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Why is it complicated to make responsible jeans Brenda

We created Brenda in 2019, then we re-released it in 2020, 2021, 2022 and again in 2023. This is proof of its success and the love you have for it. The many love messages we receive and collect here bear witness to this. We also read your negative feedback and advice for improvement. At the moment they are like a little stab in our sensitive hearts, but it is thanks to criticism that we progress. That’s good, we are both perfectionists and completely capable of improvement. So we've been making good jeans for 4 years now and trying to make them always better. Each production is therefore a new adventure, and that's how we like to work.

Today, we explain to you why it is so hard to make eco-responsible jeans.

A- Design the ideal jeans (and ones that don’t completely kill the planet)

1. Let's design fashion: imagine the cuts of jeans

3 starters, 3 main courses, 3 desserts: we often recognize a good restaurant by its short menu, synonymous with quality. Patine also has a short menu but rich in nutritional value :)

It is then a matter of designing just a few jeans. But when there are as many body types as there are people on earth, ready-to-wear just has to hold up. So we took 18 months to create two cuts for our wardrobe essentials: the Brenda Slim on the right leg and the Brenda Curvy which accommodates the hips.

From this stage we must make concessions. In our dreams we make different lengths to dress the smallest and the tallest but we target our priorities, expanding the size offering is an objective that seems essential to us. We now offer our jeans from 24 to 34, or 11 sizes. Not yet inclusive enough, being able to accommodate even more body types is our priority for 2023.

2. Everything starts from matter

Let's start with a confession: the Patine team is very demanding, an understatement not to say annoying. We are looking for fabric that lasts a long time, which reminds us just enough of the jeans of our 80s. In 1983 we loved their thickness and their texture, in 2023, they must also be eco-responsible. This is where the quest for the beautiful and durable denim fabric that we love, but which loves the planet in return, begins. This gives a superb Italian stretch-free denim fabric woven on old "selvedge" type machines in Italy: the width of the fabric is narrow, you can recognize the selvedge by the edges finished in weaving with white selvedges. Even more unique, it does not contain new cotton since it is made up of 50% recycled cotton from waste collected at the denim yarn stage, and 50% REFIBRA™ (a yarn mixing recycled cotton and lyocell, fiber made from Eucalyptus trees, uses little water and is 100% biodegradable). Ultra complicated to manufacture, we have been testing alternatives for 1 year and we will come back to it in a future article.

3. See life in blue

We have you fill out questionnaires because we love reading you. You obviously asked for new colors from Brenda, just as essential: Black and Ecru.

Except that our old Brenda canvas, as exemplary as it was, did not allow for new washes. To design “just” black and white jeans, we had to find new fabrics that correspond to our social and environmental criteria but which allow new colors. For black, for example, we turned to a mix of cotton recycled from old jeans and regenerative cotton (which we will talk about a lot in the coming years, particularly at Patine). For the ecru, a GOTS organic cotton, the other fabrics tested being too “blue” or “grey” for our taste. Jeans that you put on again, you must necessarily find them beautiful.

B- Hazards and hallelujahs, producing conscious jeans

1. The right QQP ratio: quality/quantity/price

Finding solutions to not overproduce and keep a “democratic” selling price is far from easy. Our development team unearths the cream of partners and producers. It's about working with kind, trustworthy people above all else. And also providers of innovations to rethink fashion. Our solutions are often the most expensive: the most beautiful canvases, modern washing techniques, local manufacturing. We must ensure a margin for Patine which ensures our sustainability, but we do not have the luxury of massive image campaigns. In addition, a conventional distribution system in reseller stores would force us to exceed €200 in sales prices. We refuse to do so.

It is also impossible to accept over-produced unsold items and large periods of sales and discounts: this would mean artificially inflating prices to cover the cost of unsold items and promotions. The pre-order system allows us to produce a fair quantity and a fair price.

2. Every step counts

Nothing is left to chance in the production process of Brenda jeans: from the selection of cotton to its washing. For example, for washing, all processes have been selected to avoid over-pollution and save water, whether it is the method of dyeing with indigo on the surface or without toxic solvents at the time of manufacturing the canvas up to 'at the ozone washing stage of the jeans once made. This process drastically reduces the water consumed and preserves the health of those who wash your jeans. Our washer partner in Portugal is also optimizing its energy mix thanks to its investments in biomass.

Fun fact: the first time I met Andreia in 2017, who would become our exclusive partner for making Patine denim, I told her about the jeans we were going to make together...and she thought I was crazy. Since then, we have become friends and are creating the jeans of tomorrow together... today.

"I met Charlotte when she had just launched Patine and her enthusiasm, passion, perseverance and focus caught my attention. It was not common, especially when the fashion world was not concerned on sustainability, to find someone with such a clear vision of what Fashion and sustainability should really mean.
Patine was a visionary brand and Charlotte was the mind and heart behind it. For months she looked for the best and most ecological fabric, tested all the sustainable denim treatments and constantly improved the jeans fit. I have no doubts that her unique vision and hard work are the basis of one of the most prominent and well recognized brands on the denim world today." Andreia

3. The vagaries of production: nothing is immutable.

The Brenda canvas has many qualities but it had one fault, it is a little unstable which can create size differences depending on the production. Which is generally the case for denim in general, but which is even more true in the case of jeans containing Refibra. Which means that with each production, it can vary by a few millimeters from the fixed scale of measurements, which obviously has consequences. From one production to another, the Brenda jeans can come out a little bit smaller or a tad larger. Hence the importance of finding a canvas that meets all our quality criteria but is more stable. It makes life easier for us to advise you on size and for you to choose the right jeans.

C- Sell Patina style jeans

1. Damn algorithm

We will always love Instagram which allowed us to meet you. Moreover, we still have fabulous encounters and discoveries there every day. But we also experience the law of algorithms head-on. We refrain from falling into the traps of old-fashioned marketing, so our brand grows slowly, without taking shortcuts. Fortunately we are soon opening the brand new Patine studio where you can easily try on our jeans and find your size. If you are not in Paris, we will announce our first pop up in the region in a few weeks. In the meantime, we take the time to answer each of your questions, whether existential or not, to your doubts about size, material and others by DM, by email, by phone but not yet by fax. The chat on the site is also extremely practical when you are hesitant, we advise you live.

Brenda jeans are currently on pre-order , shipping at the beginning of April, looking forward to spring.

BONUS: WHAT’S NEXT?

In 2021 we released our first piece of summer denim for pre-order: the Brenda Short. In 2022, our version of the just-enough mini denim skirt is added to the capsule: Brenda Jupe. For 2023, we need you to know what you want and above all need in your wardrobe: what new colors? the same ? a black denim skirt?