As denim entrepreneur Julia Kastner succinctly puts it, shopping for jeans is "a nightmare," and I would have to agree. (I know plenty of women and some men are nodding as you read this!)
Not only is getting a great fit frustrating and time-consuming — not to mention kind of demoralizing — but too often jeans don't last as long as you'd want, or stretch out after a few hours of wear. After you've spend the time and money shopping, they still aren't what you want, and then they get thrown on the pile, never to be worn again. And environmentally, all that denim waste has a high price; the water, dye, energy and cotton needed to keep us all in dungarees is significant.
Kastner set about to solve all of those problems at once, which seems a little crazy, but she's pulled it off. I visited her in her New York City office last week and I tried on the jeans in my size. Not only did they fit extremely well, they were that perfect balance between supportive and strong along with a bit of stretch (so many jeans are too stretchy these days, making them more like leggings). Kastner told me that they don't stretch out over the day, my biggest complaint about denim I have bought in the past.
As Kastner told Women's Wear Daily, which featured her brand alongside several others that have been crowdfunded, "Kickstarter was a great way for us to get started and test our fit." You can really feel that attention to detail and sizing when you slip a pair of Eva & Paul's on for the first time.
Kastner is one of a new generation of denim entrepreneurs; she completely crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign for her first collection, which hit stores (and online) this week (see her video below). And yes, all of her material is made of organic cotton, sewn in NYC's garment district (the brand is dedicated to Made in USA production) and even the pockets and non-denim details include fabric made by Indian artisans using traditional techniques. In just about a year, thanks to hard work, creativity and money from regular-folks investors, Kastner is a bona fide successful businesswoman.
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