Denim brands are increasingly looking for ways to decrease the environmental impact of their products. As part of their business strategies to protect the environment, many denim brands are focusing to adopt greener practices and techniques of producing jeans. They are conscious of the importance and need of building a sustainable future for the denim industry.
One such brand that has come quite far in its sustainability journey is Closed – a German iconic denim retailer that has been around since 1978.
About The Brand
Marie and François Girbaud, two French fashion designers, created the renowned denim brand Closed in 1978. In the ’90s and 2000s, the duo had a big effect on hip-hop style with their distinctive take on denim silhouettes. The brand has been featured in songs and famous videos, like Kris Kross’ ‘Jump’, for its casual, stonewashed ensembles. It gained global popularity for its baggy denim designs thanks to endorsements from the hip-hop community.
The brand believes that sustainability is their key value to whatever they do. The brand has been progressively focusing on the environmental impacts of its products and has taken a number of steps to move ahead towards lowering the ramifications.
CLOSED Sustainable Journey So Far
Some of their latest steps towards the big goal included in their 2020 sustainability report :
The denim giant has just joined the Fair Wear Foundation, which will inspect the manufacturing facilities at regular intervals in the future — formally demonstrating to their consumers the great working conditions in which its production partners operate.
In collaboration with its denim mill Candiani, the company has expanded its eco-denim line A BETTER BLUE by launching the world’s first degradable stretch denim clothing made with the natural rubber yarn CorevaTM. A BETTER BLUE jeans are made using eco-friendly materials, low-impact dyeing techniques, and washing methods for resource conservation in Italy. So far, the company has manufactured 223,950 units of A BETTER BLUE things and claim that it has saved 6,882,870 litres of water, 649,455 kWh of electricity, and 77,262 kg of solid waste of chemicals (based on average savings compared to a pair of conventional Closed jeans).
To reduce its use of water, electricity, and chemicals even further, it has included eco-friendly innovations into its designs, such as outerwear made from 100% recycled materials coloured with plant dyes. The retailer is increasing the proportion of eco-materials.
Another important aspect in ensuring seamless manufacturing was the company’s short supply chains. This is a feature that has always been essential for the brand, as well as for environmental and quality concerns. An astounding 80% of our products are manufactured in Europe, near our key consumers. To reduce its environmental impact, the company has avoided flying materials or semi-finished clothes throughout the world. Its producers in Italy, Portugal, Romania, and Turkey typically work with European materials, whilst its Chinese partners primarily obtain materials from Asia, such as silk or technological textiles. To reduce emissions to a minimal, its clothes, footwear, and accessories are exclusively carried to warehouses by land or sea.
The company donates to climate protection projects to compensate for a part of unavoidable emissions. Its corporate offices and warehouses are already carbon-neutral. While they’re on the issue, they have some exciting news: beginning with the autumn 2021 collection, they will offset the CO2 emissions for all A BETTER BLUE jeans. They will progressively focus on eco-friendly measures and CO2 offsetting in the next years, with the goal of creating a totally climate-neutral supply chain.
Closed’s Code of Conduct, which is followed by all of its manufacturing partners, allows it to rely on an official letter that assures: no child labour, fair and statutory pay, compensated overtime, safe and sanitary working conditions, set working hours, and a maximum 48-hour work week. Every partner must sign the Code of Conduct twice a year.
The Road Ahead
The denim retailer is looking forward to bigger and better sustainability goals. The brand will provide PETA-approved vegan labeling for its items that do not include any animal-derived substances. They will be employing a new outerwear fabric composed of recycled nylon beginning with autumn 2021 collection. It is dyed with a plant-based dye that is environmentally friendly. ONIBEGIE is an eco-friendly dyeing method developed by its Japanese partners Komatsu Matere that upcycles onion peels, olives, and bamboo. By donating to eco-initiatives and offsetting its carbon emissions, its A BETTER BLUE jeans will bring climate-neutral items beginning with the winter 2021 collection. Additional certifications, declarations of purchase, and the provenance of the raw material, as well as animal welfare standards, are required for all yarns containing animal fibers beginning with the brand’s winter 2021 collection. In this collection, they will also include organic cashmere. It is also integrating a greater proportion of organic cotton and other natural fibers in its collections. As per the brand, 35% of its women’s and 47% of its men’s winter 2021 collections are eco-friendly, 41% of the women’s and 50% of the men’s denim are part of the eco-denim line A BETTER BLUE. The brand will also use recyclable paper for its hangtags.
WHAT THE BRAND BELIEVES
Since its inception, sustainability has played a critical part in Closed’s purpose. In the 1970s, the notion of “sustainable” was far from pervasive or widespread as it is now, and it was open to several interpretations. Closed has always represented respect for and a fair perspective of not just the environment, but also of everyone and everything with whom it works. Its declared goal was and continues to be long-term partnerships with all business colleagues, which is why the brand seeks for partners that share similar values and whom it can lay trust. Simply put, sustainability entails far more than this, it also entails using the planet’s resources as responsibly as possible.