Cotton is the starting line for one retailer’s efforts to produce sustainable denim.
The Fall ’19 collection marks Swedish fashion chain KappAhl’s first season manufacturing 100 percent of its denim range in more sustainable fabrics and using more sustainable production processes. As part of its 2020 goals, the men’s, women’s and children’s brand has committed to using organic cotton or cotton grown in line with the principles of the Better Cotton Initiative for the entire denim collection.
“This issue is high priority for the fashion chain since cotton is one of the most important raw materials,” the company stated. “Cotton is popular and in great demand. However, its production is highly consumptive of water, fertilizers and pesticides, and intensive farming depletes the soil and poses health risks to the growers. It is essential to switch to organic farming or other more sustainable practices in order to tackle these issues.”
KappAhl has also adopted more sustainable finishing processes for the fall denim line. Using Jeanologia’s Environmental Impact Measuring (EIM) tool as a benchmark, the brand reported that it has slashed its water consumption by half and is using 30 percent less energy and fewer chemicals in its washing process compared with conventional denim.
“It feels fantastic to know that we are meeting the high bar that we’ve set for KappAhl and that our Responsible Fashion sustainability strategy really is making a difference,” said Fredrika Klarén, KappAhl’s head of sustainability. “Making the production of denim more sustainable will lead to significant resource savings and is a cornerstone to building a more sustainable wardrobe.”
With roughly 400 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland, KappAhl aims to bring responsible fashion to the masses.
In August, the brand introduced a loungewear collection made with recycled polyester and Lenzing’s Ecovero fiber, and a limited-edition line of Nordic-inspired fashion made with surplus materials and solvent-free faux leather.