We’re proud to be a member of the ‘Alliance for Responsible Denim’ – or ARD. The alliance is an initiative from Made-By, Circle Economy and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The alliance brings key stakeholders and experts from the denim industry together. Among these are denim brands, suppliers and textile collectors.
The goal of bringing everyone together is to collectively take steps towards improving the ecological impact of denim production. The ARD was founded in October 2016 and works on two projects: a Wet Processing Benchmark and Post-Consumer Recycled Denim. For this article, we will mainly focus on the last one: Post-Consumer Recycled Denim. Let’s see what the ARD is all about!
Post-consumer recycled denim
You might have heard of the term post-consumer recycled denim – PCRD – before, but what exactly is it? Post-consumer recycled denim means that the recycled fibres used in new denim come from a consumer worn denim before. There is no strict minimum in using PCRD in order to claim that the denim is made of PCRD materials. However, to achieve a certain quality standard without adding loads of polyester, a maximum of 30% PCRD is recommended. Technologies need to improve to make this percentage higher. With this project, ARD wants to create a bigger demand for PCRD by facilitating between mills and brands. Part of this program was the ‘Long Live Denim’ event, where mills could showcase their PCRD fabrics. This is where we selected the beautiful fabric for our Classic Blue wash, our new never-out-of-stock style. The fabric contains 20% Post-Consumer Recycled Denim. You can find our Kuyichi jeans with PCRD here.
Alliance for responsible denim: Who’s in?
As we said before the ARD mainly consists of denim brands and suppliers. However, for each meeting, external experts are present to guide brands and suppliers in their journey towards becoming more sustainable. Some of the experts from the industry are Jeanologia, Tejidos Royo, Recover, Sympany and Boer Groep. Sympany and Boer Groep are companies which collect textiles and give it a second life. Our own manufacturer Soorty and suppliers Bossa and Kilim Denim are part of the alliance as well. There is a large variety when it comes to the denim brands which are part of the ARD, from small companies like Imps&Elfs to huge international ones like ASOS. The goal is that all brands and suppliers help each other out where possible.
What we talked about
During the meeting in April, we talked about the different opportunities and difficulties of using PCRD. Every part of the process came to discussion, from collecting the jeans to how the manufacturers can use the fabrics. Some brands were there to present their case study and show what they are struggling with or what they think is going well already. After the case studies, there was a panel discussion with suppliers, denim brands, textile collectors and other experts. The main struggle most companies deal with is how to make the process of collecting and getting the products back to the suppliers as efficient as possible. A logical step in this could be to join forces and tackle this problem together. In the end, we’re all here to achieve the same goal: ‘Making the industry more sustainable.’
Although we are not there yet, the Alliance for Responsible denim is a great step towards achieving this goal. We believe that together we can increase our impact and accelerate the process to make a change. We will keep you posted on our – collective – improvements on the site and our social media channels.