Lenzing, is committed to circularity as a means of reducing the environmental impact of fashion. To further this aim, Lenzing has joined the Dutch Denim Deal, a public-private initiative that intends to accelerate sustainability and recycling in the industry.
The deal was originally initiated by the House of Denim Foundation in Amsterdam and later facilitated by the Dutch government. It was signed by stakeholders from the whole denim industry and some municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in October 2020. Among the goals in the deal is creating at least 3 million jeans with 20 percent or more post-consumer recycled content by the end of 2023. Brand owners and retailers will achieve a minimum of 5% PCR content in their own denim collections during this period by working together closely with other parties.
The deal launched with 30 partners. And to-date, it has gathered signatories including brands, manufacturers and organizations. Among the deal signers are PVH Europe, Mud Jeans, Scotch & Soda, Transformers Foundation, Bossa, AGI Denim and Kipas.
“The strength of this Denim Deal lies in the fact that all parties involved in the making and processing of a denim garment will participate, from production companies, brands and retailers, but also collectors, sorters, cutters and weavers,” said former State Secretary Van Veldhoven. “We are initiating a change in the entire chain. Once that step has been taken, scaling up will be easier afterwards. That will make this Denim Deal a blueprint for making garments made from other materials more sustainable.”
Globally, consumption is up and clothing reuse is down, which the deal says necessitates circular solutions to lessen the strain on natural resources tied to cotton production. The Netherlands has become a hot spot for denim, with brands based in the country and a strong customer base. Dutch consumers on average buy 1.2 pairs of jeans per year, for a nationwide 21 million pairs sold annually. The deal aims to set an example for the rest of the world in what is possible in circularity.
As a raw material supplier, Lenzing is poised to help other companies reach these goals. Our fibers can be used to enable circular design without sacrificing quality. In 2017 Lenzing pioneered TENCEL™ lyocell with REFIBRA™ technology, which is now produced with 30% post-industry and post consumer cotton waste and 70% wood pulp. Additionally there is a fiber id added to ensure traceability and transparency.
“With our drive towards circular solutions and collaboration, Lenzing is pleased to join the Dutch Denim Deal. As a pioneer for advanced recycling commercialization with REFIBRA™ technology, we realize the challenges to close the loop,” said Tricia Carey, director of global business development, denim and Americas at Lenzing. “Additionally, our TENCEL™ fibers enhance the processing of mechanical recycled cotton in spinning and increase the strength and softness. We believe in the joint ambition of the Dutch Denim Deal to accelerate towards a new industry standard of 5 percent PCR-cotton used in the production of all denim garments and will work with the supply matrix to achieve.”