Diane Joyce Querimit

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Want some unadulterated denim goodness right on your wardrobe? You have to get yourself a G-Star RAW.

G-Star RAW, or simply G-Star for the cool kids, is unmatched in the making of raw denim. Known for its untreated and unwashed denim jeans that take inspiration after military garbs around the world, the brand has gained a cult following since its inception in the late 1980s. Today, it is your stop for the very best denims there are, as well as for a myriad of fashion articles such as clothing, shoes, eyewear and other accessories. In recent years, fans have seen its beautifully constructed and fitting items become sustainable.

Design and functionality go hand in hand


The G-Star the world knows today took time before it delved into the innovation of denim. In 1989, the company was founded by Jos van Tilburg in Amsterdam, Netherlands where it sold urban clothing, chiefly jeans. Originally, it was named Gap Star but was changed to avoid confusion with another popular and then already established brand. It was in 1996 when it was catapulted into stardom, through the creation of the G-Star Elwood, which was the first to showcase the 3D denim approach invented by the company.

The raw denim jeans was an idea that came to Head Designer Pierre Morisset when he saw a German biker wearing pants that perfectly fit his extremities and creased according to his form. Morisset’s creation had the toughened look as if exposed to the elements, which did not immediately appeal to customers. But the aged appearance caught on, and the remarkable fit and functionality certainly did not hurt. The innovation gained a following that grows to this day and the Elwood consequently remained as a bestseller for G-Star.

To mark its twenty strong years in the market, the G-Star Elwood was honored for all of 2016 by the Dutch company with limited edition denim jeans. In the same year, former collaborator and musician Pharrell Williams became a co-owner of the brand.

Sustainability in fashion is a priority

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G-Star has set itself apart from competitors by leading the industry through its innovations, such as the 3D denim that combines street edge with impeccable fit. Today, G-Star is still paving the way for other companies, this time in creating sustainable products.

The fashion industry has been called out for its practices that can be harmful to the environment, with denim usually singled out because of the toxic dyes that are sometimes carelessly disposed. In the last decade, the company put sustainability as a core priority and assessed its processes so that it can help improve environmental and societal conditions, especially in areas where the denim jeans are manufactured. They began looking into their own production chain as well as their physical stores and imposing a Code of Conduct among suppliers. By 2020, the company aims to use sustainable fabrics in all of its items and to completely remove discharge of harmful chemicals from its processes.

G-Star took concrete steps by making changes on its techniques and technologies. In recent years, the company opted for raw nettle such as organic cotton which does not use harmful pesticides that affect the richness of the soil. G-Star also teamed up with Dystar and Artistic Milliners to develop an indigo technology that uses significantly less chemicals and minimizes salt byproducts, as well as worked alongside Vietnam-based Saitex to create a washing process where they can reuse 98% of the water to wash the jeans. Hardware was also replaced with eco-finished metals.

For its achievements in creating sustainable technologies as well as end products, G-Star has gained a much coveted gold level certification from non-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and remains the only denim company to have such a distinction. They have made the entire process available to other designers and brands as well through the Cradle to Cradle’s Fashion Positive Materials Library.

Celebrity endorsements and advocacy collaborations

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The cult jeans of G-Star have been modeled by Liv Tyler, Lily Cole, Clémence Poésy, Sergio Pizzorno, Magnus Carlsen and Girls’ Generation, but the brand has also made news with its collaborations with celebrities to promote its sustainable denims.

Before joining G-Star, Pharrell Williams and his textile company Bionic Yarn collaborated with G-Star to produce a collection they dubbed as “RAW for the Oceans”. The jeans are produced with materials sourced from the ocean, particularly plastics that have been thrown into it that pose problems for its inhabitants.

In 2018, it has been announced that Jaden Smith will be working with G-Star as well. Pharrell Williams was reported to be responsible for bringing Smith into G-Star, with the collaborative collection scheduled to be released later this year. G-Star has also previously released capsule collections in partnerships with designer Marc Newson and deejay Afrojack.

Around the world

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G-Star became the preferred luxury denim brand all over not only because of the edgy look of its jeans but also because of its remarkable fit and wearable material. Recently, its cause to make fashion a cleaner industry also led to manufacturing items that are long-lasting and less harmful to the environment.

G-Star is available in more than 6500 selling points all over the globe, with flagship stores in five continents. Besides its home base in the Netherlands, G-Star has primary locations in the USA, the UK, Chile, India, France and Australia. Its apparel are also available at its online store which delivers worldwide.

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