G-Star Raw wants consumers to “Wear your denim ‘til the end.”
The Dutch apparel label named for its raw denim has embarked on a sustainability campaign that encourages shoppers to embrace the fading and flaws that surface after years of wear. A video made with deepfake technology showcases the way that denim’s character deepens throughout its lifecycle, developing a personalized patina unique to its wearer.
“Raw denim is at the core of our brand DNA,” said Gwenda van Vliet, G-Star Raw’s chief marketing officer. “We embrace the aging process of denim and we are proud of how we have been able to capture the beauty of this journey.”
The campaign arrives as G-Star has invested in initiatives to prolong denim’s useful life. It curated a capsule collection of its most environmentally friendly styles, offering a lifetime warranty that includes options for in-house repair and recycling. After a trial in the Netherlands, the company is scaling its Certified Tailors free repair program to Germany, Belgium and South Africa, with plans for global expansion through 2023. A new component enables consumers to have their jeans transformed into shorts.
G-Star also launched a take-back program in European retail stores. Denim garments are either recycled by a third party or put toward creative uses. The Art of Raw, a new design platform for international creatives, challenges artisans to utilize denim waste and deadstock fabrics, transforming it into art pieces including ceramics and glassware. G-Star Raw committed to reusing, repairing or recycling 1 million pairs of jeans by 2030 through these programs.
The company also offers more detailed information about the sustainability profile of its jeans online. Each pair of jeans on G-Star Raw’s e-commerce site now features a responsible materials ranking, which breaks down their fabric composition and the environmental impact of their fibers. The ranking system was developed using the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), Cradle to Cradle standards, the Textile Exchange’s Preferred Material Benchmark and other industry tools. The brand’s lowest-impact products include recycled and organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel lyocell and modal.
The brand aims to accelerate its use of preferred materials over the coming eight years. By 2030, G-Star Raw said it will transition fully to organic, recycled, bio-based and compostable fabrications. A partnership with the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), which supports the scaling of organic cotton farming, will help the brand reach those targets, and ensure traceability and transparency in its cotton supply chain.
Rebecka Sancho, who joined G-Star Raw as its head of sustainability in March, said the company aims to make a “substantial impact by continuously applying sustainable innovations,” from materials to end-of-life solutions. These programs will help G-Star reach its goal of halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, she said.