By Robin | April 30, 2020

Okayama Denim and Big John Re-release the 12 oz. Bamboo Jeans

Okayama Denim and Big John have teamed up once again to re-release their Bamboo Jeans! The jeans were initially introduced in a limited batch of 96 pairs in December 2019 and were the first Japanese five pocket jeans featuring Bamboo fibers. Coming in at 12 oz. the jeans are lighter than the majority of Japanese denim, making them the perfect companion for the Summer months.


Bamboo JeansPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Partnership

The collaboration between Okayama Denim and Big John is one that can be seen as a powerful collision of two Japanese denim giants. Both companies are playing in the ‘Champions League’ of denim and have a major stake in bringing the Japanese denim offering to international markets.

Okayama Denim is commonly known in the denim industry as one of the major Japanese online denim retailers. The store prides itself on offering an extensive collection of Japanese brands, varying from small and upcoming brands to world-famous Japanese denim kingpins. Having built a steadfast and admirable reputation, Okayama Denim have been in a position to collaborate and work with many brands on limited edition product, including this one with Big John.

Big John is one of the founding fathers of Japanese denim. Their claim to fame lies in being one of the first Japanese developers of denim fabric and producing the first ‘Made in Japan’ jeans. Since then, they have continued to push the boundaries in the denim world, while maintaining Japanese traditions. The brand has always stayed aligned to their core philosophy and championed Japanese design, fabrics and production.


Bamboo JeansPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Bamboo Denim

When the two companies decided to get their heads together and design some denim, they both realized the importance of making conscious decisions. In today’s world, consumption is at an all time high and the impact of the fashion industry on the natural environment continues to rise. ‘Product’ is plentiful and companies have to consider their offering and what its purpose is. Okayama Denim and Big John didn’t want to ignore this important issue and together they came up with the idea to use recycled bamboo to create a fiber yarn, making a fabric that manages to be more sustainable than a common 100% cotton denim twill.

What followed was a period of trial and error, as they were searching for the right proportions for this new denim potion. After multiple sample runs, they managed to create a fabric with a composition of 86% cotton and 14% recycled bamboo. The yarns were then woven into a fabric weighted at 12oz. per square yard, with a super soft hand-feel. Because of the bamboo yarn infusion, the fabric can even feel itchy when you first get it. Yet over several wears and a soak/ wash, they will soften up and lose the itchy nature of the hairy fabric.

With the release of this new and cutting edge fabric, Okayama Denim and Big John have created a product which demonstrates a positive step in a conscious direction for denim development. Alongside the use of recycled cotton and Hemp, Bamboo provides another alternative to virgin cotton.


Bamboo Jeans Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Bamboo Jeans

The Okayama Denim and Big John Bamboo Jeans come in a brand-new fit, developed especially for this collaboration. Based on Big John’s Slim Tapered fit, the partnership re-worked the existing cut in order to let the bamboo fabric be fully appreciated. With a roomy top block and thighs, with a taper beginning just above the knee, the New Tapered fit offers space and comfort while maintaining a modern silhouette.

The jeans feature a button fly with custom black brass buttons showing the Big John logo. The branded flat brass rivets are reinforced with natural leather, for extra durability and aesthetics. In addition, the back pockets are half lined to provide more durability and increase the lifespan of the garment.

For the natural Cowhide leather patch, the brands enlisted the help of creative all-rounder Nathan Spoor. Nathan, who has also been involved with other collaborative projects, designed a ‘Bamboo Forest’ to highlight the bi-blend fabric. The artwork includes the script, which translates to Bamboo in Kanji. The graphic was designed freehand without the help of any modern technologies. Once the design was finished, it was uploaded as an Ai file to create the final imagery that can be found on the leather patch.


Bamboo JeansPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Raw Details 

All in all, the Bamboo Jeans are evidence of a successful collaboration between two denim heavyweights who have consciously brought a new product to the market, which at its core, lessens environmental impact. To conclude, here’s a breakdown of the raw details;

  • Limited production of 96 pairs
  • proprietary ‘Bamboo’ sanforized selvedge denim
  • One wash
  • New Tapered fit (similar to Relax Tapered)
  • 86% Cotton / 14% Recycled Bamboo fabric composition
  • White Line Selvedge ID
  • 5 Button fly with Big John embossing
  • 5th pocket peek-a-boo Selvedge ID
  • Black brass buttons
  • Half-lined back pockets
  • Natural leather reinforced flat brass rivets
  • ‘Bamboo Forest’ natural cowhide leather patch featuring Japanese Kanji script
  • ODJB Cotton x Bamboo Flasher printed on recycled Japanese paper

The OD + BJ 12 oz. Bamboo jeans are available as of today at the Okayama Denim webstore for €180. As there are only 96 pairs produced, the collaboration is highly limited, so don’t snooze!


Bamboo JeansPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.

Bamboo JeansPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.

Bamboo Jeans Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.