By  on March 2, 2011

Jeans firms have long relied on their innovation and two brands from far corners of the globe are continuing that legacy.

Holland’s Gluejeans and Australia’s Emu are pushing the envelope for fall with unusual approaches to classic jeans styles.

When the Dutch conceptual fashion duo G+N decided to make jeans in 2005, their new manufacturer in Turkey didn’t take the small order seriously. As a result, designers Gerrit Uittenbogaard and Natasja Martens ended up with jeans that had the wrong zippers and incorrect leg lengths.

So instead of traipsing all the way back to Turkey, they huddled in their own studio to find a solution. They came up with glue.

“At first, we got lots of funny reactions,” Uittenbogaard said. “Glue is regarded as too much of a basic tool.”

A two-year testing period followed until they found the right kind of adhesive. Produced locally in Amsterdam, the glue is normally used in the shoe business but can just as well be brushed onto denim, holding together two pieces of flat fabric while preventing the ends from fraying. Most importantly, it doesn’t dry out over time.

“We have prototypes from 2006 that we went to work with, traveled with and machine washed regularly,” he said. “They became normal pairs of jeans.”

In 2008, the duo launched Gluejeans as a separate brand from its other design projects, noteworthy not only for the innovative manufacturing process but also for an unusual business plan. Backers were asked to pay 500 euros, or $691.50 at current exchange, in return for a pair of glued jeans. As soon as the first 300 pairs sold out, each investor received their money back but got to keep the jeans.

The label has been stocked as limited edition items in select doors and is now taking the commercial plunge with a full-fledged collection that includes five cuts in three washes, retailing from 280 euros, or about $387.

Within each wash, customers can choose between black, red and yellow glued lines where accent stitches would be. Titled Revelution, the collection also includes coats, while a secondary Shadow Line offers every piece in black with black glue.

Meanwhile, Emu, best known for sheepskin boots, has now transferred its woolly approach to the denim sector. Looking like jeans on the outside but lined with wool, the brand’s DenimWool pairs are machine washable and boast a combined fiber content of cotton, merino wool and elastane.

“Unlike other jeans, the wool remembers the shape of your body,” said Emu apparel designer Kiera Sehmish. “So it tends not to become baggy…but still feels like your old favorite jeans.”

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