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Crystal Denim Rolls Out 100 Percent Recyclable Jeans

Companies across the denim supply chain are ramping up their production to meet the growing demand for circular jeans.

Hong Kong-based denim manufacturer Crystal Denim recently debuted its first collection made in accordance with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Jeans Redesign guidelines. The lineup includes jeans made with 98 percent organic cotton, mushroom-derived finishing and no rivets, which make them 100 percent recyclable. Fabrics feature certified organic materials and safer chemicals that comply with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL). Water-saving laser technology is used to achieve a worn-in look. The end product is a recyclable, highly durable jean that can withstand a minimum of 30 home laundries.

Crystal Denim joins more than 90 industry leaders dedicated to scaling denim circularity through the guidelines, which were developed by denim experts to provide minimum requirements on garment durability, material health, recyclability and traceability. Recently, the guidelines were updated to include a mandatory recycled content requirement that reflects the industry’s widespread use of post-consumer recycled content.

Crystal Denim’s Jeans Redesign collection and Artistic Milliners’ Cradle to Cradle certified jeans point to circular denim future.
A look from Crystal Denim Jeans Redesign collection. Courtesy

“We have been working continuously with manufacturing partners and customers to rethink denim design and production to create fully circular products, while demonstrating our ongoing commitment to eliminate waste and reduce harmful chemicals and pollution,” said Miles Lam, assistant general manager of product development at Crystal Denim, adding that the manufacturer has produced more than 40 styles and 230,000 pairs of circular jeans in 2021 alone.

The collection is just one part of Crystal Denim’s commitment to circularity, which it outlined in its latest sustainability report. The company’s Second Life Denim collection features 10 fabrics certified with Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and comprised of sustainable materials like Lycra T400 fiber with EcoMade technology and Repreve recycled polyester. All cut waste from the collection is ultimately gathered and upcycled to further extend its lifecycle.

It also worked with global development management consulting firm Social Impact to launch the Denim Reimagined series, a fully traceable, upcycled collection made using unsewn and unstitched deadstock denim fabric.