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Cone reinforces recycling guarantees

Mill in Mexico produce denim with up to 50% post-industrial waste (PIW) cotton.

8th August 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Greensboro, NC, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Cone Denim headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, has established a certified supply chain for recycled cotton in Mexico and launched its second zero-waste design collection at the recent Kingpins show in New York.

The company’s certification now includes a closed-loop process for recycled cotton, providing customers with verification and documentation of recycled cotton used in the manufacturing of Cone Denim fabrics in the Western Hemisphere.

“While both of our mills in Mexico are already RCS – Recycled Cotton Standard – certified for fabrics, we went a step further in having our fibre supplier certified,” said Cone Denim president Steve Maggard. “The demand for recycled cotton continues to grow and with this increased demand, we recognise the value for our customers to have third-party verification of the recycled content used in denim made by Cone.”

Cone identified and engaged with a third-party supplier in Mexico to certify its process for recycled cotton. The supplier was required to meet the certification standards established by Textile Exchange and certified by Control Union. Cone received RCS certification with this new process in March and will undergo a yearly audit to maintain its standing.

The company is committed to sustainable innovation and has used post-industrial waste in its denim for over 25 years. Its mill in Parras, Mexico, has the capability of producing up to 50% post-industrial waste (PIW) cotton in its denim fabric constructions, and Cone’s mill in China can offer up to 100% PIW recycled cotton.

Cone collaborated with Decode and sustainable wash innovator Jeanologia for the Interconnected collection displayed at Kingpins, based on Bonzai fabric produced with 100% post-industrial recycled cotton.

The intentionally monomaterial jeans incorporated 100% biodegradable Chroma SPC and Chroma Plus sewing threads from Cone’s sister brand American & Efird.


Cone also announced a partnership with Noble Biomaterials, a specialist in antimicrobial and conductivity solutions for soft surface applications, at Kingpins.

A new denim fabric has been developed using Noble’s Ionic+ technology, which exploits positively charged silver ions permanently embedded into fibres to inhibit the growth of bacteria and microbes on the surface of a fabric. Using the technology, Cone has created sustainable protection for jeans that remain microbe and odour-free, reducing the need for frequent washing.

The denim will be used in an Autumn 2023 launch by brand Mack Weldon.

The Ionic+ performance lasts the lifetime of the garment, enabling fewer washes for reduced water and energy consumption. It is also dyed using one of Cone Denim’s Distilled Indigo (pre-reduced) shades, which offers additional water, energy and chemical savings. Recent industry studies show eliminating even one wash and dry cycle can deliver benefits in conserving water and energy.

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