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Denim Brands Shift Focus to Smarter Fibers This Season

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the denim industry is doubling down on sustainability efforts.

Fashion experts across the board have pointed to the strong connection between the uncertain times and a greater consumer demand for quality over quantity. According to a recent Fashion Snoops panel of experts from Isko, Oeko-Tex and Lenzing, society’s newfound connection with nature is driving consumers to reflect inward and take inventory of what they truly need.

Similarly, trend forecasting firm WGSN predicted that current events will produce a new kind of consumer who is more mindful of community and environmental impacts.

And designers are taking note. Recently, Denham launched a Future Fibres collection of five pairs of men’s and women’s jeans made using less water, chemicals and energy.

Styles include women’s wide and straight fits and men’s slim fits, all featuring Candiani fabric made with GOTS certified organic cotton. The jeans are available on the Denham website and retail for 179.95 euros ($202).
Described on the website as “the new normal,” these efforts complement the brand’s existing sustainability efforts, which include using smarter fabrics such as Tencel and recycled hemp in its collections. The brand also worked with Candiani to introduce a line of the first biodegradable stretch denim fabric made from organic cotton and a plant-based rubber core—which replaces synthetic and petrol-based elastomers without sacrificing elasticity and recovery.

But Denham isn’t the only brand championing smarter fibers. Premium denim brand 7 For All Mankind recently unveiled a platform that provides transparency into its new sustainability goals, which include prioritizing organic and recycled materials, adopting innovative manufacturing methods and ensuring ethical treatment of workers. It also joined the Better Cotton Initiative and is working to reduce its in-house footprint.