Sustainable and trendy denim shares the spotlight at the Coterie

Bringing together advanced women’s contemporary brands, retailers, experts and influencers, Coterie was back this week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The Informa Markets Fashion-owned event hosted an immersive sustainability experience created with Arcadia Earth and a digital fashion activation with DressX, a digital fashion marketplace. It was also an opportunity for pure-player denim brands to present their Spring/Summer 2023 collections packed with creative designs, sustainable ingredients and products they know best.

“Coterie really is the show to come to, to see what’s going on in women’s fashion,” said Kelly Helfman, president of Informa Markets Fashion. “We are not just a fair with stands and brands. It’s really about our education, having resources that talk about sustainability and having activities [that bring] the community together.

Mother Earth

Coterie unveiled a section dedicated to products and brands made from more responsible ingredients and processes, highlighting how sustainability is now a pervasive theme across brands’ collections.

“When I took over, I realized there had to be an evolution of what we do here,” Helfman said of Coterie’s focus on sustainability. “We needed to represent what is happening in the industry. So, I called the team of some of my fashion leaders to discuss the change, and that’s how it went.

Mavi exhibited in the new section. The Turkish denim brand’s All Blue initiative makes water- and energy-efficient jeans with recycled cotton, organic cotton and vegan fillings. This season, the brand is including basil seeds in plantable labels. One of Mavi’s best-selling All Blue styles for the season is the Barcelona high-rise wide-leg jeans.

“We were trying to be sustainable across every division of the brand because it’s part of our DNA,” said Alissa Friedman, senior marketing and public relations manager at Mavi.

My life


DSTLD, a relative newcomer to the show, is also finding its own sustainable path. The Digital Brands-owned label featured a denim collection made mostly of unused denim fabrics and recycled cotton. According to Georgia Eliades, sales manager at 8th Story, the brand’s showroom, the garments are equipped with eco-finished hardware using around 70% less water than traditional components.

New York-based DL1961 is doing its part to create a more sustainable future for denim by sourcing fabrics from Pakistani company ADM, which has partnered with Spanish tech company Recover to produce recycled cotton fibers high quality from post-consumer textile waste.

The female-run business hasn’t lost its fashion sense, however. For Spring/Summer 2023, DL1961 focused on more relaxed silhouettes, like its Zoe wide-leg jeans. The brand updated it for spring with utilitarian details like cargo pockets, which Sandia Sivilla, vice president of global sales at DL1961, noted as a “really strong trend in 2023.”

The collection is also bright with touches of flamingo pink, lemonade and sand.

What is selling

Attracting retailers looking for quirky and one-of-a-kind pieces, Driftwood showcased its signature embroideries. “Everything we produce is hand-drawn in our New York office by our designers, so everything is completely original,” said Driftwood Account Executive Alex Pazulinec. “I think embroidery is really personal, and that’s why it stands out from the rest.”



Driftwood kept its free-spirited, boho aesthetic for Spring ’23 with a collection of floral garden embroideries on skinny and flared jeans and embroidered jackets. The brand also leaned on the current Western trend with embroideries representing desert landscapes. The collection sells for between $98 and $248.

Fabric, fit, finish. It’s the motto of the Los Angeles label Fidelity, which thinks outside the box of skinny jeans to play with different cuts. Holly Lemckert, sales director at Fidelity, said wide, straight-leg jeans, lower rises and pants with utility pockets are “widely on trend” in addition to neutrals like ecru and beige.

Brands are conservatively embracing non-indigo colors. The Los Angeles brand Unpublished presented its new Fluidity collection, a line of comfortable stretch bottoms in a range of colors including grey, yellow and black. Her most popular style, however, is the 12-inch Gemma jeans.



“Since we’re such a small brand, we want to stay focused and consistent when we release new collections, so everything here is consistent with that,” said Rae Douk, Sales Manager at Unpublished. “However, we always try to introduce a few pieces that we see trending without straying too far from what we’re known for.”

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