Jeans made from Future Black+ denim contain as many as 17 recycled plastic bottles

Jeans made from Future Black+ denim contain as many as 17 recycled plastic bottles

US textile major Cone Denim has partnered with Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing and US yarn marker Unifi on what the trio claim is the industry's first certified fade-resistant black denim, made from Lenzing Modal and Repreve recycled filament fibres.

Future Black+ denim will join Cone Denim's family of TruTone fabrics, with jeans made from the fabric containing as many as 17 recycled plastic bottles, and featuring superior softness, colour retention and stretch, while minimising the impact on the environment.

"By combining Lenzing Modal fibre with Repreve, we are able to satisfy some of the biggest consumer demands for the marketplace," says Jay Hertwig, Unifi's vice president of global brand sales and premium value-added sales. "Unifi is proud to work with both The Lenzing Group and Cone Denim to create a high-quality product that helps decrease our industry's environmental footprint."

Lenzing Modal Black has around 50% to 60% lower environmental impact than conventional dyed fabric, while the Lenzing manufacturing process requires less chemical and energy inputs during manufacturing, and uses 64% less water during the dye process. Together with Repreve, a leading brand of fibre made from recycled plastic bottles, these earth-friendly fibres create a high performing, highly sustainable denim.

"Lenzing has always been committed to sustainability and making our manufacturing process as eco-friendly as possible," adds Tricia Carey, director of global business development for denim at Lenzing. "By partnering with Cone Denim and Unifi, we were able to work with like-minded companies to create an advanced product that saves resources throughout the manufacturing process."

Future Black+ denim achieves its durable colour by utilising dope dyeing, an energy-saving and environmentally friendly dyeing technique that introduces the pigment during the production process. Adding the colourant during manufacturing allows the entire body of the fibre to be coloured instead of only the surface and eliminates the need for a dye bath later in the process.

Wash tests have shown that denim made from Future Black+ showed no sign of colour loss even after more than 20 washes, producing a denim that's built to last.

"This collaboration elevates our commitment as a sustainability leader and denim innovator," says Kara Nicholas, vice president of product design and marketing for Cone Denim. "Colour retention in black denim is an increasingly important trend for consumers and a perfect fit with our TruTone fabric story focused around black and indigo-like navy fabrics that offer supreme colour retention, plus all of the added benefits of the environmental story."

Future Black+ will launch at Kingpins in Amsterdam this week.