An off-white denim, created by a partnership of retailer C&A, Pakistani textile mill Rajby Textiles and circular economy consultants Eco Intelligent Growth (EIG), has become the world's first to receive platinum Cradle to Cradle certification.
Beluga denim is made with 100 per cent Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton fibre, is fully recyclable and is produced using a specially-designed closed-loop water system.
It also claims to be 100 per cent carbon neutral in the final manufacturing stage - although this is achieved through offsetting, rather than emissions reductions, which is not officially recognised by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Jeffrey Hogue, C&A's chief sustainability officer, said: “C&A is proud to be the first fashion brand to achieve the highest certification level within the Cradle to Cradle certified products programme, but as with our other circular innovations, we aim to share our knowledge open source to create a pathway towards circularity for the industry.”
Dr Christina Raab, vice president of strategy and development with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, said: “The supply chain partnership between C&A and Rajby is a groundbreaking demonstration of how the Cradle to Cradle certified product standard can be used to power innovations that ultimately have the potential to transform the fashion industry."
To achieve the highest level Cradle to Cradle certification, Rajby, chemicals and dyes supplier Archroma, and C&A worked together to research and identify the most suitable materials and chemicals for the ecru fabric which was unveiled at the C2C Congress 2020 in Berlin.
The denim had to be made entirely of safe and rapidly renewable ingredients, both fibres and chemicals, which meant that no oil-based dyes, auxiliaries or other chemicals could be used.
Rajby and C&A also worked closely together to ensure that Beluga would be actively cycled into new product after its usable lifetime, instead of becoming waste.
The fabric had to be rigorously tested to ensure it met the highest-level requirements for all five Cradle to Cradle categories: material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.
C&A is expected to launch the first garments made with Beluga denim in about four months. It will be interesting to see whether the company can manage to meet the same standards in other components, such as trims, buttons and thread, used in the resulting garments.
The retailer previously became the first worldwide to launch Cradle to Cradle certified gold t-shirts in 2017, and in 2018 it launched the first Cradle to Cradle certified gold jeans.
Source: EcoTextile News
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