Why We Chose It: Functional outdoor jeans made in an sustainable way
I’ll be honest, when BAM emailed me to submit their new 73 jeans for our Green Gear Guide, I typed out a polite rejection: “Thanks, but we only review outdoor-specific kit’. Before hitting send, however, I drifted over to their site to have a look…
And so here we are. Even after testing these out for their outdoor creds, I’m still very happy to have them in our guide to the latest and great eco-friendly outdoor products.
“They’ve developed a method of jean production which requires 74% less water than usual.”
The difference between these jeans and the normal denim ones you’d get from, say, Topshop or H&M, is that they’re made from a mix of organic cotton and bamboo viscose, a fibre that’s regenerated from crushed a bamboo plant’s leaves and stems. It’s something that’s fast becoming one of the most viable sustainable options out there in the manufacture of garments, thriving naturally without needing any pesticides or fertilisers and capable of growing in places that would normally be non-viable for other crops. It’s basically a super plant, capable of yielding the same volume as cotton from just 10% of the land area.
You know how jeans tend to be really restrictive – the kind of trousers you only really want to wear casually? That isn’t the case here. The 73 Zero feel seriously dynamic. You’re almost completely unhindered by them. So, as you might’ve already guessed, they make for a pretty nifty pair of trousers to climb in, especially when taking into their durability as well. I’m not the most nimble/flexible of people but I can definitely notice the amount of articulation these have. You only need to go onto the BAM website to see the kinds of climbing moves that can be pulled off in these.
In case you’re wondering, the name 73 Zero is in reference to the statistic that 73% of clothing ends up in landfill or is incinerated. BAM’s aim is to not only avoid helping to contribute to that statistic but to be impact positive. For instance, BAM have made sure that their jeans don’t have the rivets or hardware that normally prevent denim jeans from being recycled. They’ve also developed a method of jean production which requires 74% less water than usual. A single pair of normal jeans, by the way, require over 2000 litres of water.
There are some nice little details on these jeans as well. For instance, there’s a label on the inside pocket that gives you tips on how to look after your pair, cut down on the need to wash them, and ultimately make them last longer. If you’re wondering about the design on the back pocket, it’s actually a graph of the global temperature rise from 2006 to 2020.
One final thing I will mention is that while I have found them to be better in wet weather than normal denim jeans they’re still not great for that kind of use. They can handle a bit of sweat well, but they’ll tend to soak up rain pretty quickly– so you wouldn’t want to hike in the mountains in these. Aside from that though, I’ve been really impressed with the BAM 73 Zero. Tell you what, the price isn’t too bad for a pair of eco-friendly jeans either.
More info: bambooclothing.co.uk