New Guidelines Set to Make Jean More Sustainable

The Jeans Redesign Guidelines published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are set to transform leading fashion brands and manufacturers, such as Gap, H&M and Lee, on their method of producing jeans, tackling waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices. 

Francois Souchet, Lead of Make Fashion Circular, “The way we produce jeans is causing huge problems with waste and pollution, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By working together, we can create jeans that last longer, that can be remade into new jeans at the end of their use, and are made in ways which are better for the environment and the people that make them. This is just the start. Over time we will continue to drive momentum towards a thriving fashion industry, based on the principles of a circular economy.” 

The Jeans Redesign – created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative – brought together more than 40 denim experts from academia, brands, retailers, manufacturers, collectors, sorters and NGOs, to develop the Guidelines. The first pairs of the redesigned jeans will be on sale in 2020. 

The Guidelines set out minimum requirements on garment durability, material health, recyclability and traceability. 

Based on the principles of the circular economy, the guidelines will work to ensure jeans last longer, can easily be recycled, and are made in a way that is better for the environment and the health of garment workers. 

Durability 

· Jeans should withstand a minimum of 30 home laundries, while still meeting the minimum quality requirements of the brands 

· Garments should include labels with clear information on product care 

Material Health 

· Jeans should be produced using cellulose fibres from regenerative, organic or transitional farming methods 

· Jeans should be free of hazardous chemicals and conventional electroplating. Stone finishing, potassium permanganate (PP), and sandblasting are prohibited 

Recyclability 

· Jeans should be made with a minimum of 98% cellulose fibres (by weight) 

· Metal rivets should be designed out, or reduced to a minimum 

· Any additional material added to the jeans, should be easy to disassemble 

Traceability 

· Information that confirms each element of the Guideline requirements has been met should be made easily available 

· Organisations that meet the requirements will be granted permission to use the Jeans Redesign Logo on jeans produced in line with the Guidelines 

· Jeans Redesign Logo use will be reassessed annually, based on compliance with reporting requirements 

The Guidelines build on existing efforts to improve jeans production, including the open source guide created following C&A and Fashion For Good’s joint initiative to develop C2C Gold Certified™ jeans. The Jeans Redesign will drive others to join the project and produce jeans in line with the Guidelines at scale. The first pairs of the redesigned jeans will be on sale in 2020

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