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Industry Talk

Lee introduces Cradle to Cradle denims

Every component of the jeans is 100% recyclable.

2nd September 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Greensboro, NC, USA


Lee Jeans has teamed up with Artistic Milliners – one of the world’s largest vertically-integrated denim manufacturers –to create Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified jeans.

The C2C Certified Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through a continuous improvement process, aiming to achieve a circular economy approach. The five quality categories on which products are graded are Material Health, Material Reutilisation, Renewable Energy and Carbon Management, Water Stewardship and Social Fairness.

A product receives an achievement level in each of these categories – Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum – with the lowest achievement level representing the product’s overall mark.

The criteria at each level builds towards the expectation of eliminating all toxic and unidentified chemicals, and the products breaking back down to nutrients after use, top establish a safe, continuous cycle.

The new Lee Aureola jeans have achieved C2C Gold certification and Nymph styles are C2C Bronze.

“At Lee, we are focused on finding transformative pathways to design and manufacture products that minimise the impact on our planet,” said Jeff Frye, vice-president of product development at Kontoor Brands, the owner of Lee. “Achieving Cradle to Cradle Certified styles enables our consumers to wear Lee Jeans with confidence, knowing we are continuously improving the sustainability and circularity of our products with the good of people and our planet in mind.”

Every component of the jeans is 100% recyclable and both styles are classic five-pocket styles made using a premium 12oz selvedge denim with comfort stretch. They are made with 100% organic cotton and the fabric is dyed in a process using 58% less water than traditional dyeing processes. All the buttons are raw, virgin metal that has not been finished with treatments, eliminating additional, unnecessary energy consumption.

Lee’s C2C Certified jeans are available from selected retail stores and online across North America and Europe.

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