Having worked in the apparel industry for decades, Dio Kurazawa has seen firsthand what goes on behind the scenes at some of the sector’s leading denim brands and manufacturers. Through his work as a special advisor for the Global Fashion Agenda, a sustainable advisory board member at Ganni and a sustainability consultant—all titles he holds simultaneously—he aims to disrupt the industry for the better.
His experience reads like a denim timeline, holding design and product development positions at Tommy Hilfiger, Levi Strauss & Co. and C&A before becoming the head of denim at WGSN. A strong force in the industry, Kurazawa has moderated panels with leading denim professionals to drive conversations surrounding sustainable innovation and has showcased his collaborative efforts with global labels like Lee at prominent fashion trade shows.
In 2013, he launched a sustainability consultancy service, The Bear Scouts, to provide apparel companies w
ith the tools they need to achieve their sustainability goals. He and his team of designers, fabric specialists, marketing mavens, product developers and circular fashion experts study a label’s supply chain and optimize it for circularity using innovative technology. Through his project, he aims to change the entire nucleus of a company’s operations, and often chooses small, nimble brands over high-street labels whose goals are isolated on making a profit.
What is the biggest misconception that consumers have about sustainable denim?
The biggest misconception is that sustainable denim must look less aesthetically pleasing when compared to traditionally made denim.
What can the denim industry do to ensure a positive post-pandemic rebound?
Consider pre- and post-consumer waste when creating fabrics and garments, but also think about people and planet before profits.
Skinny jeans: Over or a new staple?
How can denim retail improve?
Denim retail can improve significantly if companies consider switching to a made-to-order business model.
How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Too many to count!
Which jeans do you wear the most, and why?
My denim kimono. It’s never out of style and fits no matter how large or small I get.