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Execs Make New Year’s Resolutions for the Denim Industry

More transparent supply chains, inclusive designs and a total reset in how business is conducted are among the topics executives, designers and consultants would like to see the denim industry tackle and make progress on in 2021.

Though a new calendar year represents a time for renewal, many view 2021 as a turning point for the industry-wide commitments made to promote sustainability and ethical business practices.

Here, denim experts share their New Year’s resolutions for the global denim industry.

Adriano Goldschmied, House of Gold president and founder

Be ready for a big change if you [want] to be a winner. We not going back to ‘normal.’ We are moving toward something new and a new business model.

Emma Grede, Good American CEO

My New Year’s resolution for the denim industry is a renewed focus on prioritizing inclusive sizing. In recent years, the denim industry has focused on tackling equally important issues such as sustainability and tech innovation in design, but this year we hope to see more brands focused on offering inclusive options.

At Good American, size inclusivity has been baked into our business model since launch, and we are proud to offer denim, activewear, swim, sweats and most recently shoes, in a full-size range and feature diverse bodies in all of our campaigns. All women, no matter their size, deserve to have options with great fit that don’t sacrifice comfort or style. Hopefully, we can see more of this in 2021.

Jordan Nodarse, Boyish Jeans founder and creative director

No more plastic, please. It’s time everyone realizes that recycled plastic is still plastic. We need to design for the future, not the present.

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Finn Stenberg, Nudie Jeans vice president

This year and the previous year, we have developed our brand’s growth capacity, including tech stack investments, sustainability, design and service offers. In 2021, we will continue to add value to our products and services from both a sustainability and service perspective.

Nicolas Prophte, Tommy Hilfiger vice president of sourcing, production and innovation denim

Continued collaboration on sustainability. When the industry works together as a whole, we will be able to identify and adopt a global consensus on what sustainability means for denim. Only by combing our efforts and leveraging expertise can we ensure and maximize positive environmental impact on a global scale.

Miguel Sanchez, Kingpins Show technology leader, Transformers Foundation board member

Moving forward, but in the right direction. Covid has exposed several weakness in our industry that were generally unnoticed before the whole market collapsed. We have been given some time to learn from existing negative issues like the unethical behavior of brands to suppliers, disconnection between supply chain players, unfair distribution of profits, greenwashing… and explore ways to tackle them.

If any good news is to be mentioned in this terrible year [of 2020], it would be the increased level of communication within the denim industry and with collaborative organizations. We can make 2021 the year of the real change.

Vivian Rivetti, Wrangler global vice president of design

My New Year’s resolution for the denim industry in 2021 is to contribute to the ability of the consumer to buy less while buying better. This is because the integrity, long-lasting quality and promise brands deliver is extremely important to the consumer today. The trust and confidence a consumer has in a brand lies in what the brand stands for and the product they deliver, unlike fast fashion that is inconsistent.

Tilmann Wröbel, Monsieur-T creative director

Keep on rockin’, stay focused and use denim for what it really stands for. Only a strong and focused denim product can successfully tell the story of our fantastic indigo-dyed fabric.

James Bartle, Outland Denim founding CEO

My hope for the denim industry in 2021 is that we will see more accountability for sustainability claims, and less greenwashing. Not only does manipulative marketing make it difficult for customers to support brands that align with their values, it’s actually taking us backwards in the sustainable fashion movement.

Piero Turk, designer

To be more ethical in every step of the production process, from fiber sourcing to the final product on store shelves. I believe this is the only way we can develop for the future.

Denise Sakuma, The Lycra Company vice president of brands and marketing communications

As we look forward to 2021, my wish is for a healthy rebound in which all of us emerge stronger after the disruption that the pandemic has had on the denim industry. The two key mega trends of sustainability and digital transformation will be integral to the recovery as today’s conscious consumer demands more eco-friendly offerings and convenience, creating a more seamless blend between on- and offline shopping.

At The Lycra Company, we are in a unique position to help brands and retailers leverage these trends with innovation that will help strengthen their sustainability story and address the need for better fitting, yet sought after comfortable garments. This is important in helping to reduce returns, especially online sales.

Sinem Celik, BluProjects sustainability change agent

Action for good. We have experienced so many vital issues, and [now is the] time to transform these [experiences] into positive impact instead of going back to normal.

Naomi Goez, Centric Brands (Joe’s Jeans, Hudson Jeans) associate manager, production

Making the switch from a commitment to sustainability to a commitment to impact reduction and consciousness.

In a pre-Covid world sustainability had the spotlight but the ambiguity surrounding it resulted in overuse, ultimately leaving it an almost meaningless buzzword. 2020’s hardships highlighted many fundamental issues in our industry’s operations caused by a fragmented global supply chain that is reliant on vulnerable communities, a reality we cannot hide from, which further reinforced the fact that there is no sustainable fashion industry without accountability.

I hope that our industry’s focus shifts from isolated discussions about ‘eco product assortments’ and becomes the consideration of our impact on all stakeholders: the people in the supply chain, their communities, and the planet. A commitment that is embedded in innovation and consciousness prioritizing traceability, transparency, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Jose R. Royo, Tejidos Royo sales director

The end of an era, a brighter future in front of us. After Covid, the world is going to be a safer place, we are going to take care of ourselves much more and appreciate what we have, not only what we wish. Sustainability, finally, is going to be a must-have. Either you are in, or you are out, no middle point will be accepted.

Tricia Carey, Lenzing director of global business development, denim

Ethicalize denim. We have an opportunity to right the wrongs of the denim ecosystem, both the social and environmental aspects. The call to action set by Transformers Foundation is crucial for this decade of action. Let’s bring purpose to the product we most value, denim.

Panos Sofianos, Bluezone denim curator

Integrity and a fully transparent supply chain. This is the final call for this planet.

Ani Wells, Simply Suzette founder and director

If you use something, put it back. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Treat people the way you want to be treated. These are the values that are taught in our forming years and are supposed to be the ones that stick with us forever. So, my New Year’s resolution for 2021 would be for us to put these values at the core of our businesses and make the right partnerships to ensure these values are embedded at every step of the supply/value chain.

Carme Santacruz Zaragoza, Jeanologia creative director

I see a future full of new opportunities and challenges to face. The pandemic shook our lives and our businesses, and this new situation made us realign our priorities. The denim industry embraces change, but as a New Year’s resolution, I would like to see a new scenario where sustainability is the driving force for change.

Digitalization and technology will allow us to reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion industry, but sustainability is creatively rewarding at all levels. I’m sure it will lead our industry to design responsible and to create the right product.