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Ganni Weaves its Waste Into Fiber-to-Fiber Yarn

Ganni is closing the loop on itself.

The Danish It Girl brand, which famously eschews the term “sustainable,” revealed on Thursday that it has developed a new recycled yarn, derived in part from off-cuts from its own T-shirt production, that it will be turning into new graphic toppers.

The newly minted B Corp says it’s been working with its supply chain for more than a year to develop something that “lives up” to its standards. It managed to do this by blending 50 percent recycled cotton scraps and 50 percent Global Organic Textile Standard-certified cotton.

With conventional production methods creating up to 20 percent waste, Ganni anticipates producing 12 metric tons of cotton scraps annually that can be reintroduced into its pipeline instead of being discarded or downcycled into insulation. In time, the Copenhagen-headquartered label hopes to extend the program to include other types of fabrics and production processes.

“Fashion supply chains are immensely complex and opaque, so things like waste streams are often ignored,” said Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup. “We need to analyze and understand our production processes in more detail in order to allow for small but majorly important improvements like this to happen. For us, this is a great case study that can be rolled out with more suppliers over time.”

Ganni has explored other ways of trimming its waste footprint before. It has previously collaborated with Stem, a zero-waste woven textile system, also based in Denmark, to create a collection that eliminated all cutting and sewing waste. It’s also tackling its environmental footprint in other ways: initiating “carbon insetting” programs to help its suppliers cut their emissions, for one, and switching out incumbent materials for next-generation ones with lower impact—think Circulose, Infinna and Mylo—for another.

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What Ganni wants to do is become a “more responsible” version of itself, Reffstrup has said. For that to happen, it needs to be willing to “place bets and take risks.”

So far that tack appears to be working. For the brand’s newest collection, 87 percent of the production volume features “responsible” styles, meaning that at least half of the materials they employ are certified recycled, lower-impact, or organic. Ganni is committed to having “100 percent responsible styles” in the future, Reffstrup added. Already, it has 100 percent traceability through Tier 4 of its supply chain and has published all Tier 1 and 2 suppliers with the Open Supply Hub to “drive transparency.”