The first jeans created using circular economy guidelines developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have launched, with Boyish, H&M, seventy + mochi, Triarchy, and Weekday leading the charge.
The Jeans Redesign initiative was launched back in July 2019 with the aim of bringing together leading fashion brands, manufacturers, and fabric mills to transform the way in which jeans are produced – from a linear to a circular model. Towards the end of 2019, the project was extended to fabric mills and recyclers with the aim of covering all aspects of the supply chain.
The Jeans Redesign is focused around a set of guidelines, created by the Foundation, along with over 80 denim experts. Based on the principles of the circular economy, the guidelines ensure that circular jeans: last and are used for longer, can be easily recycled, and are made in a way that is better for the environment and the health of garment workers.
They also establish minimum requirements for durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability.
As part of the initiative, the 67 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.
H&M recently revealed its new menswear denim collection in line with its membership to the initiative. The retailer’s Jeans Redesign collection, which will launch later this month, includes three jean styles, two jackets, an overshirt, tote bag and a bucket hat – all made in denim.
Boyish, seventy + mochi, Triarchy and Weekday have also launched products based on circular economy principles set out in the Guidelines, with dozens more, including Gap, Reformation, Lee, and Wrangler, set to launch their own products in the coming months.
“To have so many brands, manufacturers, fabric mills, and others involved in the Jeans Redesign has been incredible. If we are going to make fashion circular we need the whole system to be involved,” says Make Fashion Circular lead Francois Souchet. “This is just the start and there is much more to be done, but the Jeans Redesign has been about getting the industry moving and showing what is possible.”
He added the programme has now reached the milestone where consumers can be a part of the journey to help create a fashion industry that “thrives in the long term and benefits society and the environment.”
The Foundation, which last week released the ‘Story of the Jeans Redesign’ video, said the Jeans Redesign was an important initial step but noted brands must build on this work and increase the adoption of the principles, not just for jeans, but for other products.