When G-Star introduced the first ever Cradle to Cradle Certified™ GOLD level denim fabric in December, the launch marked a significant milestone in the innovation of circular materials for fashion. To develop the sustainable denim G-Star partnered with Barcelona-based assessor Eco-Intelligent Growth and suppliers Artistic Milliners, Dystar and Saitex to evaluate the entire design process for opportunities to reduce environmental impact.
The resulting denim fabric made from 100% organic cotton, grown without any synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides, and produced using the cleanest indigo-dyeing process to-date. G-Star used the denim, along with recyclable components and sustainable washing techniques, to create the Elwood RFTPi jean and the matching D-Staq RFTPi jacket.
Through their work with Artistic Milliners and Dystar, G-Star developed the Crystal Clear dyeing process, which uses 70 percent less chemicals and no salts. The process produces no salt by-product during the reduction or dyeing process, saving water and leaving clean, recyclable water effluent. G-Star also worked with Saitex to develop new washing techniques that ensure 98 percent of the water used can be recycled and reused, while the remaining 2 percent evaporates, leaving no waste water.
To further sustainable innovation in the fashion industry and inspire a sector-wide shift in practice, G-Star and its mill partner have also created open-source access to their sustainable denim fabric-development processes, which are available through the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive Materials Collection. G-Star is one of Fashion Positive’s first partners, joining the initiative when it launched in 2014.