Austrian fibre manufacturer Lenzing has joined the Dutch Denim Deal in support of ‘sustainable’ production practices. Launched in November of 2020, the deal tasks signatories with using at least five per cent recycled content in every pair of jeans produced, and to collectively create upwards of one mn pairs of jeans with 20 percent post-consumer recycled content each year.

Tricia Carey, Director of Global Business Development, denim and Americas at Lenzing, commented: “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 realise the challenges to close the loop.”

It was the Netherlands’ former Environment and Housing Minister Stienje van Veldhoven that first outlined the premise behind the Denim Deal in a letter to parliament, which centered on the use of more recycled materials in denim garments.

The 40+ companies which have come to support the initiative – including Scotch & Soda, Mud Jeans and Kuyichi – produce approximately three million pairs of jeans per annum, and so the impetus is on integrating more ‘sustainable’ materials within this supply chain and ultimately adopting more circular principles.

“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,” Van Veldhoven said.

“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.”

As a raw material supplier, Lenzing says it is “poised to help other companies reach these goals” and boasts several, more ‘sustainable’ fibres, which can be leveraged by partaking brands.

“We believe in the joint ambition of the Dutch Denim Deal to accelerate towards a new industry standard of five per cent post-consumer recycled cotton used in the production of all denim garments and will work with the supply matrix to achieve,” added Carey.

In anticipation of the growing volumes of more ‘sustainable’ jeans on the market, the Denim Deal previously partnered with blockchain technology provider The Movement.

Through this collaboration, the deal’s signatories can use The Movement’s ‘Aware’ solution so that they can authenticate the sustainability credentials of their products.

The Aware blockchain solution works by embedding unique tracer particles to the raw recycled cotton which, linked with a digital twin on The Movement’s platform, can subsequently be monitored throughout the supply chain from farm to finished product.