As one of the 60-plus signatories of the Jeans Redesign project, Crystal International is striving 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

As one of the 60-plus signatories of the Jeans Redesign project, Crystal International is striving 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

Hong Kong-based manufacturing giant Crystal International Group has joined the Jeans Redesign project for denim circularity and will be using its guidelines to make jeans that meet minimum requirements for durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability.

Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Jeans Redesign was created by the British circular economy charity's Make Fashion Circular initiative and launched in July of last year. Its aim is to help fashion brands and manufacturers transform the way they produce jeans by tackling waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices.

The initiative includes guidelines that tackle the issues of waste and pollution associated with denim production, and have an ultimate aim of ensuring 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.

As part of the project, the participating brands, manufacturers, and mills must publicly report their efforts. Each participant is creating circular jeans by May 2021 and exploring solutions for a world where clothing never becomes waste.

Crystal Denim, the denim division of Crystal International, is working with the customers and proactively rethinking the design and production of denim to cope with waste, pollution, harmful chemicals, and production practices across the industry. 

With the new products manufactured according to the guidelines, Crystal Denim ensures all products can withstand a minimum of 30 home laundries while retaining the test standard of durability. The jeans are made with a minimum of 98% cellulose-based fibres (by weight in total textile composition) and are sourced from regenerative farming, organic or transitional methods, in which the organic materials are certified with Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) or Organic Content Standard (OCS). The recycled fabric is also certified with Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) recycled cotton and Repreve recycled materials. 

During the production process, the chemicals used will comply with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) Level 1 at a minimum. Some traditional finishing processes, such as conventional electroplating, potassium permanganate, stone finishing, and sand blasting are prohibited. The number of metal rivets will be minimised and the trims could be easily removed by pre-processing of recycling.

Catherine Chiu, general manager, corporate quality and sustainability department of Crystal International, says the company sees circular design as the future.

"The whole industry can collaborate and will all positively benefit by working together. Crystal International plays a vital role in bringing positive impacts for the environment, society, and the health of the workers working in the apparel industry".

Last month, the company's denim division launched a digital showroom to share the sustainability efforts that have gone into the production of its 4Zero jeans. 

The launch of the digital showroom comes as Crystal has been scaling up its use of 3D virtual sampling. It expects to use the technology in 80% of the products that it develops by next year.

With around 20 production facilities spanning five countries – Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – the group makes lifestyle wear, denim, intimate, sweaters, and sportswear and outdoor apparel.