With the planet and people in mind, AG developed what it considers to be the future of denim.
The brand’s new Jeans of Tomorrow collection centers on 100 percent biodegradable denim fabrics made with a blend of organic cotton, Tencel and hemp—a fiber that AG, along with the rest of the denim industry, is embracing as an alternative to virgin cotton.
Though celebrated for its sustainable properties, hemp can feel rough if not cottonized or blended with other fibers. The denim industry, however, is making inroads to make the fiber feel on par with what comfort-minded consumers expect from their jeans.
For the Jeans of Tomorrow collection, AG used hemp fabrics combined with organic cotton and Tencel for a soft hand-feel that’s still environmentally friendly. Additionally, the fabric was sourced from a mill close to AG’s Mexico facility to further reduce its carbon footprint.
“There is a responsibility for big companies with large manufacturing programs to step up and adopt more eco-friendly processes,” said Samuel Ku, AG president and creative director. “It takes wide-scale investment and adoption to really move the needle in terms of impact, as well as drive down the costs of sustainability so that we can see it become the new norm for all brands. AG strives to always challenge the conventional and push the boundaries of what is achievable with consideration to reducing impact on the planet, and The Jean of Tomorrow is just another example.”
All garments in the collection are stitched with sustainable thread made from Tencel, and all use corozo buttons derived from nuts, which are known for their scratch- and fade-resistant properties.
In line with its ongoing efforts to conserve water, AG used responsible supply chain processes such as laser and ozone finishing technology and water recycling methods for optimal water and energy savings. The brand reports that it currently recycles over 100,000 gallons of water per day, and aims to recycle over 50 million gallons of water per year.
The Jeans of Tomorrow collection consists of three pieces—a unisex denim jacket, a men’s “Tellis” straight-leg jean and a women’s “Alexxis” mid-rise straight-leg jean. The line retails for $210-$240.
Biodegradable fabrics are currently sweeping the denim industry as it tackles fashion’s pervasive waste problem. Given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) estimation that landfills received 11.3 million tons of textiles in 2018 alone, a fabric’s ability to break down at the end of its lifecycle is crucial to the planet’s wellbeing.
Developments such as Candiani’s Coreva stretch fabric—the only biodegradable and compostable stretch denim currently available on the market—addresses the call for better end-of-life solutions and features organic cotton wrapped around a natural rubber core. Sustainable stalwarts such as Denham, Stella McCartney, Triarchy and, most recently, Kings of Indigo, have all implemented the fabric into their latest collections.
Sustainable materials have been a top focus for AG in recent months, most notably with the 20-piece collection of lyocell ribbed knit basics it developed in honor of its 20th anniversary. The brand is increasingly ramping up its sustainability efforts, and plans to introduce new product categories, creative collaborations and experiential activations around social and environmental conversations throughout this year.