Cradle to Cradle certified® innovations

The Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Innovation Institute helps us to design in closed loops. Their philosophy is inspired by nature. In nature, there is no concept of waste; all materials are reutilized in cycles. Closed loop- or circular design strives to mimic these natural principles.

Cradle to Cradle Certified® is the only certification in the world designed for a circular product economy. It is the most rigorous because it requires unparalleled levels of transparency across the supply chain. It looks at design from five perspectives: material health; water stewardship; social fairness; material reutilization; and renewable energy.

In 2018 we presented the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold denim fabric through Our Most Sustainable Jeans Ever. The innovative fabric contained 100% organic cotton and was dyed using zero harmful chemicals while not wasting a single drop of water. We have been building on this innovative fabric ever since. We introduced a low dip summer version using only 2 indigo dips instead of 8, and then a stretch version where 2% sustainable stretch was added to the organic cotton for comfort. We have also launched a product range where the certification went beyond the fabric. Here, the full product, including buttons, yarn and labelling was Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified®. This resulted in a 100% recyclable product. With these adaptions to the initial innovation, we are able to further increase the use of these circular fabrics throughout our collection. By continuously expanding the sustainable offer throughout our collections and providing more sustainable choices, we aim to make it easy for our consumers to join the change. Right now, about 5% of our fabrics is Cradle to Cradle certified at Gold level. For 2025 we have set a new ambitious goal to be at 20%.

Cradle to Cradle journey

G-star RAW Sustainable Evolution
Fabric & Product

Timeline of our cradle to cradle journey from 2018 to 2020

One of our biggest challenges as an industry is how to scale and accelerate innovation wider and faster. In order to make a real impact, collaborating and sharing is key. This is why we made our Cradle to Cradle Certified® denim fabric and hydrosulphite-free indigo technology openly accessible through the Fashion Positive Materials Library, allowing others in the industry to implement and further build on these innovations as well.

Indigo innovation

In 2019 we collaborated with Archroma and Advance Denim (a denim fabric mill) to launch the world’s first aniline free indigo. Aniline is a chemical and an inherent part of the industry standard indigo. This indigo technology historically has the lowest amount of aniline impurities present, further preventing any potential skin allergies and assuring safety for aquatic life.

Most recently, we introduced a denim fabric with the world’s first regenerative indigo dyeing concept. This means that the waste from the indigo dyeing process is designed to become a fertilizer for the agricultural industry, underscoring our emphasis on circularity.

Supply chain partners

It is important to highlight that all of these product innovations would not be possible without the skills and resourcefulness of our partners. Four examples of suppliers that we have worked with on our circular denim styles:
Artistic Milliners, a denim manufacturer, that provides highly advanced yarn-spinning, denim-dyeing, weaving and finishing, and garment manufacturing.
DyStar, a leading dyestuff & chemical manufacturer spanning over 50 countries and multiple sectors.
Saitex, an eco-friendly denim manufacturer, the only apparel manufacturer in Asia certified as B corporation.
Archroma, a provider of sustainable dyes and specialty chemicals.

Wear & Care responsibly

Sustainability starts at the drawing table, with the fabrics we choose to minimize our impact. It continues all the way through manufacturing and transportation to our stores. But it does not stop there. The environmental impact of our products continues throughout its entire lifecycle. This means that you can contribute too. Make sure to wash your jeans carefully and repair them if possible. When you’re truly finished wearing them, give them to a friend, a charitable organization, a second hand store, or find a recycle bin near you.

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