Edwin is getting a second wind. The Japanese heritage denim brand relaunched this week in the U.S. with a new leadership team and focus on sustainability.
The brand debuted Edwin Essentials, a collection of everyday classic denim, and Edwin Vintage, a range of fashion-forward denim styles and silhouettes. Both collections focus on clean, modern silhouettes and vibrant, wearable colors for men and women.
For its sustainable production, Edwin is teaming with Saitex, the B Corp-certified denim factory in Vietnam, to provide production and delivery for all new Edwin USA collections.
Saitex is a preferred partner of brands like Everlane, G-Star Raw, Madewell and more. Saitex’s bluesign-approved, LEED- and Fair Trade-certified facility recycles 98 percent of its water through a closed-water system, relies on alternative energy sources and repurposes byproducts to create premium jeans, minus the waste.
Together, Edwin states that “they are pushing the old antiquated denim manufacturing standards to a new frontier of sustainable and ethical methods.”
For the launch, Edwin USA tapped premium denim veterans Kathy Kweon as president and Catherine Ryu as creative director. Kweon joins after serving as vice president of AG Jeans/KOOS Manufacturing for 19 years.
Ryu most recently served as creative director of Citizens of Humanity for five years. She previously designed for brands like Club Monaco, Calvin Klein, Gap and AG Jeans.
Innovation in textiles and machinery is what Ryu says drives her designs. “The denim industry uses a huge amount of water and energy. It’s been great to build the Edwin brand from scratch to build the ethos of sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices from the foundation of design to our manufacturing process,” she said. “It’s been a dream to exclusively partner with Saitex. Together we are redefining the denim business with an emphasis on people and the planet.”
Heritage denim brands are stepping up to the challenge to make their industry more sustainable. Edwin was founded in Japan 59 years ago and has established itself as a pioneer in men’s and women’s denim manufacturing, experimenting with wash techniques that impacted denim wash processes around the globe. Known for authenticity, innovation and craftsmanship, the brand has a strong following of denim heads around the world.
Select styles from the new collections will also be available at more than 120 stores, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, Shopbop and Verishop, and through the monthly clothing rental subscription company, Nuuly.