Can G-Star RAW’s Sustainable Outlook Be An Instrument For Change In The Denim Industry?

When it comes to sustainability, G-Star RAW is not only talking the talk; they are proving their commitment by continuously challenging the conventions of denim design.

There is no denying, that for fashion brands, undertaking a sustainable existence comes down to the commitment required versus the benefits received. This is a hurdle that G Star Raw has gracefully jumped over. Founded in 1989, G-Star RAW is dedicated to quality and progress, the brand represents the forefront of the denim industry, producing pioneering products and rapidly growing into a global brand. Since inventing the ‘3D Denim’ approach to jeans construction in 1996, with the creation of the G-Star Elwood, G-Star now offers a wide range of apparel, accessories, footwear, and eyewear, alongside its jeans core.

G-Star RAW Leading The Way By Pioneering New Means of Production

Before the end of 2017, G-Star RAW launched its most sustainable jean ever. Part of their S/S ’18 collection, the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean was developed by analyzing each part of the denim design process and exploring how to reduce the environmental impact at every step, the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean marks a milestone in sustainable denim manufacturing.

SustainabilityPioneering new means of production, while maintaining an uncompromising dedication to quality and style,  G-Star shared with the step-by-step process of how the Elwood RFTPi Jean came about:

1. G-Star partnered with its suppliers to develop the cleanest indigo dyeing process in the world – a world’s first. Working with DyStar and Artistic Milliners the cleanest indigo technology ever was formulated using 70% fewer chemicals, no salts and producing no salt by-product during the reduction and dyeing process, consequently saving water and leaving clean and recyclable water effluent.

2. The most sustainable washing techniques, responsibly made. G-Star worked with long-standing partner Saitex to prepare and wash the garments with their utmost care for people and environment. By employing sustainable technologies, good chemistry and renewable energies, 98% of the water will be recycled and re-used and the other 2% will be evaporated, leaving no water to be wasted or discharged into the local environment.

3. Only 100% organic cotton was used. Using cotton which is grown without synthetic
fertilisers and toxic pesticides sustains and improves the health of soil, ecosystems and societies.

4. All other components not conducive to easy recycling were removed. G-Star removed all rivets and zippers and instead used eco-finished metal buttons. Also, all labelling and carton packaging is responsibly sourced.

When New Denim Fabric, Revolutionary Indigo Process And Open Source Become One

G-Star and its mill partner created an open-source access to their most sustainable denim fabric development processes which now can be accessed through the Institute’s Fashion Positive Materials Library. On this decision, Frouke Bruinsma, Corporate Responsibility Director of G-Star RAW shared, “Our new denim fabric and its revolutionary indigo process will become an open source for the rest of the industry to use. We would like to invite
others to join us towards cleaner and more ethical denim production globally.”

G-Star RAW

On working with various partners, Omer Ahmed Director of Artistic Milliners added,
“We are really proud to have collaborated with our partners G-Star and DyStar in
developing the most sustainable denim fabric ever made at Artistic Milliners. Together
we have pioneered a radical new dyeing method which is hydro and salt free, we
call the process Crystal Clear. This is perhaps the most radical change to the
indigo dyeing process since its industrialization. Even though this formula is
in its infancy we are hopeful that in due time it will be adopted by the denim
industry at large as there is an unprecedented environmental/water saving potential
in using this method.”

ALSO READ: G-Star’s EarthColors collection, Traceable From Earth To Product

As a key player in the fashion sustainable market, G-Star RAW is taking responsibility by leading by example. Promoting sustainable denim innovation, the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jean, together with its counterpart the D-Staq RFTPi denim jacket, will be available in stores and online from February 15th for both men and women.

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Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.