Organsk is an exciting new company shaking up how we buy jeans. This Nordic start-up offers subscriptions, certifications, and credible sustainability. I gave the company a call to find out more and put the jeans through their paces this summer. My verdict: Organsk is awesome!
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Highlights: GOTS certified organic jeans made using organic cotton, recycled materials, wind power, and water-saving, chemical-free processes. Super sustainable company with a circular business model and subscription options!
- Stylish, timeless designs
- Core collection of four styles (no wasteful fast fashion)
- All the best green certifications
- Super sustainably made (with lifecycle analyses as proof)
- Circular design recycling and subscription model
- Get new jeans every six months or buy outright
- The jeans ship all the way from Denmark
- Price – these jeans are not cheap (but do offer value for money)
- Slightly slouchier fit than expected (for my style)
At a glance:
Styles: Five in the core collection, for men and women, including high-waist, mid-waist, tight-, tapered-, straight-, and wide-leg, with tight-, regular-, and loose-fit options
Colors: Blue, black, and bright vintage denim options
Price: $185+ to buy outright
Certifications: Nordic Swan EcoLabel, GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and GRS certified
What is Organsk?
Organsk is the only jeans brand that is certified sustainable at every stage, “from fiber to garment” as the company’s founder and CEO, Alen Hrustic, told me on a call earlier this summer. These certifications include the rare Nordic Swan EcoLabel alongside more familiar GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and GRS standards.
That continuity and comprehensive approach to sustainability is important to the Organsk team. Alen stressed that for Organsk, sustainability doesn’t just mean using organic cotton for one part of a product and then ignoring the impact and sustainability of the rest of the garment and how it’s made.
On my call with Alen and Arshia (Ahuja) at Organsk, I asked why they got into this business. After all, it’s a ton of work to make truly sustainable jeans with a sustainable business model to boot.
Alen told me that they deliberately chose jeans and denim because it is one of the hardest fabrics and fashion items to make sustainably.
In Denmark, where Organsk is based, there are few, if any, options for organic, sustainably made jeans. There’s certainly nothing quite like Organsk, where the whole focus is on sustainable production and sustainable business practices.
The small, multicultural team of four has been working on this project since 2018. They took until 2023 to launch, thinking through every aspect of the business and the jeans, so as to ensure genuine sustainability at every level.
What are Organsk jeans made of?
Organsk jeans are made with super sustainable materials, including virgin and recycled organic cotton.
Unlike clothing companies that source only virgin organic cotton, Organsk deliberately seeks out recycled materials and is circular by design.
In fact, the only virgin organic cotton Organsk uses is from Northern Turkey and carries GOTS certification. The company also uses some Global Recycling Standard (GRS) certified postconsumer cotton and GRS certified recycled polyester (in very small amounts).
Even the company’s zippers are made with GRS recycled metals and are Oeko-Tex 100 certified free of hazardous chemicals.
Amazingly, Organsk offers a complete account of every step of the manufacturing process for its jeans. That way, you know exactly where each component was made and how, down to the pocket linings and rivets.
How to make jeans sustainably
One of the things that really drew me to Organsk is its smart approach to business. Not only is the company making sustainable products right out of the gate, the company’s design means it will get more sustainable and eco-friendlier as time goes on.
This is because Alen and the team plan to reuse returned jeans as part of their subscription model to create upcycled jeans and accessories. What can’t be upcycled will be recycled, creating a genuinely circular economy and closed loop.
How an Organsk subscription works
Organsk plans to offer two levels of subscription in the U.S.
The first will cost around $25 per month and lets you swap your jeans for a new pair every six months. You’ll get an online account where you can choose your next pair, switch the size if necessary, and add other items to your order (such as accessories made with upcycled denim).
A lower-cost subscription option (Organsk Share) is also in the works. This will likely cost $15 per month and means you can switch out your jeans for a ‘new’ vintage pair every six months. Again, you’ll be able to choose any style(s) you like, from their vintage collection.
It will take a little while before Organsk can start offering its Share model because the company will need its customers to start returning their jeans for re-sale. In the meantime, Organsk will offer jeans made with recycled materials sourced from outside the business.
Can you buy Organsk jeans without subscribing?
Yes! You don’t need a subscription to get a pair of Organsk jeans.
You will need a membership, but that just allows you to track your orders and access returns and upgrades to subscription models later. With a membership, you can purchase a pair of Organsk jeans outright. These are then yours to keep, or to trade in for a discount on a replacement pair of jeans in the future.
However, I definitely recommend the Organsk subscription model if you:
- Like to shake up your style every six months
- Lose or gain a few pounds
- Want a summer style or winter style jean
- Want to keep up with new trends and new releases
- Want to save money and spread out the cost of new jeans.
Looking at the current prices, a 6-month subscription at $25/mth means your new pair of jeans costs around $150, versus $220 or thereabouts for most styles bought outright.
Sure, you have to send your pair back each time, but that’s still a substantial saving on most pairs.
Plus, you’re helping the planet and you don’t have to worry about what to do with your old jeans, which may involve paying money to have them recycled through TerraCycle or other organization.
And, once that lower-cost model goes into effect, you could get a new pair of vintage or recycled jeans every six months for the equivalent of $90. A bargain for organic jeans!
What makes Organsk jeans sustainable?
As well as using more sustainable materials to make jeans, Organsk carefully designed its entire manufacturing process to reduce its use of water, chemicals, and energy.
For instance, Organsk uses special machines to reduce water consumption during manufacturing. These Laser, E-flow, Atoms, and Ozone washes help to make Organsk jeans using 90% less water than the industry standard.
Organsk doesn’t use acid washes and potassium permanganate, unlike most jeans companies. This translates to more durable, better quality denim jeans that look great, feel great, and are genuinely harder wearing and long-lasting compared to standard off-the-rack denim.
Organsk undertook lifecycle analyses for four of its jean styles, giving us a wealth of information on water use, energy inputs, and more.
For instance, the Aqua jeans I now wear pretty much every day are made using just 24.7 liters of water and 3.7 kWh of electricity for washing. The industry standard for jeans is 200-500 liters of water, which also means vastly more electricity.
The Aqua jeans also have an Environmental Impact Measurement of just 31, which is low-impact. That means the jeans score well across all measures, including water impact, chemical use, energy and worker impact.
How else is Organsk sustainable?
After chatting about materials and design, I also asked Alen and Arshia about their office set-up and sustainability.
Most of the team works from home, which is more sustainable than maintaining a large office. For those times when the office is a necessity, Organsk has a shared office space currently undergoing a full sustainability assessment. As they rent, they don’t have much say on whether there are solar panels on the roof, but that’s less of a concern in Denmark where, as I learned from the call, more than 40% of the nation’s power comes from wind turbines, with a little also coming from solar.
Even without solar panels on the company roof, Organsk is more eco-friendly than any other denim brand I’ve seen.
My experience with Organsk jeans
I was super excited for my Organsk jeans to arrive following my phone call with Alen and Arshia. When they did, I wasn’t surprised to see sustainable packaging. And the first few times I wore them, friends and glancing acquaintances all commented(positively!) on the jeans, which I’ve never had happen with other jeans.
The general consensus was that these jeans are super cool, especially in my friendship group of tired moms of young children. This was even the case for the younger (20-something) and older moms who actually somehow continue to be stylish and put together even while having avocado, berries, and whatever else thrown at them daily.
In short, these jeans upped my street cred overnight. Effortless style is definitely my style, so thanks for that, Organsk!
The jeans came in a padded paper mailer that was made of recycled materials and easy to recycle itself. There was no single-use plastic in the packaging. The hang tags were card and fabric, with cotton ties.
Compared to other jeans I own, the Aqua Ocean Breeze jeans felt super soft and were immediately comfortable. The only reason I’ve worn any other jeans since is when my Organsk are in the wash.
I love jeans and tend to live in them most days. Where many people turn to sweatpants for lounging about the house, you’ll almost always find me sporting jeans. So, when I say these jeans are comfortable, I really mean it.
Durability and style
The organic cotton is soft and not at all stiff, but it also feels very durable. Over these last few summer months, my Organsk jeans have held up incredibly well to almost daily wear and a ton of outdoor rough and tumble play with my toddler. There are no signs of rips or wear, and I’m used to having jeans fade and show serious wear long before the six-month mark.
I can easily see my Organsk jeans still being in great shape next summer, and I have no intention of trading them in for a new pair. I adore them.
What may tempt me, however, is to shake up the style a little, as the one downside (if I really look for one) is that the Aqua Ocean Breeze fits very loose on my frame.
While I’m on the shorter, petite side, I’m not ‘slim’. I have a 30-inch waist and 36-inch hips. I’ve got curves, but they don’t fill out these very generous jeans.
At first, I wasn’t sure about the bagginess of the fit as it’s not usually my style. I’m also not a skinny jean fan, though, preferring a bootcut with a snugger fit around the waist, butt, and thigh.
These high-waist jeans are much slouchier looking than the online photos suggest, at least for me. I got a pair with a 31-inch waist, so if I sized down, they may well be snugger. I suspect, however, that the waist would have to be too tight for the jeans to fit snug anywhere else.
The Aqua Ocean Breeze comes in a full length and shorter length (cropped) fit and I think I’ll probably go for the latter next time I order. As it stands, I have to fold over several inches of the bottom of the jeans to not scuff the bottoms on the floor.
I’m 5 foot 6 with pretty average length legs, and I went for the 30-inch length, which somehow is super long on me. Next time, I’d be tempted to choose the 27-inch Shorty style, especially for summer jeans.
If you’re unsure about your measurements and which style will work for you, contact Organsk. The team loves jeans and will happily work with you to find your perfect pair among their styles. And with the innovative subscription model, you can always trade in a pair that doesn’t quite work for you and get a new pair whenever you want!
Final thoughts on Organsk jeans
I’m very impressed with Organsk and can’t recommend them highly enough. I absolutely love my Aqua jeans and will be signing up for a subscription when it makes sense for Canada.
All in all, if you’re looking for a more environmentally conscious pair of jeans, Organsk is a solid bet. And if you want to save money, be more sustainable, and still enjoy the excitement of new jeans every six months, an Organsk subscription is a smart choice, for you and the environment.