Madewell Presents: Denim Forever


Madewell Presents: Denim Forever

madewell rittenhouse square storefront

Lee Drop Capewly breezy weather calls for warmer wardrobes, and we’re breaking out our denim jackets and jeans. This year, however, Madewell rang in the fall season with a fresh kick: a thirteen-day tour through six cities to promote their newest campaign. Called the Denim Forever Tour, it combined “denim recycling, denim customization, and great music” from Seattle to Boston. Some might say that it brings old-meets-new vibes: an old school-style theme and personalized chain-stitching are accompanied by modern recycling initiatives.


Blue Jeans Go Green transforms denim from recycled jeans to material for housing insulation.

The customer’s task is simple: bring in an old pair to recycle and receive $20 off a new pair and free personalization; so simple, in fact, that the $20 discount is offered year-round. Since the campaign’s inception, Madewell has collected over 70,000 pairs of jeans, to be transformed by Blue Jeans Go Green. The Blue Jeans Go Green company creates 80% denim, 20% binding, no-chemicals-added housing insulation; originally used to help rebuild post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, the initiative has since expanded, collaborating with local communities and Habitat for Humanity to encompass much of the United States.

Shoppers up and down the Rittenhouse block were greeted by employees giving away minimalist design tote bags, replete with popcorn, catalogs, and other goodies. At the store entrance, Madewell supplemented their usual décor with a glossy black pickup truck with name and campaign stamped in white, and an array of printed rugs covering the sidewalk. On the first day, LA-based band Freedom Fry performed at the store (they accompanied the franchise for the entire length of the tour); Madewell also partnered with Oregon’s Union Wine and High Brew coffee, along with local companies (like our beloved Federal Donuts!) to cater the event. The tour was promoted with Facebook event invitations and emails to Madewell’s subscribers.

“The first day was hectic,” said sales associate Danielle. “We had longer hours—10-8 rather than the usual 11-6—so we were working nonstop to make sure everything was running smoothly.”

The juxtaposition of vintage, artsy style with modern initiatives may be adding to Madewell’s continued success, despite big sister J. Crew’s failing performance. This may be the greatest emphasis on their denim line that Madewell consumers have seen so far—another push in the right direction, as the line has been one of the great secrets to their success. We hope that Madewell’s will focus on continuing to partner with causes like Blue Jeans Go Green, for the betterment of the company and for the betterment of our local communities.


Personalized chain stitching by Ft. Lonesome. 

 -Grace Lee

Images courtesy of Google Images and Grace Lee

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