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Denim brands are certainly not all created equal.
reDEW8, for one, has chosen to work together with TENCEL™ to create inclusive denim products which champion style and sustainability.
In terms of style, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are versatile and can be combined with different textile fibers to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of fabrics. At the same time, these fibers come with the full package of strength, smoothness and breathability, which are ideal for all sorts of denim designs.
To put the brand’s ethos into perspective, we only have to look so far as its co-owner Peter Lantz to understand why reDEW8 does what it does.
“We share this only planet of ours with about 8.7 million other species and one of the weaknesses humans have, in the society we have built for ourselves, is our urge for newness and our willingness to buy cheap,” Lantz said. “In short, while fashion can be creatively inspiring and arguably help people to improve their self-esteem within the social norms, it is ultimately evil. In the last century, fashion has gone from embracing high-quality fabrics paired with sartorial skills to fast and disposable garments of highly questionable quality and make. We used to wear a garment for years, whereas today it’s closer to a few times before disposing of it.”
Check out the following interview with Lantz to learn more about the do-gooder brand.
Q: reDEW8 focuses on style, sustainability and technology—can you tell us how each plays into what you do?
Peter: The answer to these three questions can be reduced into a single word: React!
Our very existence is under threat and if we don’t pull ourselves together and react now, our children won’t be able to see all the beauty around us, nevertheless have time to appreciate it, ’cause they will be busy trying to solve the problems of flooding and drought, food and water, migration and war…It may seem like a pessimistic view on our future, but it’s very much a possible, even likely future.
reDEW8 has chosen to address this in several ways. Style-wise by aiming to be contemporary, not cutting edge. In other words, to make jeans based on contemporary styling (as opposed to disposable fashion) using the highest quality fabrics and taking advantage of both the latest technologies and forgotten skills.
As an example, on the fabric side, we’ve been using organic cotton and post-consumer recycled PET-bottles (polyester) from the start and we’re about to launch the world’s first real jeans which not only looks, feels and wears like cotton, but which is also possible to recycle into new jeans of the same quality (as opposed to downcycling). This is only possible thanks to the latest technologies and we’re very thankful that our partners in this specific project, Lenzing and ISKO, are investing heavily in R&D, showing the sustainable way forward in the evolution of denim with TENCEL™ Lyocell.
Another example is our button, which is made from pure copper without galvanization or other chemical treatments. It’s a technique which dates back many thousand years and which our partner MetalBottoni reinvented in a recent collaboration with reDEW8.
Q: How important is sustainability to what you’re doing?
Peter: Speaking of sustainability, it’s a word which unfortunately has lost some of its meaning, so today we always combine it with transparency. Without transparency, sustainability means nothing. reDEW8 aims to offer total transparency. Not only about who made your jeans, how, where and from what, but even down to financial details.
reDEW8 gives 25 percent of the profit back to Earth through the reDEW Foundation to benefit endangered animals and their natural habitat. That means that we offer total transparency also when it comes to profit. As of today, reDEW8 didn’t make any profit (as we just launched the Brand), but we still held two reDEW Earth Prize awards and gave back a total of 500,000 Swedish krona [$55,278]. It’s just to show that we’re in this for real.
reDEW8 has one foot in outdoor and the other in craftsmanship. While the process behind a pair of reDEW8 jeans always starts with style, sustainability and technology are equally important ingredients. A journalist once called us “the Tesla of jeans.” While electric cars may have their flaws, we are flattered to be seen this way.
Q: A little about you now—what’s your first denim memory?
Peter: I guess there are two strong denim memories from my childhood. The first is a pair of jeans which I loved. They were most probably from a Swedish brand and they had a very distinctive 4-pocket look with rectangular patch pockets. It was not unlike the Japanese/American workwear trousers which we’ve seen so much of during the last few years, but these were indigo dyed. At the very end, they had big orange patches on the knees (at least this is how I remember it). Ultimately, they just became too small for me. I always wondered what happened to them. I would have loved to have them still.
The other is not wanting to wear a denim jacket. I’ve had a few denim jackets, but only in the last 10 years or so. My parents were offering to buy denim jackets for me as a child. However, I just never felt comfortable wearing it. I guess I was already craving for function, although I wasn’t able to put it into words at the time.
Q: What’s missing from the denim industry today?
Peter: In my humble opinion, it’s not firstly the denim industry that needs to be addressed. It’s rather the social structure and the norms of society. Still, I would love to see less greed in the denim industry. Profit is a must. That’s still the best way to drive innovation, in my humble opinion.
However, I wish that more people would channel more investments into a focus on the coming generations. To me, it’s unbelievable the way so many in the industry are eager to talk the talk, but not to walk the walk. At any given denim fair, it’s all about sustainability. That should be a great thing, but this competition of “who can make the biggest hang-tag” is not pushing the industry forward.
TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers used in reDEW8 jeans are certified as biodegradable and manufactured in sustainable production processes. The pioneering REFIBRA™ technology used to produce these fibers enables the upcycling of cotton scraps which are traditionally treated as waste from garment production. The upcycling process involves adding wood pulps into shreds of cotton scraps, where the raw materials are transformed to produce new virgin lyocell fibers. Low amounts of water are used across the closed-loop production cycle, with the adoption of a solvent-pinning process that reuses the solvent at 99% recovery rate, ensuring minimal carbon emission. In addition to the impeccable sense of style, reDEW8 customers are also assured that their fashion choices are not contributing to an adverse impact on the environment.
Note: reDEW8 was awarded “Best in Show” at Outdoor Retailer Jan 2019 by The Gear Junkie for their TENCEL™ Denim.