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Madewell, Isko and Bluesign Partner for First-of-Its-Kind Jean

In further proof that company cooperation can help foster advancements in sustainability, Madewell, Isko and Bluesign have teamed to create the first pair of jeans made from Isko’s Bluesign-approved fabrics.

Madewell introduced the women’s jean, called the Cali Demi-Boot in Smithley wash, as an online exclusive Friday. The jeans retail for $138.

The jean is constructed from Isko’s Reform XP denim, which was created especially for skinny silhouettes as it offers 60 percent elasticity. It is made with 95 percent cotton, 3 percent polyester and 2 percent elastane.

Isko’s Reform technology, one of the Turkey-based global mill’s patented stretch innovations, has achieved Bluesign-approved status. Reform offers freedom of movement, a slimmer, smoother and more streamlined appearance and excellent shape retention.

The certification is awarded only to Bluesign’s partner manufacturers that meet stringent safety and environmental requirements such as–among others–ensuring production sites are safe, reducing CO2e emissions and water consumption and avoiding hazardous substances in production.

The new jean is made with fabrics that are dyed and finished with Bluesign-approved chemical products and produced in a resource-conserving way with a minimum impact on people and the environment.

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Daniel Rufenacht, CEO of Bluesign, said, “This collaboration, between two of the denim industry’s heavyweights, coupled with our Bluesign System for eliminating hazardous chemicals and reducing environmental impacts, demonstrates that the solutions to develop a high-quality, more sustainable, and accessible priced product is possible within the fashion industry at scale. We are thrilled to see this collaboration come to life and look forward to seeing more Madewell products using Bluesign-approved Isko materials in the future.”

Madewell launches the first jean ever made from Bluesign-approved Isko denim.
Madewell’s new Cali Denim-Boot in Smithley wash Courtesy

Isko CEO Fatih Konukoglu added that the three companies, which have a “shared vision for a cleaner, safer and more transparent supply chain,” were proud to create the innovative jean.

“At Madewell, a brand with denim at our core, we’re constantly challenging ourselves to raise the bar in sustainable solutions and create a positive impact on the world,” added Liz Hershfield SVP, head of sustainability at J.Crew Group and SVP sourcing at Madewell. “This [jean] is a huge step for the retail industry, and for denim production specifically–which is one of the hardest fabrics to produce sustainably.”

The release of the bottoms is the latest step in NYC-based Madewell’s aim to reach sustainability goals that include the use of 100 percent sustainable fibers by 2025. In 2021, 60 percent of the key fibers it used were sourced sustainably–up from 38 percent the previous year. The J.Crew Group brand follows its “Planet and People” pillars as part of its responsibility strategy, which is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Madewell and Isko previously partnered in 2019 when they launched a women’s capsule that was made in collaboration with Isko’s now expanding Creative Room, the fabric producer’s arm devoted to forward-thinking denim design.

Isko first received Bluesign’s approval for some of its fabrics in April 2021, less than a year after the two began working together, and became the only European denim mill to achieve this recognition.