Denim waste has been used to create everything from home insulation to fiber for new denim pieces. Most recently, it was used to create a unique piece of furniture that combines a chair, lamp and cupboard as part of G-Star Raw’s latest upcycling venture.
The Dutch denim brand recently launched The Art of Raw, a new art platform that calls on young designers to channel their creativity into transforming its denim scraps into a work of art using a mode of their choice.
Teun Zwets, a 2020 graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands, created the furniture piece, which he titled “Denim Living.” The piece is constructed from a metal frame as a base with denim waste layered on top and laminated with a binder.
“I was honored when G-Star asked me to work on this project but also really excited because I hadn’t worked with denim much before!” he said. “Experimenting and trying new techniques are always a part of my process. First, I made a prototype then played around with the denim, finally creating the unique furniture piece, Denim Living.”
Over the next year, the project will feature different young designers each month on social media including artwork from designers Athena Gronti, Lenny Stöpp, Hozan Zangana, Nienke Sikkema, Iwan Pol and Pien Post.
Brands are putting denim waste to good use. Recently, Ikea and Mud Jeans collaborated on a couch cover made from upcycled denim. The cover is specially fitted for the retailer’s popular Klippan sofa and contains 40 percent post-consumer recycled denim, a classic medium wash and actual jean pockets on the sides.
Similarly, Vietnam-based apparel manufacturer Saitex creates furniture and home products through its textile upcycling business Stelapop, an acronym that stands for “Save Trees, Eliminate Landfills and Protect Our Planet.” Saitex is experimenting with different items such as wall panels, flooring tiles and home furnishings. So far, it’s created office furniture as well as a facade for a Christian Louboutin flagship store in Dubai. It also recently tapped Edwin USA to debut a home collection using the upcycled material.
G-Star Raw has a penchant for using denim scraps in unique ways. In honor of Earth Day last year, it opened an exhibition showcasing couture denim created by artists and fashion designers inspired by its innovations in circular denim.
Prior to that, it collaborated with the Dutch National Ballet on a 4-f00t-wide denim tutu created from scraps during the pandemic.