Fiber firm Lenzing said it partnered with Country Road, an Australian lifestyle brand, to create a sustainable denim product. The collaboration marks a milestone in Australian retail, as Country Road is the first major retailer in the country to introduce denim garments made from Lenzing’s fibers.

Country Road’s “Sateen Jean,” its top-selling product, is now made from Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fibers, with Refibra technology; the fabrication was created by Spanish mill Tejidos Royo. Darren Todd, managing director at Country Road, said, “We actively look to partner with manufacturers who are driving innovation in this space. Lenzing continues to demonstrate how we can reduce our ecological footprint and reassess waste as a resource.”

Lenzing’s Refibra is a new Tencel fiber made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting operations and wood, the company said. As Refibra is produced in the lyocell production process and reduces the need to extract additional raw materials, it is the firm’s “solution for a circular economy.” Brands and retailers are increasingly interested in adopting sustainable principles and processes to help reduce waste: The need for clothing will have doubled by the year 2025, and 80 percent of the apparel we throw away ends up in landfills, equating an estimated 50 million tons of clothing thrown away each year, all according to Lenzing.

Tricia Carey, global business development director of denim, Lenzing Group, said, “Our partnership with Country Road is a key milestone to the development of the newly launched Tencel Lyocell fibers using Refibra technology, as well as a major step forward in sustainable fashion.” Carey added, “While retail brands pay more attention to supply chain transparency, consumers are becoming more conscious about choosing high-quality products made with sustainable materials and green production process. Guided by the Tencel brand promise of ‘Feels so right’, we will continue to innovate and identify ways to reduce the fashion industry’s ecological footprint while ensuring natural comfort. Refibra technology marks another step forward in our journey, and we’re grateful to work alongside Country Road to bring high quality and sustainable denim products to the market.”

Country Road launched as a women’s shirting label in 1974 and has expanded to apparel, accessories and homewares. The brand is under the umbrella of the Country Road Group, which includes apparel brands Trenery, Witchery, Mimco and Politix. The Country Road Group has 663 store locations throughout Australia and New Zealand and 88 stores in South Africa, in addition to its various online retail stores.

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