S03 Episode 108 | G-STAR RAW + THE MOST SUSTAINABLE JEANS EVER
In episode 108, Kestrel welcomes two key players at G-Star RAW to the show - Adriana Galijasevic, their Denim and Sustainability Expert, as well as Frouke Bruinsma, corporate responsibility director at G-Star RAW. A condition for doing business at G-Star RAW today, sustainability has been formally built into the company's framework since 2006.
"Sustainability has been a condition for doing business and it's a constant work in progress, so we are always looking for the next sustainable innovation and always striving to surpass our latest sustainable achievements."
-Adriana Galijasevic, G-Star RAW's Denim + Sustainability Expert
In this episode, Kestrel asks Adriana + Frouke to share their personal experience with sustainability, as well as the background story G-Star RAW has connected to sustainability. In 2012, G-Star RAW took their sustainable capsule and decided to expand that concept and apply it to their entire line. Since then, sustainability has been a condition for doing business and it's a constant work in progress.
Adriana + Frouke also share a very in-depth and detailed account of the layers of sustainability + circularity that were integrated into the design and manufacturing process behind The Most Sustainable Jeans Ever. As Adriana explains, The Most Sustainable Jeans Ever are a culmination of all of the sustainability work G-Star RAW has been doing formally since 2006; the team developed this project using a holistic approach, and a sustainable lens on every step of the process.
The denim fabric used in this project was certified Gold level by Cradle to Cradle, and one of the most powerful elements of this collection is that G-Star RAW has created open-source access to their sustainable denim fabric-development processes through C2C's Fashion Positive Materials Collection.
The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:
- "Cradle To Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things", book that impacted Adriana's interest in sustainability
- "If You Care About Ethical Fashion, It's Time To Stop Sleeping On G-Star RAW", article by Whitney Bauck in Fashionista
- Some of the issues with denim manufacturing historically when it comes to sustainability:
+ The indigo and the use of sodium hydrosulfites
+ Cotton and its water-intensive nature as a crop + throughout the denim manufacturing process
- DyStar®, partner G-Star RAW worked with to develop the cleanest indigo technology for their most sustainable jeans (the process uses 70% less chemicals + 15% less indigo, it doesn't require any hydrosulfites and it produces no salt byproduct in the reduction or the dyeing process)
- Artistic Milliners, partner G-Star RAW worked with in the development of their fabric for the most sustainable jeans
- Saitex, where G-Star RAW produces - "basically the beacon of sustainable manufacturing"
- Bangladesh Accord, according to G-Star RAW guests, one of the first ways the industry started working together to collaborate
- Renewed Denim, new product launching in stores in May (jeans made with upcycled yarns from recycled G-Star RAW jeans)
- EarthColors, launched in November 2017 (in collaboration with Archroma, naturally-dyed jeans, colored with traceable dyestuff derived from recycled plants and nutshells)
- Lena Library, Fashion Library in Amsterdam where you can "check out" or lease garments
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