The Most Stylish Ethical Mom Jeans For 2023

What’s old is new again! Yep, ethical mom jeans are now a ‘thing’. And they’re not going anywhere for awhile

By Lora O’Brien

When it comes to jeans, styles come and go. And while it appears the reign of the skinny jean has finally come to an end, there is one style that is making a serious comeback: the mom jean.

As a 90’s kid, I have a serious fondness for the mom jean. And it seems I was onto something! According to Matlan, the most searched for jean style in the last 12 months has been for the mom jean, having racked up over 3 million searches in the USA alone. There were an additional 1 million searches in Germany, and another 1 million in England. Whoa, right?

Comfy, stylish and easy to wear, it’s no surprise they’re making a comeback! Being rocked by moms and housewives since the 80’s, the style features a high waist and loose fit around the thighs and hips. They’re perfect for a more relaxing feel!

Mom jeans are retro, easy to throw on and effortlessly stylish. Whether you wear them with a simple cropped tee, style them up with a pair of boots and a jacket, or go full-on glam with some stilettos, this is a style of jeans that looks good on pretty much every shape and size.

Why ethical jeans matter

Ok, so we know they’re comfy. We know they’re trendy. But why is it important to ensure you’re buying ethical mom jeans?

Well, there are lots of reasons.

First of all, conventional cotton used for typical jeans is often genetically modified, heavily fertilised, and needs tons of pesticides. All of those toxins aren’t good for the planet – or for your health. When you’re wearing clothing whose fibres are soaked in chemicals, they can easily transfer into your skin!

Secondly, conventional cotton takes loads of water to grow. But the finishing processes employed to make your typical jeans also consume vast amounts of water. These processes include dyeing, washing and special visual effects, such as stone-washing. Incredibly, one common pair of jeans uses up to 2,900 gallons of water to manufacture!

Thirdly, the dyes used in conventional denim are often highly toxic. These chemicals not only pollute waterways and kill marine life, but can easily rub off on your skin and cause serious health issues. Oh, and one of the main dye companies, IG Farben, grew fat on Nazi slave labour and developed the Zyklon gas used to exterminate Jews. Hmm…not sure I’d want to buy a product that supported a company like that!

And finally, most jeans companies will pay labourers a pittance and force them to work in horrendous conditions. But ethical jeans brands will always do all – or at least most of – the following:

  • pay workers fairly
  • offer a safe and clean working environment
  • use organic or recycled threads
  • use safe dyes

What’s not to love?

How to style ethical mom jeans in 2023

This is a jeans style that’s a bit ironic. A bit retro. You don’t want to look like an actual, you know – ‘soccer mom’. But you do want to give a nod to that iconic look. So how can you do that, and still look cool?

Try these styling tips:

  1. Choose a trendier, more modern style that’s cropped at the ankle
  2. Pair your jeans with some chunky slides or trainers
  3. Contrast the baggier style of the pants with a tight or cropped top
  4. Leave your jeans unbelted

Not sure where to shop the best ethical mom jeans though? Read on!

The Best Ethical Mom Jeans

1. Everlane ’90s Cheeky Jean

When your favourite jean meets a modern decade! The Casey is a fun modern twist on the 90’s style jean. The pants are made from a premium non-stretch Japanese denim for that vintage vibe. They also feature an easy straight leg and an extra high rise, which will also give your booty a lift!

Price: Around $100

Best for: Throwing on when you’re working from home

everlane jeans

2. Boyish Jeans The Casey

Perfectly imperfect, The Casey is a stylish twist on the mom jean. Instead of being a generic denim shade, these ethical mom jeans come in a faded eco wash. They have a high waist with a straight leg, with a uniquely cool, asymmetrical fly.

The fabric used to make these is OCS-certified organic cotton and Tencel, a natural raw material that comes from sustainably grown eucalyptus trees.

These will look fabulous in all seasons, whether you’re pairing them with a simple t-shirt or layering them up with chunky knits and boots during the colder months.

Price: Around $168

Best for: A touch of grunge in your wardrobe

best ethical mom jeans

3. Reformation Val 90’s Jeans

If you’re looking for a pair of pants you can wear just about anywhere, these comfy jeans by Reformation are just perfect. The style is fitted at the waist with a relaxed leg.

This is a denim fabric that’s super sustainable! It’s made with 57% Regeneratively Grown Cotton and 43% TENCEL™ Lyocell. This combo saves around 14 pounds of carbon dioxide and 9,537 gallons of water compared to your average pair of jeans.

Price: Around $200

Best for: Jeans with a nostalgic ’90s vibe.

Reformation Val 90's Jeans

4. Levi’s 501 Jeans

When it comes to classic jeans, Levi has been nailing the mom jean since the 70’s. The 501 has been a classic with fans of the iconic jean brand, and it’s no surprise!

The 501 offers a blank canvas for self-expression and can be dressed up however the wearer chooses. Whether it’s paired with a blouse, a vest or a sweatshirt, this will be a staple pair of jeans you’ll want hanging in your wardrobe.

Price: Around $140

Best for: Super trendy, ethical mom jeans

levis 501 90s jeans

5. Carey High Rise Jeans

Ethical mom jeans just got sassy with The Cary! This is a high rise, loose fitting pair, with wide legs and…studs!? The fit is intended to be worn slouchy at the waist and relaxed throughout hips and legs. We love the length! These would look great with a heeled boot or sandal.

They’re made from an eco-friendly blend of organic cotton, TENCEL and REFIBRA Lyocell. And if you’re not keen on the studs and colour of the denim, never fear. There are actually 6 different colours and textures of denim to choose from.

Price: Around $148

Best for: Super comfy, ethical mom jeans with 70s vibes.

best ethical mom jeans

6. Reclaimed Denim Mom Jeans

ASOS has started to offer consumers more ethical options. For example? Their ASOS Reclaimed line sources authentic vintage clothing and reworks it to update the clothing into modern designs. So, if your style is a fusion of on-trend fashions with throwback vibes, you’ll love these vintage mom jeans!

The high rise pants feature belt loops and five pockets. The super wide leg gives them a relaxed feel. Since they’re so loose and roomy, these are perfect to throw on with some flip-flops and a cute crop top. But hurry – since these are reclaimed denim jeans, limited pairs are available.

Price: Around $50

Best for: At only $50, these are the best ethical mom jeans for those on a budget

best ethical mom jeans

7. Frank & Oak Nina Jeans

Looking for ethical mom jeans with a twist? Wide-leg denim is another huge jeans trend, and they suit the style of mom jeans, too. With a high-rise waist and a long, loose-fitting leg, they beautifully flatter apple and pear body shapes.

Frank & Oak’s circular denim is designed to be easily recycled. Their ethical mom jeans were crafted with conscious materials, salvaged fibres, and mindful production methods. Yay! But that’s not all! These jeans were also manufactured using an innovative Hydro-less process that saves up to 95% more water than traditional methods. What’s not to love?

Price: Around $139

Best for: Those with curves

8. DL1961 Patti Straight Jean

DL1961 have created a design that has many of the above styles morphed into one jean. Vintage-inspired with modern comfort, the Patti ankle grazer is high-rise and relaxed through the leg. Made for ultimate comfort, DL Vintage includes rigid and comfort stretch denim women with certified, cotton for an authentic denim look and a fit that will beautifully fit your body.

DL1961’s denim starts life off as a mixture of ethically sourced American cotton fibres and natural plant-derived indigo dyes. The jeans are then created in the brand’s factory which is powered by solar energy and its own in-house power generation plant. Any wastewater is recycled through an on-site water recycling plant. Wow, right?

Price: Around $280.00

Best for: Dressing up with heeled sandals, or down with vegan slides.

The Best Ethical Mom Jeans

9. Outland Denim Abigail Jean

We all need a pair of jeans in our wardrobe that we can throw on when we want to feel comfortable. And the Abigail is that pair! Whether you’re running errands or meeting your girlfriends for cocktails, the Abigail is soft, comfortable and organic. The high-rise jeans will hug your waist and legs with the relaxed mom-jean vibe that we love so much.

Plus you can shop with confidence knowing that Outland Denim is a highly sustainable brand. Outland creates their products on-demand, to help reduce material waste in its supply chain, while also reducing wastewater, energy use and carbon emissions. Their denim uses plant-based dyes and has eliminated the use of all toxic chemicals.

Price: Around $200.00

Best for: Those who have high standards when it comes to sustainable denim

The Best Ethical Mom Jeans

10. Hush Frieda Mom Jean

If you’re looking for a jean that’s like something Rachel Green from Friends would love, then the Frieda jean by Hush is the one for you! These pants are woven with a touch of stretch for comfort, styled with an authentic blue wash. With a classic silhouette, these ethical mom jeans feature a roomier waist, offering the wearer a comfy fit. In fact, there’s enough room in the waist here to accommodate an early pregnancy!

And if you’re specifically looking for maternity jeans, has a little cheat sheet that can help you find the right pair based on what’s important to you.

Price: Around $105

Best for: Retro style, a la ‘Friends’.

The Best Ethical Mom Jeans

Lora O'Brien

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