The fashion industry remains in the hot seat when it comes to the discussion of environmental impacts and waste reduction, and AG Jeans is seeking to answer one fundamental question — can denim be sustainable?

The company installed a new water filtration system in its factories in South Gate in Los Angeles and Mexico City and in March introduced its first denim and ready-to-wear offering produced with this system. On Thursday, the California-based company at the Gitano Jungle Room at The James in New York unveiled its second collection using the system that reduces water use and uses recycled water to produce clothing.

“Our main points are our water machinery, which we’ve been speaking about for a while now and we’re trying to further our efforts to not only work on the water consumption but trying to figure out how else we can fix the production process and make it more eco-conscious,” said Katie Lewis, AG Jeans marketing and public relations manager.

“Being a denim brand, I don’t think you can be 100 percent sustainable but we’re trying to clean up our act. For the most part I think we’ve been doing a good job for the last 10 years.”

The spring 2020 collection, which is the first under vice president of design and creative Zihaad Wells, who joined the company from Hudson Jeans in January, is comprised of three stories — military, workwear and vintage — and each is represented by patterns, prints and details such as acid wash and railroad stripes. Wells, who also worked at True Religion and Levi’s, typically travels to do research for his collections, but this season looked to the Sixties and what Lewis describes as “the era of hardworking society.”

“Uniform traditionally was worn to denote factions—people who shared a common cause, utility, or duty,” said Wells.

“In the 60s we saw these uniforms re-appropriated as reclamations of freedom, youth, and unity. This is where AG’s spring 2020 “Society in Uniform” collection draws its intention to reimagine the essence of military, workwear, and vintage denim for modern application.”

A camouflage-inspired, tie-dye pattern on a men’s shirt, tank top and women’s Adel pant, a split-back trouser with adjustable waist and side-button closure, unites the olive and tan military capsule, while the workwear story is represented by railroad stripes on men’s and women’s shirts and jumpsuits and a longer buttoned shirt that can be worn as a shirtdress. Outside stitching on jeans that resemble carpenter pants and a skirt that looks like cropped jeans when hanging or laid flat round out the offering.

The vintage capsule is best represented by fits both new and returning including the Tomas X, a new version of the high-waisted, straight-leg paneled jean with ‘v’ stitching detail over the front and seat, and the white Isabelle jean with a frayed waistband and ankle.

AG stepped away from wovens this season to perfect its denim offering under the new water filtration system and its ready-to-wear comprised of cropped anoraks, super wide-leg palazzo pants, a white cotton and spandex wrap shirt made in-house at its Mexico factory and a luxe knitted bodysuit version.

Lewis shared that the next collection will “take a lot of inspiration from what’s already here.”


Change Agents: Denim Brands Working to Transform the Industry

AG RTW Fall 2019

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