By carefully analyzing each part of the denim design process and exploring all possibilities to reduce the environmental impact at every step, the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean breaks new grounds in sustainable denim manufacturing. Lewis Perkins, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, presented Pharrell Williams, Head of Imagination at G-Star RAW, with the Cradle to Cradle Gold certification. "Achieving Cradle to Cradle certification at the Gold level for the denim fabric used in the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean is a significant leap forward for circular fashion. G-Star's work with DyStar and Artistic Milliners on the development of the fabric is also a great example of materials innovation and collaboration at its most impactful. G-Star's decision to share the fabric within the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute's Fashion Positive Materials Library stands to be a game-changer for the fashion industry - allowing others to use the same Cradle to Cradle Certified fabric opens the door to an infinite number of applications for this material." – expressed Lewis Perkins, President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
Pharrell explained in his own words: “It’s a great honor to receive this recognition to create a
sustainable future. We hope that the rest of the denim industry will follow in our mission to reduce the impact of human beings on the planet.”
How the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean was made:
1. The cleanest indigo dyeing process in the world. G-Star RAW collaborated with DyStar to combine pre-reduced indigo with a liquid based organic agent that replaces the regular use of Sodium Hydrosulphite - a major problem in indigo dyeing. This pioneered perhaps the most
radical change to the indigo dyeing process since its industrialisation, using 70% less chemicals, 15% less indigo, no salts and producing no salt by-product during the reduction
and dyeing process. Consequently, this saves water and leaves clean and recyclable water
2. The most sustainable washing techniques, responsibly made. G-Star worked with longstanding partner Saitex to make and wash the garments with utmost care for people and the environment. By employing sustainable technologies and renewable energies, 98% of the
water will be recycled and re-used and the other 2% will evaporate naturally. Not one drop of
water is wasted or discharged into the local environment.
3. 100% organic cotton. Using cotton which is grown without synthetic fertilizers and toxic
pesticides sustains and improves the health of soil, ecosystems and society as a whole.
4. Eco-finished buttons, making each garment 98% recyclable. When recycling denim, the top block is often discarded as it is too complicated to remove the zippers and rivets from the denim. Therefore, G-Star replaced all rivets and zippers with eco-finished metal buttons. In addition, all labeling and carton packaging is responsibly sourced.
5. Open-Source access for the entire denim industry: The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ at
Gold level sustainable fabric development process can be accessed and used by anyone
through the Cradle to Cradle Institute’s Fashion Positive Materials library.