Citizens of Humanity jeans review: how the LA-based brand is creating seriously sustainable denim

As the name suggests, Citizens of Humanity is all about the people – whether that’s their in-house tailors or the customers who flock to buy their flatteringly fitted denim.

Citizens of Humanity jeans
(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity)
Woman & Home Verdict

Integrated production processes allow Citizens of Humanity a huge amount of control over the final product, resulting in quality fabrics, meticulous attention to detail and, most importantly, a comfortable fit.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Sustainable processes

  • +

    Wide range of styles

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Come up a little small

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Dreading the idea of replenishing your denim drawer? We know the feeling. A combination of unreliable sizing, a seemingly limitless choice of styles and poor-quality fabrics often makes for a stressful shopping experience.

Flexing our years of fashion-industry experience, here at w&h HQ we’re determined to make finding your new favourite pair of jeans an all-round enjoyable experience.

We’ve put every piece of denim we can get our hands on through its paces with real-life testing, to bring you a reliable round-up of the best jeans on the market right now. Whether you’re after flattering jeans, want to bag a bargain with high-street jeans or are simply keen to give the trend for white jeans a try, we’ve got you covered.

In this bumper review, we shine the spotlight on Citizens of Humanity. Read on to find out if they sound like the jeans for you… 

What’s so special about Citizens of Humanity jeans?

Citizens of Humanity jeans specifications

Collection size: 140+ Size range: 23in-34in Leg lengths: 26in-33in Sustainable options? Yes Starting price point: £230

Based in LA, Citizens of Humanity does things a little differently. 

Instead of outsourcing the manufacturing of their denim, nearly all pieces are designed and produced in Citizens of Humanity’s very own sewing and laundry facilities in LA and Turkey. Those that aren’t produced there are looked after by a couple of select partners.

Sustainability is at the heart of every step of the process, from the first cut of the fabric through to the very last stitch.

They use automated machines to cut the patterns to minimise fabric waste, as well as laser technology, ozone processes and high-efficiency washers to give their jeans a soft, lived-in feel without using huge amounts of water. 

How much do Citizens of Humanity jeans cost?

This level of quality and craftsmanship of course impacts the price of the jeans themselves. Citizens of Humanity jeans don’t come cheap and you can expect to pay between £230 and £360 for a pair. 

You can buy directly from the Citizens of Humanity website, but bear in mind that if you’re ordering from outside of the US, you will need to pay tax and shipping costs. 

In the UK, Citizens of Humanity jeans are available from a variety of high-end retailers, including Selfridges, Net-a-Porter and Anthropologie. 

What are they made from?

The exact make-up of your Citizens of Humanity jeans will very much depend on the style you choose. 

All pairs are crafted predominantly from cotton, with a dash of elastane, polyester or Spandex mixed into slimmer-fit styles, giving them just enough stretch to keep them comfy.

Some pairs use standard cotton, while others are made from organic cotton. 

Not sure what the difference is? According to the Soil Association, certified organic cotton is the more sustainable choice. 

There’s a wealth of reasons why this is the case, but the first of two key takeaways is that organic cotton is grown in rain-fed areas, meaning farmers don’t have to use up the local water supply to grow their crops. Especially important when you consider that, on average, it takes 10,000 litres of water to make just one pair of jeans.

The second is that organic cotton is grown without the use of polluting pesticides – good news for the environment. 

Which Citizens of Humanity jeans are best?

Citizens of Humanity has more than 140 styles of jeans to choose from. We’ve narrowed that down to the three best and most popular styles…

Emerson Slim Fit Boyfriend 

Citizens of Humanity Emerson jeans

(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity)

The slimmest of Citizens of Humanity’s relaxed-fit jeans, the Emerson offers a borrowed-from-the boys feel without adding extra bulk to your frame. The low-slung waist works perfectly with the ankle-length cut for a really relaxed shape. Available in a choice of 15 different washes, as well as the option to choose an extra-long leg length, you’re sure to find the right pair for you. 

Skyla Mid Rise Cigarette Pant

Citizens of Humanity Skyla Jeans

(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity)

Fuss-free jeans that’ll work hard in your wardrobe, Skyla features a mid-rise waist and narrow, cigarette-style legs. A little more forgiving than a classic skinny, they’re easy to dress up or down. Just remember, the lighter the denim, the more casual your jeans will feel. 

Olivia High Rise Slim Fit

Citizens of Humanity Olivia jeans

(Image credit: Citizens of Humanity)

Call off the search – we’ve found your perfect pair of slim-fit jeans. Not only does it work hard to smooth and hone your tum, the structured high waist means these jeans will work with shorter tops, too. The fabric composition varies slightly depending on the length and wash, but rest assured they’re all super soft with a good amount of stretch. They’re available in tall or petite, too. 

How comfortable are Citizens of Humanity jeans?

As with all jeans, we found Citizens of Humanity’s skinnier styles offer more flexibility of movement than their other styles, thanks to the stretchiness of the fabric. Remember, all denim becomes more comfortable the more you wear it, so even more structured styles will provide you with a lived-in fit after a few wears. 

Are Citizens of Humanity jeans true to size?

In our experience, Citizens of Humanity jeans come up a little small, especially if you have been blessed with a generous bum and thighs.

Having said that, although some styles can take a little wiggling and persuasion to get over your hips, they do reward you with a streamlined shape once they’re on.

If in doubt, go for your usual size, but if you’re normally in between sizes, go for the size up. 

How easy are Citizens of Humanity jeans to care for?

Citizens of Humanity doesn’t offer detailed care instructions on their website, so we’d recommend you wash your jeans in the same way you would any other pair. 

To avoid fading the denim or causing the fabric to sag and bag, don’t wash your jeans every time you wear them. Instead, spot treat any marks or spills with a damp cloth and a little stain remover. 

When the time does come to pop your jeans in the machine, choose a cool wash and leave to dry on the line instead of putting in the tumble dryer. Direct sunlight can distort the colour, too, so for best results choose a shady space in your garden to do so. 

Do Citizens of Humanity offer easy returns? 

If you’ve ordered the wrong size or didn’t fall head over heels for your new Citizens of Humanity jeans, then you can return them to the brand for a full refund or exchange within 15 days of receipt. 

International returns can be time-consuming, as you’ll need to take long-distance shipping times into account if you ordered directly. 

You can submit a return request via the Citizens of Humanity website and they will email you a returns label and any necessary paperwork once approved. 

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.