Here’s How C&A Made the “World’s Most Sustainable Jeans” –
What goes with C&A’s “world’s most sustainable T-shirt”? The Belgium-based retailer’s “world’s most sustainable jeans,” of course. Like their upper-body counterpart, the jeans are the first retail offering to be certified on a Gold level by California’s non-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII). The accomplishment was no small feat: To qualify for a C2C certification, products must undergo a slew of tests for human and environmental health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, carbon management, water stewardship and social justice. Ratings are based on five levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Though G-Star Raw partnered with Saitex and DyStar to concoct, from 100 percent organic cotton, the first-ever C2C Certified Gold denim, C&A opted for something with a bit more stretch. It worked with Arvind Limited to employ biocompatible elastane from Roica by Asahi Kasei and approved dyes from DyStar, but some components, such as the fabric lining of the waistband, required a complete overhaul. While polyester knit or non-woven interlinings are popularly employed for their versatility and affordability, they also often contain antimony, a chemical that is verboten under C2C guidelines. (Blends, for the same reason, are also a non-option.) An exclusively cotton interlining, one that proved durable enough for denim, had to be fabricated instead.