We at Denimio love denim and you guys do too. But this thing of ours – collecting high quality raw and selvedge denim – often needs justification: Why do we spend so much money on a pair of jeans? Instead of buying one Japanese-made pair from Denimio, you could buy three Chinese-made Diesel jeans. Sure, some would opt for the cheaper stuff, but for those in the know, the choice of dropping the cheap stuff is a no-brainer. Here are our 10 reasons why you should buy raw Japanese denim:
1. Invest in Quality: Get More Bang For Your Buck
– Japanese manufacturers produce significantly less jeans compared to China or Bangladesh and the production of a single jeans takes more time: and it shows, Japanese jeans have a reputation for the highest quality. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that people who enjoy doing what they do – and that includes feeling safe and appreciated at your workplace – simply do a better job than people who work 12 hours a day in a sweatshop at over a 100 degrees – more on that later!
Another factor that is equally important is that the Japanese combine the best of both worlds: an admiration for tradition and a fascination for modern technology. Factories in Japan that produce denim have modern machinery but also an amazing equipment that you need for repro-jeans: We’re talking Toyoda, Union Special etc. You get value for your money — Something you will appreciate even more when you’re breaking in a pair and getting some crazy fades. You can really tell the difference when you compare your sturdy Japanese raw denim with some cheap stuff from Primark that falls apart once it sees a washing machine from the inside. The best stuff is and will always be jeans that are made from start to finish in Japan. Period.
2. Avoid The Run Of The Mill: Buy The Best Fabrics Known To Mankind
– Kurabo, Kuroki, Collect, Nisshinbo, Kaihara… these are just a few mills that come to mind when it comes to Japanese denim. The Japanese have been innovators in the clothing industry for centuries and their fabrics were always regarded as some of the best worldwide. They translated all this knowledge into the production of denim. The weaving processes are refined and unique and the variety of different fabrics is simply breathtaking. Unlike the United States where Cone Denim is the last survivor that still produces selvedge denim, Japan has countless mills, some are even located within private houses and utilize barely 3 or 4 shuttle looms! These micro-mills produce super limited amounts of fabric and do often experiment with what’s possible for denim (more on that later). You can choose from slubby, neppy, hairy, regular, tightly woven, loosely woven, hand-dyed, natural indigo-dyed, sulfur-dyed, red cast, green cast and super heavy denim. And that’s just a fraction of all the kind of fabrics being crafted in Japan each day, with countless combinations and innovations in the pipeline!
3. If You’re Looking For Tradition And True Heritage: Japanese Denim Has Got You Covered
– When you are looking for repro-jeans, the Japanese got you covered. The Osaka 5, consisting of Warehouse, Evisu, Studio d’Artisan, Denime and Full Count all mastered the craft of reproduction. Inspired by denim-wearing Hollywood stars such as James Dean and Marlon Brando, these companies delivered jeans that stood for the American way: Rebellious, spontaneous, hedonistic and ballsy. And in a time where America shifted most of its manufacturing sites to China to safe a buck or two, the Japanese took on the task of recreating iconic cuts from Levi’s. If you are looking to get something that equals the look of a Levi’s 501, look no further, you’ll find it here. While the gold rush is certainly over, the garments that are synonymous with this time live on: Made in Japan, crafted with pride and built to last.
4. Don’t Imitate, Innovate: Get The Jeans That Really Suit You and Mold to You
– Keep in mind that when the denim craze started in Japan, the target group where primarily middle-aged men. You might think that it was a movement driven by the youngsters’ hunger for Americana but most people back then were looking for a comfy, loose fitting repro-jeans that they knew from the movies. These straight cuts – while doubtlessly timeless – don’t work for everybody and the west’s appetite for slimmer, tapered or even skinny fits has reached Japan only a few years ago. The Japanese are no strangers to innovation and know when it’s time to adapt, so companies like Japan Blue, ONI Denim, Pure Blue Japan or Kuro offer jeans with modern silhouettes. But not only are their cuts very contemporary and decisively urban, they also push the limits of our understanding of denim as fabric. ONI Denim and Pure Blue Japan are the kings of slub, experimenting with weft and warp combinations and come up with crazy (and sometimes secret) fabrics. Samurai Jeans offers extremely heavy denim, Japan Blue and Eternal have recently added amazing distressed options. So to sum up: While the tradition lives on, raw Japanese denim is always in motion, always innovating, always improving.
5. Dress It Up Or Down: Raw Denim Is All About Versatility
– As someone who appreciates denim, you might like the idea that denim in all its varieties is extremely versatile: you can wear it with boots such as Red Wings or Wolverines, you can wear it with dress shoes such as Alden and it looks stunning with some Nike or New Balance sneakers or some chucks. You can’t go wrong with Japanese raw denim. The great thing about them is that you can dress them up or down, with a blazer and button down shirt for some classy event or a plain Tee or a hoody when you want something casual. Whether you dig a look that oozes heritage or something more edgy, our raws won’t keep you hanging!
6. Don’t Just Wear Jeans: Live In Them!
– When you spend some money on a great pair of jeans, you expect durability for sure. And you’ll get that (without a doubt), but you’ll also get the experience of breaking in a pair. There are so many ways of doing that: soaking them, not washing them at all, washing them regularly in a machine, ocean washing them etc. Each pair of raw denim is your canvas and it will reflect your lifestyle in its evolution. Whether you want high contrast fades or a vintage wash, this is your jeans. It will accompany you for a long time, age gracefully and be unique. Each pair is a new project and you’re the sole manager of it. Once you look back at a pair you’ve broken in to perfection, you will remember special moments. So a piece of raw Japanese denim is so much more than just a piece of garment, it’s a reservoir of memories.
7. Share Your Experience, Get To Know The Community!
– And the greatest thing of all: You’re not alone in this, you’re part of community. There are countless forums and groups where people share their passion for raw denim. Be it on SuperFuture, Reddit, MyNudies or Instagram, you’ll meet so many new people who share their experiences with you. We at Denimio could not be happier to be part of that, we love that you share your photos, videos and stories with us.
We are excited to receive your pics when we host a photo contest on Instagram, when you upload a picture to the fade gallery of our website and to follow your journey when you participate in the contests we host. Last year’s #PBJgreenleaf contest was such a blast, we got to know so many of you and we flew the winner over to Japan and had a blast with him. Our current contest #thegreatdenimbattle is still young but we already feel blessed to have so many of you on board. By the way, spread the word, we still have a few sizes left for #gdbteamsamurai and #gdbteamoni, if you know some people who you would love to by your side in this battle, this is your chance, right on time for the second mini-battle, the #gdbwearwar! We look forward to meeting more of you, flying this year’s contest winner over to Japan and designing kickass jeans with the finalists. We cherish each and every one of you and this as a good a time as any to say thank you, you’re freaking awesome!
8. Buying Cheap Mass-Produced Jeans Has Severe Effects On The Environment
– Yes, believe it or not, denim produced in Japan is better for planet earth than you might think. To illustrate this a bit further you need to keep in mind that most of the jeans sold worldwide come from China. One third of all jeans produced these days is made in a single town: Xintang. You want some numbers to back that up? That’s a solid 800.000 jeans per day! Over 40% of these jeans are sold in the US in stores such as Walmart. Such huge industrial outputs take their toll on the environment though: The waste – a lot of it chemical – is not disposed properly but directly poured into the rivers: The water turned blue and contaminates a lot of the nearby riverbed: The levels of lead, copper and cadmium exceed the »healthy« limit by up to 128 times. The industrial park is wreaking of sulphur-smog that you can barely see your own hands. The situation is so bad that you could not even give houses in that area away for free because nobody would willingly take it. Japan on the other hand is a country that is very conscious when it comes to the environment: There are heavy regulations for how to proceed with chemical waste and while getting rid of toxic byproducts of the denim-production does cost more money, it’s tough to argue that it simply is the better option for our planet.
9. Buying Japanese Quality Jeans Ensures Fair Working Conditions: You’re Actually Doing A Good Deed!
– As you might imagine, there is a lot of actual workers involved in making jeans: The production aspect of denim cannot be entirely done by machines. Not only do you need people to operate the machinery, a lot of the processes are actually done with manual labour. As you might expect, the working conditions in China – Xintang to be precise – are far from ideal. Working with chemicals in an unsafe workplace has severe consequences for your health: people in Xintang often become infertile or, to put it more drastic, are unable to have children. This becomes even more horrible when one is to consider that these people do often not have health insurance and no legal contract that guarantees fair wages or any kind of pay for that matter.
But also outside of China people suffer from the unhealthy work-environment: In Turkey over 50 workers have dyed from silicosis, a pulmonary disease caused by distressing jeans via sandblasting. In many other places people are forced to work in sweatshops without any air-condition or in factories that simply collapse such as the Rana Plaza Bangladesh, where over 1000 people died. These people lost their lives and were paid 22 cents an hour!
In Japan, the people work in top-notch factories, have health insurance, are paid fair wages, all guaranteed under the strict Japanese labor law. They are entitled breaks of 45 minutes for every 6 hours of work, there are laws against discrimination and there are well organized unions.
These people are paid fairly; the minimum wage is based on the actual cost of living in the given region.
So your jeans cost more than something produced in let’s say Bangladesh, but you pay for the quality of the craftsmen behind the product!
10. Fashion Fades, Style Remains. Denim Is, Has Been, And Will Alway Be Timeless!
– This brings us to the last point: Japanese raw denim is timeless. Denim has always been part of any wardrobe and is certainly here to stay. We’re not in this for a quick buck, we want this to be a long and amazing friendship and we pride ourselves in offering you the best jeans at amazing prices. Trends fade aways, but style remains! When people say that the costumer always comes first, that’s a decent claim, but to us, you’re more than a costumer, you’re part of this denim family and we treat you all like brothers and sisters, because we share a bond, a passion for blue garments that tick all the right boxes. So head over to www.denimio.com and look at all the amazing stuff we piled up for you. We will be there to assist you if you have any questions! Stay Raw.
Think blue. Think Denimio.