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Ellen MacArthur Foundation launches circular principles for denim design

Backed by leading retailers such as Gap, H&M, Lee; the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched new circular principles for denim design. These guidelines set minimum standards for recyclability, durability, material health, and traceability of a pair of jeans, in a bid to curb the outsize environmental cost of denim production.

The guidelines were developed by 40 denim experts from academia, fashion brands, retailers, manufacturers, collectors, sorters, and NGOs. Around 15 fashion retailers have already promised to abide by the guidelines. These include: Arvind, Bestseller, Boyish Jeans, C&A, GAP, Hirdaramani, H&M Group, HNST, Kipas, Lee, Mud Jeans, Outerknown, Reformation, Sai-Tex, and Tommy Hilfiger.

As per Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the first pairs of jeans produced in line with the guidelines are expected to hit shops in 2020. Bearing the Jeans Redesign Logo, these jeans will be able to withstand at least 30 washes, feature labels with clear information on product care, be made with at least 98 per cent plant-based fibres from organic or regenerative farming methods, and design out metal rivets to improve recyclability. However, it is unclear whether the guidelines will be applied to the entire ranges of participating fashion companies, or restricted to specialist ranges.