Tommy Hilfiger has achieved a new sustainable milestone.
The PVH Corp.-owned brand announced Friday it will introduce its first 100 percent recycled cotton denim styles in the Spring ’19 Tommy Jeans collection.
The sustainable denim is the result of research from the PVH Denim Center in Amsterdam, a hub dedicated to setting new standards for producing denim efficiently and in a more environmentally-friendly way. Until now, the company said “creating a completely recycled cotton yarn, at scale, to the Tommy Hilfiger quality standard was nearly impossible.”
“We have a responsibility to future generations to manufacture products in a more thoughtful way to protect our environment,” said founder Tommy Hilfiger. “Starting with how we design and produce some of our denim styles, we want to inspire consumers to make sustainable changes.”
The jeans are made with pre-consumer cotton scraps collected from the cutting room and factory floors and recycled using a mechanical process that uses less water and chemicals, reduces waste and generates less carbon dioxide. The sewing thread used is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles, buttons come from unused stock from previous seasons and the hangtags will be made from recycled paper.
Additionally, each denim style will be finished using laser technology, an efficient and sustainable alternative to hand-finishing that is being adopted by denim giants including Levi’s.
“Closing the loop” has become a key area of focus for the denim supply chain. Made-By, a European fashion not-for-profit that has partnered with the Alliance for Responsible Denim, rated recycled cotton more highly than even organic cotton in its environmental benchmark for fibers. However, mills and brands have grappled over how much recycled cotton can be used in denim without sacrificing the fabric’s quality and aesthetic.
Development for the sustainable collection took place at the PVH Denim Center, where specialized teams combine their expertise in fit, technology and sustainable finishing. The center houses more than 1,300 swatches in its denim library, serving as a database of core fabrics with which designers can work. The center also offers a “Denim Academy” where it trains wholesale and retail teams on the ingredients and story behind PVH brands’ denim collections.
“The PVH Denim Center addresses unique opportunities in our rapidly-growing global Tommy Jeans business, reimagining the traditional production process in terms of innovation and sustainability,” said Daniel Grieder, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe CEO. “We share a responsibility to find solutions to preserve our world’s resources and drive our industry forward for good. Fueled by our pioneering spirit, and through closer collaboration with our partners, we will continue to create best-in-class denim designs that follow a more sustainable approach and celebrate our ‘Product is King’ philosophy.”
The first collection of 100 percent recycled cotton denim will include mom jeans, a unisex oversized trucker jacket and modern tapered jeans. Moving forward, the company said the sustainable denim will become part of the Tommy Jeans collection each season.