We’re living in the golden age of technical clothing. But while it’s easy enough to find jackets or shirts that look good and perform even better, we personally haven’t been able to find a pair of jeans that we can wear to the climbing gym and then out to drinks on a Friday night. Enter Boulder Denim, a Canadian company that’s about to release a line of jeans that will become your everyday go-to but that can stand up to the physical and flexible demands of climbing, hiking and, apparently, yoga.
“We noticed people like to climb in jeans but it always boggled my mind how people could do so in such restrictive pants,” said Bradley Spence, Founder of Boulder Denim. “Jeans are thick, heavy and have very little stretch. The only thing they have going for them is their style, durability and protection from rocks and climbing walls.”
So Bradley and his team set out to create a technical, stretchy and stylish denim that was made to last more than a few trips to the crag. Check out our interview with him below and mark your calendars for November 19th—that’s the day you’ll be able to snag a pair of these pants on Kickstarter.
Sorta Outdoorsy: Stylish, technical and durable pants are hard to find (especially for ladies!) so I totally understand why where this idea came from. But what was the instance that made you think “I’ll just make my own denim”?
Bradley Spence: The idea came to us when we were climbing in the gym and were looking around thinking “why can’t we find any pants that are both stylish and technical enough to climb in?” Climbing pants tend to be baggy, made out of almost 100% synthetic materials, and just aren’t stylish enough to wear out afterwards.
Are you wearing Boulder Denim right now? How’s the fit?
I am! They are practically the only pants I wear now. I’m a slim guy (6’1”, 150lbs), and they compliment my slim build perfectly. The great part about our jeans is that if someone wants a slimmer fit, they can size down because the denim is stretchy enough not feel too tight around the waist.
My favorite pair of jeans are currently from the Levi’s commuter line. They’re durable, but there’s no way I could high step in them. What’s the secret to stretchy yet durable denim?
The denim we use took years to develop. It’s 93% cotton and the other 7% is a special blend of various stretch materials. The secret is how it’s woven. Most stretch denim loses its shape and becomes saggy after just a few wears. Our denim has the highest stretch retainment in the industry so it never loses its shape.
Will my friends look at me funny if I wear a pair of Boulder Denim jeans to brunch?
Not at all. Being able to wear them out was almost just as important to us as being able to climb in them. What you get is a very stylish cut along with the most comfortable denim you’ll ever wear.
Making your own jeans doesn’t seem like it’s for the faint of heart. What was the most challenging part of this project?
I’m no fashion designer but I collaborated with some amazing professionals in the industry. The hardest part was sourcing the perfect denim. We tried and tested so many denims from around the world. We also wanted to keep the manufacturing in Canada so we’re happy to have found an amazing ethical denim manufacturer right here at home.
What’s next? Will there be other Boulder Denim other clothing items?
We don’t want to stop at jeans. We’re working on creating “athleisure” jackets, shorts, backpacks, approach shoes, and more. We want them to be technical enough to wear in any situation but stylish enough to wear to a business meeting or a night out.
(This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.)
Boulder Denim’s Kickstarter launches on Thursday, November 19th at 9:30am EST. The initial line will include two men’s cuts (slim and athletic) and one women’s cut (skinny) in dark blue. The jeans will retail for $129 but the first 150 backers will be rewarded with a discount. You can signup for updates at BoulderDenim.com.