by Stephen Garner

Outerknown has signed on to be a part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation‘s inaugural ‘Jeans Redesign’ initiative, which will set new benchmarks for how leading fashion brands produce jeans and tackle waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices in the process.

The Jeans Redesign Guidelines set out minimum requirements on garment durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability. The guidelines are based on the principles of the circular economy and will work to ensure jeans last longer, can easily be recycled, and are made in a way that is better for the environment and the health of garment workers. The Jeans Redesign – created through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative – brought together more than 40 denim experts from academia, brands, retailers, manufacturers, collectors, sorters and NGOs, to develop the Guidelines.

The Guidelines build on existing efforts to improve jeans production, including the open-source guide created following C&A and Fashion For Good’s join initiative to develop C2C Gold Certified jeans. The Jeans Redesign will drive others to join the project and produce jeans in line with the Guidelines at scale. The first pairs of the redesigned jeans will be on sale in 2020.

At Outerknown, the brand has strived to make every decision with the highest regard for the hands that build its clothes and the planet we all call home. By working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on the Jeans Redesign project, the brand hopes to enable change across the fashion industry and shed light on circular design, providing tools and resources to the industry at large. At Outerknown, they already meet important guidelines with its SEA Jeans through sourcing organic cotton and designing into disassembly. Outerknown is now challenging themselves to find a way to improve its process and continue to raise the bar in striving to create the world’s most circular denim.