You might have already heard about our by Sympany by Kuyichi project that we launched last November. By joining forces with Sympany, a sustainable textile collector, we created two pairs of jeans together (Jenna for women and Jamie for men). There are quite some things that make this project very special. They are not only made in a super sustainable and fair way – by buying them, you also contribute to a wonderful project that empowers women in Malawi to become seamstresses. Let’s explain a bit more about this project and how we’re making a difference, shall we?
‘Using post-consumer recycled fibres is quite a complicated process’
First of all, these jeans are made with sustainable materials (like GOTS certified organic cotton), including 20% recycled fibres from 1150 pairs of old discarded jeans that were collected by Sympany. They were shredded into fibres and respun into new, strong yarns. These fibres have a low environmental impact throughout the whole production process: a lot less dye, water and energy are used and it generates less waste. Using post-consumer recycled fibres is quite a difficult way of recycling. The composition of the fibres can vary a lot after all (it comes from a lot of people and places) and you’re never completely sure what the fibre content of a garment is. Ideally, you’ll use only 100% cotton denim for this, but you need an average of about 95% cotton to get a good result.
Why not make a 100% post-consumer recycled pair of denim, then? Well, we made a conscious choice in that. To make a long lasting pair of jeans, you need a strong fibre. The longer the fibre, the stronger the fabric. In the process of recycling, the worn-out denim (and thereby the fibre) is shredded mechanically.
‘A pair of jeans has to be able to handle a lot of usage pressure’
A machine pulls the denim apart into tiny little pieces. In the next step of the process, new fibres are recreated. These recycled fibres have a shorter length than the original ones (that’s always the case), which makes a recycled fibre automatically a bit less strong. That’s totally okay when making something simple like a t-shirt, but a pair of jeans has to be able to handle a lot of usage pressure.
We strongly stand for both sustainability and quality. Therefore, we consciously choose to use 20% PCRD to be able to give you the great quality you’re used to. We’re proud to have made an innovative pair of jeans with a low impact ánd a strong fibre. In the future, we will experiment a lot more with PCRD and other sustainable techniques, so stay tuned!
‘Through the clothes that we wear and by joining forces, we can actually make a difference in people’s lives’
Maybe even the best part of the by Sympany by Kuyichi jeans is the fact that 10% of the revenue goes directly to Sympany’s Mobile Training Project in Malawi. By buying these jeans, you directly support a local mobile school, which operates from a giant truck. The dedicated people who run it, offer four-month tailoring courses, each time welcoming 30 young women from rural areas in Malawi. They are taught basic dressmaking and sewing techniques, but also accounting and writing, which lays the foundation for their self-sufficiency. The best remedy against inequality and poverty, that already helped 270 women to build up a new life. Power by sewing machines! Through the clothes that we wear and by joining forces, we can actually make a difference in people’s lives.
Some other sustainability facts about the by Sympany by Kuyichi jeans:
- The sewing thread used for this denim is made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET polyester, made of used plastic bottles. We are very proud to be the first brand in the world that uses this thread, created by Coats.
- By using 20% Post-Consumer Recycled Denim (PCRD), you save around 300 litres of water per jeans
- The fabric of the by Sympany by Kuyichi jeans is GRS and OEKO-TEX 100 certified & the organic cotton used in these jeans is also GOTS certified.
- During the dyeing process, 80% of energy & 60% of water is saved.
- These jeans are hardcore vegans, which makes them PETA approved. It means that throughout the entire process, no animal content is used. The patch on the back is made of jacron, a washable kind of paper. Read more about our vegan collection here.