For the last decade, there has been a growing focus on buying locally made products. With that, many cities are seeing the increase of local breweries, coffee roasters, food manufacturers, and other businesses that are operating on a smaller scale. It’s only natural, with such a push towards smaller scale local businesses, that denim brands also are emerging within their communities and producing jeans that not only reflect the people behind the brand but also the environment surrounding them.
Paleo Denim is a brand coming from Austin, TX, a city less known for clothing brands and more for its music festivals, food, and eclectic culture. Richard Cole, the owner and operator, began making jeans as a response to his frustration with denim brands that seemed to put little value into creating jeans that would age well.
The name comes from Cole’s early experiences hunting for fossils with his father and remembering the wear and tear that would occur on his clothes after spending hours digging and searching among the rocks. Combining these memories with the desire to create goods that are locally sourced has allowed Paleo Denim to grow to the point where it’s no longer a hobby project and has become ready for full production.
The core offerings of Paleo Denim are obviously the jeans which come in 3 different fits: slim, slim straight, and straight. For the initial run, Paleo Denim has several fabrics available. The first two fabrics, a 12 oz Kaihara selvedge denim and a 14 oz Cone Mills selvedge denim, are familiar fabrics that we’ve seen before in other brands but the third fabric is a 13.75 oz non-selvedge Texan SAFEDenim making its first appearance in a widely available jean.
SAFEDenim, which stands for Sustainable, American, and Friendly to the Environment, is grown by the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association just 6 hours from Austin in Littlefield, TX. What sets it apart from other denim is the sustainable way the cotton and fabrics are produced, a method which uses 50% less water and 50% less pesticides. The denim itself is a ringspun, slightly slubby denim with a softer hand that will feel different to what we’re used to with most raw denim.
It’s this extra effort to not only make the jeans in Texas but also to source as many materials and fabrics as possible from Texas that solidifies Paleo Denim as a truly local brand that embodies the culture and people surrounding it.
As the brand begins to grow out of its small workshop and requires more machines and space, Cole has turned to Kickstarter to help facilitate the growth. Visit the website and blog to learn more about the denim and other products they’ll be offering and see behind the scenes photos. Be sure to watch the video below as well and hop over to Paleo Denim‘s Kickstarter to support him.