Green Deal Circular Denim
Signatories have committed to an international collaboration towards ‘Closing the Loop’ with new solutions to make Post-Consumer Recycling of Textiles (PCR) the New Denim Industry Standard.
Impact of the clothing industry
The clothing industry is responsible for around 4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions (source: Milieu-Centraal). Besides greenhouse gas emissions, the production process of textiles has a negative environmental footprint when it comes to the chemicals, (during the manufacturing process) and the use of land, water and pesticides (when growing natural fibers). When it comes to usage and consumption in the Netherlands, 57% of the textiles is disposed of in general waste and consequently incinerated after consumption (source: nulmeting beleid 2018). A Dutch consumer buys 50 pieces of clothing each year (source: Milieu-Centraal) while only 12% of the disposed textiles are recycled and 17% reused (source: nulmeting beleid 2018).
Launching of the Denim Deal
As these numbers show, there is a world to be gained in the textile industry when it comes to sustainable use of raw materials and increasing circularity throughout the industry. Therefore, the former State Secretary Van Veldhoven (circular economy and environment) has, together with 30 parties from the denim industry, taken a next sustainable step for a cleaner textile industry. The Denim Deal includes concrete agreements for more reuse of old denim garments. Van Veldhoven: 'I think we should work towards a cleaner textile industry for a healthy future and our climate. When we change our demand here, it will have an effect on how sustainably companies in Turkey and China, for example, produce, and will make us, as the Netherlands, no small player. What is so special about this Denim Deal is that, for the first time worldwide, all parties involved in the (denim) textile cycle - from brand, to collector and weavers - are taking up the challenge for a cleaner wardrobe together'.
About the Denim Deal
In the Denim Deal it has been agreed that brands such as Scotch & Soda, MUD Jeans and Kuyichi together make three million jeans garments containing at least 20% recycled textiles. In addition, all parties have agreed that they will work together towards the standard of at least 5% recycled textile in all denim garments as quickly as possible. Former State Secretary Van Veldhoven: ‘The strength of this Denim Deal lies in the fact that all parties involved in the making and processing of a denim garment will participate, from production companies, brands and retailers, but also collectors, sorters, cutters and weavers. We are initiating a change in the entire chain. Once that step has been taken, scaling up will be easier afterwards. That will make this Denim Deal a blueprint for making garments made from other materials more sustainable’.
Look here for the publication of the Denim Deal in the Government Gazette (Staatscourant) with the signatories until 1 June 2022
How to join the Denim Deal
Are you interested in joining the Denim Deal? Please contact the coordinator Roosmarie Ruigrok at email@example.com.
Denim Deal Coalition Partners
The Denim Deal will run for three years (October 2020 – December 2023) as an alliance of international frontrunners in the denim industry. Here, you can find the most recent overview of both public and private parties that have signed the Denim Deal (pdf, 442 kB). Since the start in October 2020 the number of signatories has grown significantly.
Circular Economy 2050
In the Netherlands we are working towards a circular economy in which (textile) waste will no longer exist. If we re-use all our 'waste' in new products, it will save C02 and prevent environmental pollution. In addition to denim, the State Secretary is therefore working with the entire textile chain on extensive producer responsibility for textiles, which means that the producer is responsible for taking and processing the product after use. In this way, it should become easy and a habit for consumers to hand in worn-out jeans and jumpers in order to produce new ones. Only in this way can we together ensure much less discarded material, more re-use and less waste.
The signatories of the Denim Deal committed themselves to the joint ambition of working as quickly as possible towards a new industry standard at 5% PCR-cotton used in the production of all denim garments. Each year, a report will be made on the activities undertaken by the parties, the results achieved and the effect these have had on the achievement of the objectives. The monitoring system consists of both quantitative monitoring measured as progress towards the set ambitions, as well as qualitative monitoring in the form of questionnaires.
The first quantitative baseline report (pdf, 9.1 MB) 2020 shows the departure point for the Denim Deal. Progress and results will be reported in next editions of the monitor. The monitor on 2021 (pdf, 2.9 MB) shows the first results of the Denim Deal. Progress and results in 2022 and 2023 will be reported in next editions of the monitor.
The steering committee’s primary task is to oversee general progress towards the objectives and agreements as stated in the Denim Deal, and to organize, facilitate and coordinate any necessary joint activities required to achieve these objectives and agreements. The steering committee consists of the following parties:
Representative of waste processing companies Jan Lamme (former CEO of Lamme Textiles)
Representative of the spinners/weavers Besim ÖZEK (Bossa)
Representative of the brands/retailers Imogen Nulty (Scotch and Soda)
Representative of the brands/retailers Nicolas Prophte (PVH)
Representative of Ministry of I&W Miriam van de Kamp
Representative of local authority Marten Boels (Metropolital Region of Amsterdam)
Coordinator Roosmarie Ruigrok*
* The contribution of Amsterdam municipal authority to the role of the coordinator will be supported by the horizon2020 Reflow Project.
Participants of the Denim Deal are organized in working groups to collaborate on specific challenges within the textile industry. There are three working groups:
Lead by: Hans Bon (Wieland)
How to come to a better transport of goods from the Netherlands to other countries?
Parties experience problems with the shipment of non-wearable textiles to other countries. Parties within this working group will work together in order to come up with solutions for the shipment.
Lead by: James Veenhof (House of Denim)
How to come to 3 million jeans with 20% PCR with the quality requirements of the brands?
At present, the use of recycled materials is often accompanied with price increases. The Denim Deal should develop new business models so that the deployment of PCR cotton in denim will become common use.
Lead by: Peter Rijken (Retailexperts)
What is the best way to be transparent about your activities to come to a circular business without green washing?
Transparency is important in order to show consumers that PCR cotton is actually incorporated into the Denim. This working group focuses on the question which communication tools can be used to inform consumers about the PCR cotton content of the clothing. There are several instruments already available on the market. Which instruments best suit the needs of the stakeholders involved in the Denim Deal?