This new denim line is taking sustainable fashion to new heights by giving your old jeans a second life

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Thu September 5, 2019

Americans throw away a staggering 13 million tons of textiles every year, according to a PBS report. That's equal to about 85% of the clothes they own. And the sad truth is that many of the old tees and jeans you're discarding could easily be upcycled into outfits that look as good as new.

Many brands, including Frank And Oak, have been proactive about leading the charge when it comes to sustainable fashion. The retailer has long been a champion of eco-friendly practices. It uses minimal impact processes (which basically means different materials and methods of clothing creation, designed with the planet in mind) and in 2019, 50% of the company's products were made using eco-conscious materials or created with resource-efficient processes.

And Frank And Oak's latest denim collection might be the brand's boldest foray into sustainable fashion yet.

About Frank And Oak

Frank And Oak is a clothing retailer focused on providing customers with quality wardrobe essentials that a) don't break the bank and b) are made eco-consciously. It sells pieces individually and also offers its signature Style Plan, a monthly clothing subscription that is personalized around your sartorial tastes. It takes away the painful bits of online shopping, like sorting through hundreds of styles before you find the one that fits your personality and body type, and instead curates a collection of clothing that suits your preferences. The service then delivers its top picks straight to your doorstep (after you approve them, of course). It's a subscription service CNN Underscored staffers stand behind, so much so that we named it a winner of CNN Underscored's Best Products of 2018. (You can try Style Plan with no styling fee, plus score $25 off your first box with the code CNN25 at checkout from now until September 30.)

What makes Frank And Oak's latest collection so special?

All eight of the brand's new styles of jeans (three for men and five for women) are made from post-consumer waste. By salvaging worn-out jeans that were destined for the landfill, Frank And Oak was able to repurpose the fibers and respin them into fashion-forward designs. On top of using upcycled materials, Frank And Oak partnered with Hydro-Less Laundry, an ethical, eco-certified facility that claims to use up to 79% less energy, 50% less chemicals and up to 95% less water than standard denim creation. So you can rest assured that the making of your jeans didn't unnecessarily waste water or contribute to landfills from start to finish. Simply put, this new line of denim will help you look good and feel good.

What styles are available?

Currently, the sustainable women's collection features the Nina Wide Leg Fit, a high-rise design that comes in six hues; a '90s-inspired Stevie Tapered Fit (also high-rise), which comes in three colors; and the classic Debbie Skinny, which comes in three colors as well. For men, the Dylan Slim Fit is the most classic design, with a regular rise, slim leg-opening and four color options. From there, a slimmer iteration is the Tyler Skinny, which has a much narrower leg opening and comes in three color variations; the Gordon Athletic design is a looser alternative, with extra room in the legs and thighs.

These are new styles of Frank And Oak's existing denim collection, which now features 11 distinct fits for both men and women.

How do the jeans look and feel?

Two members of our team, a female and a male, test-drove two pairs of jeans each. Here's what we thought:

"Right off the bat, I was super impressed with the texture of the jeans. My Nina Wide Leg pair was soft to the touch, and equally as comfortable to wear. That was also the case for the pair of Debbie Skinnies I tested out. You can tell pretty instantly that this denim is high quality. It has all the makings of what I look for in an excellent pair of jeans: sturdy construction that's still flexible, comfortable and an everyday wash that won't go out of style.

"The wide leg and delicate fraying on the leg opening of my Nina were both fashion-forward touches that really make the denim shine. And for the Debbie, I was most impressed with the fit and richness of color. Overall, each pair fit pretty true to size. And being someone who typically wears the whole spectrum of denim (from budget to designer), I was most impressed with how expensive my denim looked and felt. It was comparable to more designer pieces quality-wise and is only fractionally more expensive that the more budget denim I buy (which, I must mention, tends to wear out after a season or so of use). Simply put, I'm hooked." - Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored Commerce Editor

"Being someone who typically wears Topman, Madewell or Gap jeans, I am pleasantly surprised with Frank And Oaks. After all, jeans are basically my uniform, along with a button-down shirt. I tried the Tyler and Gordon fits, which are both pretty much skinny-ish jeans. The Gordon has a more athletic fit that does not grip the body too tightly, with nicely sized legs and a bit more room near the thighs. It's a natural look that still feels like classic jeans, but with a slightly lighter-weight fabric. Tyler, on the other hand, is a more skinny fit from the ankle to thigh. Both are comfortable in everyday wear.

"Given that I'm a tech reporter, I appreciated being able to hold two phones in the front pocket, along with a wallet, keys, and two pairs of earbuds as well. The denim-like material is pretty soft and was very comfortable to wear." - Jake Krol, CNN Underscored Associate Tech Writer

Are they worth the price?

Simply put, yes. At just $89.50 per pair, they're comparable to many denim brands and cost far less than luxury options. And on top of all of that, our team was impressed with the overall fit and quality of the denim. It makes you wonder why you'd ever pay more for less environmentally conscious jeans in the first place.

For more information about the new circular denim collection click here. And to score a great deal on Frank And Oak's Style Plan (which includes 20% off all items, free shipping, free returns and other awesome perks), use the code CNN25 at checkout from now until September 30. You'll save $25 plus a waived styling fee on your first box.

Note: The price above reflects the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.