#DENIMKIND: Behind The Jeans
This Spring, we are excited to have launched #DENIMKIND, an all-new clean denim collection. Unlike standard denim production, the creation of these products is sustainable from top to toe; and every touch point along the way is explored to ensure a high standard of ethical production is met. Read on to learn more about the harmful effects of standard denim production, and discover what makes each piece of #DENIMKIND so special.
How does Denim Production Impact the Environment?
Jeans are considered to be a true wardrobe staple, and we don’t think they will be going out of style anytime soon! With this in mind, denim is mass-produced by many fast fashion companies, meaning there are serious environmental and ethical concerns at play.
1. Consumption of Water
A huge volume of water is used in the production of denim from end to end. The main fibre used in denim is cotton, which uses an estimated 44 trillion litres of water every year in just the irrigation process alone. Water is also used in the process of dyeing, bleaching, finishing and printing the denim, which only adds to the overall consumption of water. One pair of jeans alone will use around 25 litres of water in its production, and 0.6KW of energy.
2. Water Pollution
During the process of growing the cotton, chemical pesticides and herbicides are used abundantly. These substances contaminate not only the soil, but the water too. Once these pesticides are present in the water stream, this can be detrimental for the farmers and their families who use this water in their daily lives. In the creation of ‘distressed’ denim, the fibres are subject to a number of chemical washes, which is harmful to the workers involved in the production.
3. Use of Pumice Stones and Sandblasting
To create the ‘distressed’ look on some denim pieces, both pumice stones and the method of ‘sandblasting’ are used. Sandblasting involves taking small grains of sand and blasting them through an airgun at the denim to create the desired effect. As well as the sand, silica is also used in this process which is extremely harmful to workers. Pumice stones release large quantities of dust into the environment, further polluting water streams.
What Makes #DENIMKIND Different?
We partnered with a factory who have identified the major problems found in conventional denim production and are on a journey to minimise the carbon footprint caused. They have put practical steps and procedures in place to ensure a sustainable process from end to end.
1. Water Reduction
Using rainforest technology and a rainwater collection system, our denim has been manufactured with 68% less water than standard production*. At Thought, we only ever use organic cotton which eliminates the use of harmful chemicals that would otherwise be released into the water stream. One pair of our jeans uses approximately 8 litres of water.
2. Energy Saving
Laser technology is used which reduces the number of steps in the process and increases the rate of production. Ozone technology is also used which means that water does not need to be heated up prior to the bleaching process. The use of rainforest technology means less steam is required to heat the water. One pair of our jeans has used approximately 0.18KW of energy in the production process.
3. Eco-Stone Instead of Pumice
No pumice or sand-blasting were used in the production of our denim. Instead, the factory has developed an ‘eco-stone’ which is made from polymers that can be recycled and used over and over again.
We have put extra thought into each and every detail of our new denim products. Using healthy eco-fabrics and an ethical process is the start, but it doesn’t end there. Our branded patches on the back pocket are made from leather-free Jacron paper; a fibre produced from high density, wood pulp cellulose.