The degree of success the denim industry achieves moving forward may hinge on whether it can create a sustainable future.As the market of ethical and health-conscious consumers expands, so does the demand for more sustainable fabric. A recent report from global technology research and advisory company Technavio, said the global denim jeans market is expected to grow by more than $14 million by 2024. And much of the growth, Technavio said, will be attributed to the industry’s adoption of organic cotton. Global production of organic cotton increased 56 percent in the 2017-2018 crop year—the largest output of organic cotton since the recession.

But organic cotton is just one part of the puzzle. As the innovations that have come from mills, fiber companies and chemical specialists in 2019 indicate, denim is on a sustainable journey that touches on every step from fiber and dyes, to finishes and trims.

It’s that 360-degree view that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation promoted in 2019 with the launch of The Jeans Redesign Guidelines. Developed with more than 40 denim experts, the initiative provides minimum requirements on garment durability, material health, recyclability and traceability, and the guidelines are based on the principles of the circular economy. The goal? To encourage companies to make jeans that will last longer, can be easily recycled, and are made in a way that’s better for the environment and garment workers’ health.

Since launching in July, brands like Boyish Jeans, C&A, Guess, Lee Jeans, Mud Jeans. Tommy Hilfiger and more have signed on, as well as players from the supply chain, including Cone Denim, Prosperity Textile and Soorty.

These commitments and investments in resource-saving innovations are moving the denim industry in a positive direction.

Reference: Velasquez, A. (2019, December 30). Denim Made Strides In Sustainable Dyes, Fibers and Finishing in 2019. Retrieved from