What I Think of Target’s Fair Trade Certified Denim Line | REVIEW

September 12, 2019·
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This is a conversation that I have regularly on my blog and on my podcast, but I am so excited to see so many mainstream and large-scale companies and brands finally responding to consumer demand for more ethical and fair trade manufacturing processes.

In the past year, we’ve seen Athleta (who’s owned by GAP) become a Certified B Corp, we’ve seen J.Crew and Madewell launch fair trade denim lines, Nike has created an entire sustainability department, Target has partnered with IJM to combat labor trafficking in India… and now, Target has launched a line of fair trade certified denim under their Universal Thread label!

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This really is a HUGE deal! It’s a huge deal for a few reasons: 

  • It’s setting a new standard of business for larger companies that says “consumers care about how their products are made.”
  • It’s educating average consumers on the values of fair trade and why it matters.
  • It’s giving consumers the opportunity to shop ethically in a more accessible way – both in literal accessibility when it comes to shopping fair trade denim in store, while also providing financial accessibility because of the incredible price points that Target is offering when it comes to their fair trade denim.

Needless to say, I’m beyond excited and I think this is really the start of the next wave of fair trade and honestly the next step to making the term fair trade obsolete because that’s just how business is done!

Now that Target has launched the line, I knew I had to head into my local Target to try it out for myself and see if it’s as good as I hoped it would be.

My thoughts of the fair trade line off the bat (ALL of this is said with the understanding that this is just the beginning and it is a START… it’s progress, not perfection, and Target still has a long way to go): 

  • I wish the labeling was more clear. There’s a sign in the Universal Thread denim section in the store, but some of the jeans on the table are not fair trade certified. You have to really look.
  • I also found the labeling to be not clear on the Target.com website. It’s really not very intuitive and you have to be looking for it to really be able to find the fair trade denim.
  • I LOVE how size inclusive the line is. There’s everything from petites to plus size and even variety of lengths from short, regular, and long. Size inclusivity is a HUGE issue when it comes to ethical fashion… so Target is really a step ahead when it comes to this aspect!
  • I wish there were more style options, although maybe that’s just me being greedy. I also couldn’t find all the styles I tried on in store on the website and I found styles on the website that I didn’t find in store. So I don’t know if that’s a consistent issue across the board or what.
  • I also found the sizing a hair inconsistent… in some of the styles the 14 was the best fit and then others the 16 fit better. This issue isn’t unique to fair trade denim though… haha 🙂
  • The jeans are definitely clearly not as high quality as some designer denim (like my Rag & Bone jeans that are my favorite and hold up SO WELL) or even higher end fair trade / ethical denim lines like ABLE, etc… but clearly these are being offered at a lower price point so I’m honestly okay with this… They really are great! I bought two pairs and love them!

Overall: I think this is INCREDIBLE and for anyone that’s looking to shop ethically at a “big box” store.

Here are some of the styles I tried on and I’ll show you the two that I bought!

This is the “Highest Rise” style in a medium wash. I bought these in a 14 regular and they fit SO well!

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This is the second pair that I bought. This is the “high rise skinny” in the dark wash. I bought these in a 16 regular – they didn’t actually have any 14s that I could find, but I thought the 16s fit well so I kept these! I love the wash! They are a little on the thinner side, but not see through or anything.

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These were a mid-rise and I honestly just don’t love mid-rise jeans anymore hahaha!

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This was the “jegging” which I liked, but didn’t love.

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All that to say, I definitely recommend checking out the line! Have you tried Target’s fair trade denim? Shop it online here.
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