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Jordan Nodarse: a mission for sustainable denim

Berns boyish 11b

Equally passionate about denim and sustainability, Jordan Nodarse is on a mission to bring his vintage-inspired green jeans to retailers and shoppers around the world.

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Californian designer Jordan Nodarse is something of a denim expert, having previously started US etailer Revolve’s denim line Girlfriend in 2015, and became director of denim at sustainable womenswear brand Reformation in 2017. He launched his sustainable premium denim brand, Boyish Jeans, in 2018 and is now bringing the range to the UK this spring. Designed in Los Angeles, the range uses recycled fabrics, cuts down on water used in the dyeing process, and prides itself on using ethical factories. UK stockists will include independent Black White Denim in Cheshire and concept store Twiin in the Coal Drops Yard development in London’s King’s Cross. Retail prices for jeans range from £165 to £195. 

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Sadly, I answer emails. Then I get up and take a shower.

What is your coffee order?

I usually just have an espresso, but I try to wait until after lunch before I have a coffee. I make tea in the morning because I’m always driving and in LA, you’re always stuck in traffic. Sipping tea is relaxing.

Describe your brand in one sentence

A sustainable and environmentally conscious, vintage-inspired, women’s denim brand.

What is different about Boyish Jeans?

The Boyish concept is based around women wearing men’s jeans and making them look really sexy and chic – it’s nothing to do with the boyfriend fit or being a tomboy. Girls have 20 pairs of skinny jeans in their wardrobes but, increasingly, they want something that fits like vintage Levi’s. We focus on fit, quality and authentic denim, and we understand rigid denim. Rigid denim should do what a bra does – that’s the difference about my jeans and fits.

Why is sustainability so important?

There was no one moment where I woke up and realised the importance of sustainability – it has been a gradual process. I come from California and I’ve always had a love of the land. Plus, a lot of the waste in the fashion industry is due to stupidity. A lot of working sustainably is common sense. Sustainability means efficiency, so when you talk about sustainable manufacturing, you’re talking about efficient manufacturing. That’s something you should be doing already to make your business more profitable.

Emails or phone calls?

I prefer emails. Phone calls are tough because someone’s always calling me when I’m busy, as I’m always doing something. If it is late at night, I like to have a glass of wine or a whiskey and answer my emails.

What is your ideal office or meeting space?

Lots of light and lots of plants and lots of white. I really like the contrast of white against greenery. At my house, I probably have 80 plants inside and another 100 outside.

Last fashion purchase

It was a Japanese surplus military jacket from [LA vintage market] Rose Bowl. It’s wax coated and looks like it was made around World War II. It’s really cool. Plus, it was raining when I bought it and I needed a jacket!

What would we find you doing at the weekend?

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Working. The brand is global, so I get emails up until Saturday at around noon and then start receiving them again at Sunday around 5pm. There’s a little window of free time when I go surfing – I’ve been going since I was eight – and I like to exercise and go for a run.

Who do you admire in the fashion industry?

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of [sustainable outdoorwear label] Patagonia. He also started 1% For The Planet, and organisation that inspires people to support environmental causes. We give 1% of our annual profits to organisations that share our values of sustainability and equality.

Who do you turn to when you need advice?

I’ve been lucky to have people I can go to and ask questions. One of them is Adriano Goldschmied, whose nickname is the godfather of denim. My other mentor is Angie Furlong, who was one of the first designers at Guess, J Brand and True Religion. She’s been like a second mom. My mom and my dad are also always on hand to leave an embarrassing Instagram comment about how proud they are of me.

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