Responsible consumption plays an often-understated role in sustainability, and Dutch denim brand Kings of Indigo is setting its customers up for sustainable success with its latest denim innovation.
The brand, which built sustainability into its DNA before it became a consumer demand, recently launched a line of water-repellent denim shirts in partnership with textile technology company Labfresh with the aim to keep clothing fresh longer. As a result, the shirts require fewer washes, and therefore carry a lesser environmental impact.
Labfresh’s environmentally friendly FreshCore technology, which is applied around the yarn and without creating a coating, repels liquids, stains, odors and wrinkles. It’s used on 100 percent cotton fabrics and resembles the look and feel of traditional untreated fabric.
The line consists of two men’s denim shirts: the Enda pocket, a standard button-down shirt with a curved bottom hem; and the Absalon, a relaxed-fit overshirt with three patch pockets and a straight hem. Both are made from organic cotton and feature recycled polyester labels and Corozo buttons made from the Tagua tree nut.
The shirts retail for $130-$153 and are available on the Kings of Indigo website in sizes small to XXL.
According to Tony Tonnaer, founder and CEO of Kings of Indigo, the motivation for the partnership boiled down to one goal: extending the product lifecycle.
“Sustainability is fueled by innovation,” he said. “By working together with people like Lotte and Kasper, the founders of Labfresh, we challenge the status quo and take on important challenges: ‘How can we help people to wash less and enjoy our premium men’s wear longer?’”
Washing is one of the most important and overlooked areas of responsible consumption, as the world’s oceans become overrun with microplastic pollution caused by synthetic fibers released during a standard load of laundry. As recently as last September, researchers at the University of Toronto discovered remarkable levels of microfibers found in oceans and lakes throughout Canada—including remote parts of the Arctic region.
Denim supply chain partners have developed an array of solutions that target the growing issue of microplastics, including fabric technologies that eliminate the need for at-home washing, such as Labfresh’s FreshCore technology, Turkish denim mill Calik’s Washpro technology and Rudolf Group’s Hub 1922’s Washless Denim.
Denim experts have also offered tips for more sustainable washing methods, such as running on cold and hanging jeans out to air-dry.