Jeans Redesign

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation expands on its Jeans Redesign initiative from July, this time with fabric mills and manufacturers signing on.

Now, it’s getting somewhere.

With the addition of fabric mills (including Cone Denim, part of the movement of American selvage denim that has since discontinued operation of the storied looms) and manufacturers (from the likes of Artistic Milliners, Demco, Denim Expert and Denim Village, among others), the imprint of the Jeans Redesign initiative is further felt along the value chain.

Going back to the source is crucial. The growing of cotton, dyeing and washing to make an outfit, consisting of a T-shirt and a pair of jeans, is estimated to take about 20,000 liters of water. This is according to data from global nonprofit Oxfam.

And that’s not considering the jeans’ extended impact during wear and post-consumer.

“More companies joining the Jeans Redesign demonstrates the appetite in the industry for practical solutions that support the transition to a thriving fashion industry, where all our clothes are used for longer, are made from safe and renewable materials, and are made to be made again. This kind of industrywide shift needs companies from across fashion to work together,” Francois Souchet, lead of Make Fashion Circular, said in a statement.

Souchet said fabric mills are “vital to this transformation.”

The joining fabric mills must abide by the Jeans Redesign Guidelines but also implement strict ZDHC (Zero Discharge Hazardous Chemicals) wastewater guidelines, including testing and reporting of wastewater.

Denim brands joining this December include Ateliers & Repairs, BAM Bamboo Clothing, Blue of a Kind, Fairblue Jeans, Frank and Oak, Guess and Outland Denim (announced as an associate partner to Global Fashion Agenda in June).

Jeans Redesign brand participants to date:

  • Atelier & Repairs
  • Arvind Ltd.
  • BAM Bamboo Clothing
  • Bestseller (Vero Moda)
  • Blue of a Kind
  • Boyish Jeans
  • C&A
  • Fairblue Jeans
  • Frank and Oak
  • Gap
  • Guess
  • Hirdaramani
  • H&M Group (through the H&M and Weekday brands)
  • HNST
  • Kipas
  • Lee
  • Mud Jeans
  • Outerknown
  • Outland Denim
  • Reformation
  • Saitex
  • Tommy Hilfiger

Atelier & Repairs and Boyish were early signatories of the Jeans Redesign initiative and recent features in a WWD report on denim brands working to transform the industry. Labels such as Jordache and Wrangler are absent from the initiative, but he former employs 75 percent less water throughout its production processes, and the latter has committed to saving 5.5 million liters of water in 2020, while also switching to renewable energy in only its owned and operated facilities.

Effectively closing the loop, the Guidelines have also been endorsed by clothing collectors and recyclers including Bank and Vogue, I:CO, Lenzing, Re:newcell, among others, giving more transparency to jeans production and each garment’s end-of-life utility.

For More Sustainability News, See:

Denim Do-Over Requested by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Cone Denim Inks Deal to Bring Storied Selvage Looms Back Into Production

Change Agents: Denim Brands Working to Transform the Industry

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