Last year it was exclusive to Levi's but from this month onwards Montebello SRL will be in a position to offer their recycled denim ranges to other casual wear manufacturers worldwide.

In fact the term recycled is something of a misnomer, for Montebello are not attempting to recall jeans discarded by former wearers. 

For as the company's product manager Claudia Pelligrini points out, that would be a prohibitively expensive and impractical exercise.

"Rather what we are reclaiming is factory waste in both yarn and garment off cut form," she explained, before adding that this was actually a more expensive process than simply buying in conventional raw material.

"But cost saving was never the prime purpose of the exercise, which is intended to make our operation more environmentally friendly.

"Growing cotton to the standards acceptable to the textile trade in the affluent world usually requires excessive use of pesticides and is often also a greedy consumer of water which could otherwise be used to produce food crops in the underdeveloped nations. So if we can help to husband ecological resources by recycling we at Montebello will be more than happy.

"We believe that we have a great story to tell here and so of course did Levi's who helped in the initial development of the process. Unfortunately for us, the launch of recycled denim coincided with the launch of Levi's 'engineered' jeans which tended to steal most of the publicity thunder.

"We are now hoping that one of the several major garment manufacturers who expressed interest in recycled denim when it was first shown to the trade in general at this autumn's Tissu Premier will be prepared really to get behind the project promotionally and sell recycled denim as the caring consumer's first choice of fabric," Claudia added. "We think this product should particularly appeal to the strongly green minded German market."

By Sonia Roberts.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The 2000 World Forecasts of Woven Cotton Fabrics Export Supplies

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Textile Fabrics