- Citizens of Humanity is known for its high-quality denim.
- The brand is taking major strides toward sustainable methods.
- We got a peek behind the scenes to learn how Citizens of Humanity makes its jeans.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
the following is a transcript
Narrator: Finding the perfect pair of jeans is the eternal struggle. Beyond the right fit, you want to buy the right colour, have the right rips, level of fade, distressing, threading, designs. You get the point. With everything that goes into picking a pair, it’s no surprise that making a pair is an art form. So, we went to beloved jean brand Citizens of Humanity’s LA facilities to see how they make their $US200 jeans. Citizens of Humanity is one of those brands whose high-quality jeans may break the bank. Yet people can’t get enough of their fit and the brand’s wide variety of styles. First, the jeans’ fabric is picked out at the brand’s warehouse. The design team uses inspiration from that season’s trends to help them choose the fabric. The fabric is then laid flat and cut by hand. It’s then brought over to automated cutting machines. These machines play an important role, as they maximise efficiency while minimising any fabric waste. Next, the different parts of the jeans are sewn on. One of the things that makes Citizens of Humanity’s jeans so unique is the brand’s close attention to detail. About 250 sewing experts work on every pair, and each week, the team can sew up to 5,000 pieces. With such a large number of sewing experts, each person will work on a specific part of the garment. Some might only sew the zippers, while another focuses on the pockets, and someone else sews just the inseams. This step is done with the help of a sewing machine. After the sewing, the jeans are put through a relatively new method in jean-making: a lasering machine. It’s used to create holes, a distressed look, or special designs. The laser is manipulated by a computer program that controls the intensity and pattern. According to Citizens of Humanity, this technology reduces gas and water consumption by 20% to 30%, as the traditional method used by other brands uses toxic chemicals to achieve the same effect on the jeans. Once the jean is through the lasering machine, an employee goes in to add a few more distressing touches by hand. Some jeans will get sprayed with a lightening treatment to brighten them a bit. One of the most crucial parts of the process: washing the jeans. This dictates their shade and feel. How long the jeans stay in the washer and stone washing, a process that softens the denim, both play a part in the final look and feel of the denim. The brand uses ozone-wash machinery. This is a combination of electricity gas that, according to the brand, consumes 60% less water than the traditional way, which can use up to 2,000 gallons of water. One of the last steps of the process is the finishing of the jeans. This requires pressing the jeans, putting on the buttons, and adding the tags. The very last step before shipping is a final inspection for quality control. Often, a red tag will go onto the jeans, indicating it has something wrong with it. The company is meticulous about quality control with its jeans. The jeans are then packed up and shipped to stores.
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