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Cone Turns Recycled Cotton into ‘Socially Responsible Denims’

Stepping up its sustainability efforts, Cone Denim has introduced a new collection featuring denim fabrics made from recycled cotton.

The line, dubbed Cone Denim Recycled Cotton, also promotes a closed-loop manufacturing system that reduces energy consumption and material waste, uses pre-consumer and post-consumer waste in the production of “socially responsible denims.”

Cone Denim is working with like-minded partners in Mexico, including Apparel International and Flynn Enterprises, to collect and incorporate pre-consumer scraps from the production cutting table back into Cone’s supply chain and utilized in the manufacturing of its authentic denim.

The company is able to bring scraps from original Cone Denim fabrics together with other sustainable components using what it calls “mindful manufacturing processes to create environmentally conscious…fabrics.”

“Cone is continually innovating ways to create more sustainable, responsibly produced denims,” Cone Denim president Steve Maggard said. “The partnership with Apparel International and Flynn provides an opportunity for us to reclaim scraps of Cone denim to use in creating an even more responsible authentic fabric.”

Maggard said it is well known that producing denim requires a significant amount of resources.

“The use of pre-consumer recycled cotton from Cone’s own internal operations and our cut-and-sew partners helps to conserve water by offsetting water used to grow cotton,” he said. “Additionally, Cone’s use of pre- and post-consumer recycled cotton has redirected approximately 500,000 pounds of cotton waste from landfills over the last year.”

Oscar González Franch, president of Apparel International, said the company believes that protecting the environment is an obligation.

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“We are pleased to participate in such an urgent and worthy cause as we stand alongside Cone and the industry in their efforts to create more socially responsible denim and find ways to innovate without compromising the consumer’s love for authenticity,” Franch said. “Reclaiming waste benefits everyone across the supply chain and creates a denim garment that consumers can be proud to wear. We look forward to more expanded projects together.”

Cone Denim operates as part of Elevate Textiles, which announced earlier this year 2025 sustainability commitments focused on responsibly sourced fibers, reduced water consumption and reduced greenhouse gases.

As part of Elevate’s commitments and that of its portfolio brands, including Cone Denim, efforts have begun to use at least 80 percent sustainably sourced cotton and 50 percent recycled polyester content, reduce the company’s water intensity by 25 percent per unit of production and set a specific greenhouse gas target of achieving a 2.5 percent per year reduction trajectory as part of its participation with the Science Based Target Program.