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Denim Dreams: Local merchant and denim maker partner for exclusive, Philly-made jeans line

Art in the Age—creaters of Pennsylvania-inspired spirits like Root, Snap and Rhuby—have launched yet another local collaboration. This time they’ve teamed up with Norman Porter, a Fishtown-based denim and leather goods maker, for a special exhibit and limited edition denim series.

The exhibit, on display at Art in the Age, features the Norman Porter denim and leather crafting process, and includes examples of their attention to detail denim finishings. Their two mascots—a buffalo head and taxidermied bobcat—are also on display.

Like all Norman Porter jeans, the limited edition line is made from 100 percent cotton, raw denim that hasn’t been treated. All detailing and rivets are done by hand. The jeans retail for $200 in-store, or $250 on the Norman Porter website. 

Sorry ladies, they’re only making men’s jeans for now, but rumor has it they’re branching out into women’s styles soon. In the meantime, check out their leather wallets and totes made from recclaimed U.S. Postal Service parcel bags.

Check out the exhibit at Art in the Age, on display until November 30th. Age in the Age, 116 N. 3rd St., Hours: T.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 12-6 p.m., artintheage.comNorman Porter, 2628 Martha St. (by appointment),

Photos by Danni Sinisi


  1. Pardon the negative attitude, but what does spending $200 on a pair of jeans have to do with sustainability? Sustainability is all about wise resource usage. I understand that when you pick up cheap jeans at a typical retailer, there are all sorts of negative human rights and environmental impacts associated with their production in countries with weaker standards for the environment and worker's rights. I like the idea of locally-produced goods, and I like the idea of smaller producers.

    But at the same time, the practical in me says…who can afford this? I sure can't.

    America is not going to solve its sustainability problems by creating high-end products that only a small segment of the population can afford. The whole idea of spending more for products that are more sustainable is a backwards concept anyway–it's a failure of the economic system and tax system to create pricing that reflects the impact on sustainability.

    If it is really not economical to produce an affordable pair of jeans domestically, then maybe would be more productive to look at actually solving the deeper problems. Why is the cost of production so high in America? Maybe it's because salaries and wages are so high, because the "cost of living" is so high. And people need high salaries to support spending habits like dropping $200 on a pair of jeans.

    Do you see where I'm going with this? Consumerism is a cycle: spend spend spend. Ever increasing prices, wages, resource usage. You don't break the cycle of consumerism by spending more, you do by spending less. The prices need to drop. The GDP needs to drop. We need to start moving more things out of the cash economy, instead of just moving more cash around.

    I would like to see people put their heads together and come up with a way to produce jeans domestically, here in Philly, in a way that an average person could afford to buy them without it being a one-time splurge. There is something to be said for paying a little more for quality goods, but I can pick up decent jeans in a thrift store for under $10, and new ones for around $20.

    In my opinion, $50 is a reasonable target to shoot for. Then I might start feeling good about it, saying–hmm, I could spend more on that, because it's in line with my values. I just can't imagine ever spending more than that on a pair of jeans.

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