Where to Buy 100% cotton Jeans in South Africa

The market for classic old school jeans seemed to have evaporated as the push to follow trends inside South Africa has taken over. Finding a good pair of jeans, without any stretch, rips and elastane is hard to come by, but I never imagined it would be impossible. I’ve started this post in the hope that there would be some help out there for those of us refusing to purchase stretch denim that only last us a year (if that) and then keep us in a loop where we need to keep on buying these pieces year after year. As a consumer, it’s quite shocking that this target market is not catered for, seeing as in the world of fashion, the classic pieces are the ones that stand the test of time.

Start Here > The V&A Waterfront 

My first bet is trying out all (most of) the stores in Cape Town’s most popular mall, The Waterfront. First stop – Levi’s, obviously, with its vintage jeans and white tees from the days of counter cultures to our Instagram Nation, the brand still seems to hold firmly its place in the market for zero stretch denim. But sadly and most unfortunately, this Levi store currently only sells stretch denim for their female clients. Oh but wait, there’s one pair of 501s coming in, wait for it, November. But not too worry, as the sales assistant suggests, if you go to America, maybe there you’ll find 100% cotton jeans.



Because we’re not going to America anytime ever, we’ll go to the store right opposite the Levi’s, Zara. I’ll make this one short seeing as Zara did have a non stretch pair of jeans but were far too boyfriend for my style, excessively baggy and unflattering, basically not for my shape or the way I like to dress. But if anyone is into that look, Zara  is probably your best bet for now.

Okay, next stop – H&M. We all know H&M do ‘vintage denim’ so I was expecting at least one pair to try on seeing as they had a selection of these jeans. Problemo numero uno, vintage denim jeans doesn’t equate to classic light washed jeans nor does it mean that they remain in their original form. Some pairs had stretch in them, some were distressed and some of them were red. Okay, just the one pair was red but you get my point. Still without luck, I remembered GUESS.


With friendly sales assistants and a quick check on their labels I was outta there as fast as I came running. I think I’ll even go back as I remember a pair being 90-something percent cotton. But the next few stores was a mesh of referencing by sales assistants inside the mall, go here, go there, try that store, try Levi’s, what about Zara, what about…NO. Nothing – there was nothing. I must also say here, that I had received wonderful service at G-Star RAW which in my future ramblings you’ll see is quite hard to come by.

If there is anyone with any suggestions, please drop them in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram.



Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series – The Vintage Stores and Local Designers

Featured Jeans – 100% cotton purchased at & other Stories (not in South Africa)























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