping our partnership with FibreTrace creates more conversation around traceability in the fashion industry.
How does the FibreTrace technology highlight your focus on high-quality goods?
The first step in Reformation’s FibreTrace process involves luminescent pigment being applied to the cotton from Australia’s Good Earth Cotton Farm during the ginning or cleaning process. On each step after the first – from the spinning to the weaving – the fabric is scanned and information about the process is recorded on a blockchain. This eventually builds a unique passport, telling the story of the item’s journey. Customers can discover their piece’s journey by scanning the QR code tag on their smartphone. Bearing all of this in mind, it’s easy to see how the FibreTrace technology allows us to boast about our ethical processes and high-quality materials.
How do you recommend caring for Reformation jeans?
Here are some tips for caring for your denim.
Freeze them: place your folded jeans in the freezer overnight instead of washing them. It reduces the amount of water and energy you use and keeps your jeans from fading and shrinking. The cold temperature helps kill bacteria to keep your jeans fresh.
Break out the vodka: refresh your jeans without washing or dry-cleaning by liberally spraying with a vodka/water mix. The vodka leaves no smell, kills bacteria and removes odours as it evaporates.
Reformation Jeans, According To A Customer
Sophie Wood (@goodwoodx) (She/Her)
Content creator and creative strategist based in New York, USA
Please share your experience interacting with the FibreTrace tag on your Reformation jeans.
When I opened the package containing my Reformation jeans, I noticed there was a tag with a QR code attached to one of the belt loops. After scanning the QR code on my phone, I was taken to a FibreTrace information page where I could learn about the jeans’ origin.
I've always been super-interested in Reformation’s sustainable sourcing, so it was fascinating to discover that the denim I was soon to wear had come from Australia and passed through Turkey before making its way to the USA. It was amazing to read about what happens at each stage of Reformation’s denim process and the measures they’ve put in place to ensure each stage is as sustainable as possible.
How has Reformation’s FibreTrace technology enhanced your jean-buying experience?
Learning about where my jeans have come from has definitely helped me realise how much work goes into creating one article of clothing. Now, I plan on taking extra-special care of my jeans as I have a greater appreciation for them and the journey they’ve been on.
How do your Reformation jeans fit?
I ordered Reformation’s Cynthia jeans in a size up as I had heard they run a little small. It turns out that ordering a size 31 as opposed to a size 30 was a fantastic decision as these jeans are soft and super-flattering.
The material of the Cynthia jeans is dreamy. I have sensitive skin, which means I’m very particular about the materials I choose to wear. As someone who’s curvy, it’s hard for me to find jeans that aren’t super-skinny or super-wide; I feel like these jeans are cut perfectly as they’re snug at the top and roomy at the bottom.
How do you style your Reformation jeans?
Today, I’ve paired my dark denim Reformation jeans with staple pieces – namely a white tie, black waistcoat, oversized blazer, vintage Gucci Jackie bag and thrifted cowboy boots. I think this look is perfect for the office or dinner with friends. If I received an invite to a more formal affair, I’d pair these jeans with pointed toe heels and a fun top (when I say fun, I probably mean something fringed).
How comfortable do you find Reformation jeans?
My Reformation jeans are the comfiest I own; each style fits like a good pair of vintage jeans – they’re soft, comfortable and durable. Being wider in the hips and thighs, it can be hard for me to find jeans that don’t dig into my skin or bunch up around the waist. Often, I've resulted in buying jeans in a size up and then asking my tailor to work their magic. Fortunately, these jeans fit perfectly.