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Industry News: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Redesigning Jeans

Durability and material health, recyclability and traceability – the Jeans Redesign Guidelines created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Make Fashion Circular initiative set out new principles for jeans production, combating waste, pollution and the use of harmful practices in keeping with the concept of a circular economy.

August 2019

The starting point: From now on jeans can be designed and produced on a large scale according to circular economy principles. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Make Fashion Circular initiative launched the Jeans Redesign Guidelines on 16 July 2019, the aim being to combat the waste and pollution resulting from the harmful practices currently in use in jeans production. From GAP and Mud Jeans to I:CO and Lenzing, Fashion Revolution and Textile Exchange: 40 denim experts from various industry sectors joined forces to set out the minimum requirements for durability, material health, recyclability and traceability. "By working together, we can create jeans that last longer, that can be made into new jeans at the end of their use, and are made in ways that are better for the environment and the people that make them", says Fracois Souchet, Lead, Make Fashion Circular.

Building on the comprehensive findings of the Foundation's report "A new textiles economy: redesigning fashion’s future" (2017) and C&A and Fashion For Good's open source guide "Developing C2C Certified Jeans", Make Fashion Circular organised an intensive workshop in February this year. Here, brands, producers, recyclers and academics tested and developed the nuanced guidelines: Products must be clearly labelled with instructions for care and be free of hazardous chemicals. Jeans should be made with a minimum of 98% cellulose fibres and stone finishing, potassium permanganate (PP) and sandblasting are prohibited. Information about production and processes must be easily available and the use of the Jeans Redesign logo will be reassessed annually.
The first jeans produced according to the Guidelines by 16 leading brands will be for sale in 2021. "This is just the start. Over time we will continue to drive momentum towards a thriving fashion industry, based on the principles of a circular economy", said Souchet.

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Make Fashion Circular launches the Jeans Redesign

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