Dehnam, founder and chief creative officer
Jason Denham
Dehnam, founder and chief creative officer

Deep Dive

A big believer in collaborations, Denham founder Jason Denham has leveraged a long-time partnership with Candiani Denim to ensure that his brand was one of the first to use the Italian denim mill’s Coreva technology, the first stretch denim that is 100 percent biodegradable and compostable.

During the pandemic, Denham debuted a “Future Fibres” collection to further build out his sustainability ambitions. The five-pair collection included women’s wide and straight fits and men’s slim fits, all featuring Candiani fabric made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. The brand’s existing sustainability efforts also include using smarter fabrics such as Tencel and recycled hemp in its collections.

In late 2020, the brand also entered a partnership with Nike, in which the Amsterdam-based denim brand designed three sneakers for the footwear giant. Denham introduced its own spin on the Nike Air Max 1, the Nike Air Max 90 and the Nike Air Max 95, with the first sneaker reimagined with authentic Japanese denim, tan nubuck and indigo suede.

And in 2021, Denham teamed up with another Dutch brand, Grivec Brothers, to launch a limited-edition selvedge denim collection. The collection honored the craftsmanship of denim manufacturing with a collection of 14-ounce selvedge Candiani fabric woven on traditional 1960s 80cm-wide shuttle looms. In total, the collection included just 200 pairs of handmade jeans.

What is the biggest misconception that consumers have about sustainable denim?

There is no misconception, we all need to move on from the dirty denim past. Our industry has done an incredible job to reinvent the future of denim, and it has been led by the mills, vendors and supplier at every level of the process. We are a clean industry with a bright future. Never forget that jeans are the most sustainable product on the planet. Hard wearing, long lasting, we don’t need to wash them every day. We customize them, we hand them down, we upcycle them and we recycle them. No more misconceptions please.

What can the denim industry do to ensure a positive post-pandemic rebound?

It’s already happening. Denim will survive everything—fashion trends, world wars, global crisis, pandemics. Denim will outlive all of us. What can we do? Give our consumers the products they need. First, we need to create mouth-watering silhouettes and finishes, and it is our duty to ensure we produce the best quality and most sustainable garments.

Skinny jeans: Over or a new staple?

Love it or hate it skinny jeans are here to stay. That said, straight, wide and high-rise are trending and the global fitscape is shifting every day. Our business is very diverse across the continents. It’s so important to listen to every country’s voice and give them what they need.

How can denim retail improve?

Omnichannel, stock, service and sizing are essential, but the magic is having the right product mix balance and assortment. To give our customers an experience and always refresh and keep looking forward not backwards.

How many pairs of jeans do you own?

Not enough.

Which jeans do you wear the most, and why?

Japanese selvedge natural worn-in denim. I have always loved authentic Japanese jeans. They get better and better with age.