Why Japan Blue Jeans Goes All-in With Côte D’Ivoire Cotton
The fact that denim is primarily made from cotton certainly isn’t anything new. But did you know that there are hundreds of different types of cotton? The cotton plant grows in warm climates and can be harvested on all continents of our beautiful earth. But it is not only the origin that differentiates one type of cotton from the other, each type of cotton has its own characteristics from softness, color, hand feel, and the way it evolves.
Japan Blue Jeans used to work with several different types of cotton from all over the world, and selected them for varying reasons. Because the brand came to being out of its link to Collect Mills, they have an in-depth knowledge about fabric construction as well as an infinite array of fabrics to work with. Recently the brand decided to limit their wide range of fabrics made of many different types of cotton, and invest more in one particular type of cotton; Côte D’Ivoire.
Before we feature three fantastic new releases of the brand, which are made from 100% Côte D’Ivoire cotton fabrics, we’ll first look into the fabric itself. What made Japan Blue Jeans, a brand which has the luxury to develop its own fabrics, decide to go all in on Côte D’Ivoire?
What is Côte D’Ivoire cotton?
Côte d’Ivoire cotton grows in the African country Ivory Coast and is famous for being closest to the ‘original’ cotton. The cotton is grown following primitive cultivation methods and is barely genetically engineered, in contrast to most other types of cotton. The process, from sowing to harvesting, is done by hand and without the use of large machinery or pesticides. The process is labor intensive, but because everything is done by hand, the cotton fibers are rarely damaged, resulting in super high-quality cotton with a very rich texture. Because the cotton is handpicked, the imported bales contain more leaves and dirt, making it a time-consuming process to clean the cotton before it can be spun into yarns.
Côte d’Ivoire cotton isn’t known for its elegant texture or whiteness, but for a rustic shade of cream and a slightly brown tint. According to Japan Blue Jeans, this specific type of cotton has the ultimate non-uniform length of staples, giving the denim fabric a unique texture while being super soft to handle. Once the cotton has been spun into yarns and is woven into denim, a beautiful fluffy fabric is presented, full of character, unevenness and slubs.
The reason why Japan Blue Jeans have committed to Côte d’Ivoire cotton is simple – it allows the brand to produce a denim fabric which comes closest to an ‘original’ pair of blue jeans, the type that now sell for thousands on the vintage market. And it is not only the jeans which are made from this previous cotton, but a whole collection of comfortable and characterful jackets, tees and shirts.
The brand is investing in the revival of the cotton industry in the Ivory Coast and donates a part of the revenue to the development of the country. Japan Blue Jeans want to be seen as more than just a buyer or mill using Côte d’Ivoire, they want to be inextricably linked with the cotton and its use within the industry.
JS263 13.5oz. Côte D’Ivoire Cotton Vintage Selvedge Tapered Denim
The 13.5 oz. JS263 is Japan Blue’s Tapered fit from the ‘Vintage’ collection, which is a range of products made of Côte D’Ivoire cotton. They refer to it as ‘vintage’ because of the properties of the cotton and its relation to the characteristics of denim in the early twentieth century. The JS263 is also part of the ethical series of the brand, valuing resources like cotton and water, while trying to minimize waste.
The JS263 comes in a tapered fit, which provides room around the hips and thighs to make it fit comfortably for many body types. The taper from the knee down gives the JS263 a contemporary look that many denimheads are looking for. It is a strong and well-balanced fit, with room in the top block, while fitting nice and slim on the lower legs. The 13.5 oz. denim has a soft hand feel and a subtle slub.
A characteristic for all garments made from Côte D’Ivoire cotton is the unique and custom developed selvedge. The selvedge pays homage to the heritage of the cotton and is an ode to the people from Côte D’Ivoire, who were involved in the supply chain of the fiber. The Côte D’Ivoire x Japan Blue selvedge ID features orange, white and green (colours of the Ivory Coast flag) on one end, with red and white (referencing the Japanese flag) on the other end.
The JS263 Côte D’Ivoire Cotton Vintage Selvedge Tapered Denim is available on the Japan Blue Jeans webstore and comes at a very competitive price of €200.
JSJK163 13.5oz. Côte D’Ivoire Cotton Vintage Selvedge Denim Jacket
The JSJK163 is Japan Blue’s latest take on the classic Type II denim jacket and comes as clean as you can get! The jacket excels in its simplicity with a more contemporary fit than traditional or vintage examples. The width and arms are slightly tapered, and the jacket has the addition of two hand warmer pockets which provides a clean and modern look with added usability. The 13.5oz fabric is easy to break-in and can be comfortably worn through all seasons. As with the JS263 jeans, the JSJK163 jacket has the same unique selvedge ID properties.
While the fabric is made of 100% Côte D’Ivoire cotton, the pocket bags are made from a chambray fabric which was made from recycled jeans. Instead of a traditional leather patch, the patch on the jacket is made of, believe it or not, discarded parts of the core and skin of apples. And, to reduce the trouble of removing rivets from the jacket when it is up for recycling, the high tension parts of the silhouette are reinforced with a thread processing method known as a ‘bar tack’.
The JSJK163 13.5 oz. Côte D’Ivoire Cotton Vintage Selvedge Denim Jacket is available on the Japan Blue Jeans webstore for €300.
J350323 5oz. Côte D’Ivoire Cotton Selvedge Chambray Bouno Shirts
The chambray Bouno shirts are Japan Blue’s everyday shirts and are made from a lightweight and breathable fabric weighing in at only 5oz., making it comfortable to wear during warmer days as well as a layering piece in the colder months. On the back, these semi-dress shirts are pleated in order to allow the slim and compact fit to connect nicely to the body. And, although the Bouno Shirts are fairly basic in design, they are designed and made with great attention to detail.
The shirt features a pocket on the left chest, original shell buttons, the unique Côte D’Ivoire selvedge ID and are available in four colours; cream, dark indigo, indigo and pink. They all look so good, you’ll wish they came in a four pack!
The J350323 Selvedge Chambray Bouno Shirts are available on the Japan Blue Jeans webstore for €179.
As we said in the introduction, Japan Blue Jeans is offering a wide array of items made from Côte d’Ivoire cotton fabrics. The three items above are just a small selection of the garments, so head over to japanblue-jeans.com to see the rest of their fantastic collection!