Dutch fashion company C&A launches 'world's most sustainable jeans'

Dutch fashion company C&A launches 'world's most sustainable jeans'

C&A jeans
C&A

C&A launched what it claims are the world's most sustainable jeans late last week, as it continues its drive to demonstrate the fashion industry's potential to adopt a more circular business model.

The Dutch-headquartered fashion company said it took more than a year to design the jeans, the first to earn "Cradle to Cradle" (C2C) gold certification.

Developed in collaboration with Fashion for Good, the jeans are made from sustainable and non-toxic materials with some elements, such as the lining and thread, having been completely redeveloped, C&A said. The product is made in factories that run on renewable power and enforce high social standards.

The jeans' materials can be recirculated safely back into industrial process or composted into the soil at the end of their life — although C&A encourages customers to keep the clothes in use for as long as possible.

The fashion retailer said developing a pair of jeans to C2C standard was markedly more complicated than developing its C2C T-shirt, which launched on the market last year.

Despite the additional development costs, the firm said it hopes to make sustainably produced fashion "the new normal" and is therefore pricing the jeans at about $33.60 per pair.

"We are extremely pleased with the result," said Jeffrey Hogue, C&A's chief sustainability officer. "All of the components have been successfully optimised to make sure that only non-toxic materials are used. During the process, only renewable energy and high social standards were applied, leading to a product that is designed for its next life."

C&A and Fashion for Good also have launched the world's first "Guide on Developing Cradle to Cradle Certified denim" alongside the jeans, which can be downloaded for free on Fashion for Good's website. It offers businesses more information on how to develop sustainable jeans to the C2C standard.

"This toolkit demonstrates that good fashion is possible today, and we hope that more manufacturers and brands will work towards circular products," said Katrin Ley, managing director at Fashion for Good.

Earlier this year, C&A awarded about $1.49 million to five pilot projects working to encourage more circular business models across the fashion industry. Winners included  a project from the London Waste and Recycling Board and QSA Partners to help retailers develop circular economy strategies, and a Europe-wide project to help six brands identify the operational barriers to circular resource flows.

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