California-based apparel label Outerknown is joining the list of sustainable denim leaders such as Denham, Stella McCartney and Triarchy that are offering the world’s first biodegradable stretch denim.
Last week, the brand introduced the Iconoclast high rise skinny, a women’s jean made with Candiani’s Coreva stretch technology that uses renewable, plant-based rubber as opposed to the standard petrol-based elastane that wreaks havoc on the environment. It uses a blend of 96 percent organic cotton and 4 percent natural rubber to achieve eco-friendly stretch.
Retailing for $248, the women’s jeans are available for pre-order on the Outerknown website, and will ship between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16. The style is available in a light and medium wash denim in sizes 24-32.
The sustainable brand is still relatively new to women’s clothing—it launched its first women’s collection in early 2019—but it’s not new to responsible manufacturing. Outerknown was founded in 2015 by 11-time champion surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore on the basis of creating positive change throughout the fashion industry. In 2019, more than 90 percent of the fibers used in its collection was recycled, regenerated or organic, and it was an early investor in Econyl recycled nylon, which turns ocean plastic pollution into new material for fashion.
In 2019, Outerknown introduced denim made with cottonized hemp through its ongoing collaboration with Levi’s.
“At Outerknown, sustainability is not a marketing slogan or something we take lightly,” Slater said in a letter on the Outerknown website. “Sustainability is literally who we are. Sustainability is why the company exists.”
Earlier this year, Outerknown announced it will become fully circular by 2030—meaning it will use 100 percent circular materials and trims, and all new products will be designed for increased utility and recyclability, and made for disassembly. It also plans to launch a renewed category and platform that will include resale, repair and recycling.