Lee Jeans joins together with Artistic Milliners to develop environmentally friendly denim.

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In collaboration with Artistic Milliners, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated denim and garment manufacturers, denim brand Lee Jeans has produced Cradle to Cradle Certified jeans at the gold and bronze levels.

Because they are made from 100 percent organic cotton, the new Lee Jeans selvage jeans are circular in design, according to the company. Every component is 100 percent recyclable, and the jeans themselves are circular in form.

Lee Jeans joins together with Artistic Milliners to develop environmentally friendly denim.
Lee Jeans joins together with Artistic Milliners to develop environmentally friendly denim.

Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard version 3.1 requirements was met by the Gold-certified Aureola jeans and the Bronze-certified Nymph jeans, which were both certified by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute across the standard’s five performance categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

The classic five-pocket jeans were created at a facility that generates 524000 kWh of solar energy every year, and the textiles were colored using a technique that uses 58 percent less water than typical denim dyeing processes, according to the company. All of the buttons on the jeans are also raw, virgin metal, which means they have not been treated in any way, reducing energy usage and removing the need for additional processing.

“At Lee, we are committed to finding transformative pathways to design and manufacture products that have the least possible impact on our environment,” said Jeff Frye, vice president of product development, innovation, sustainability, and procurement at Kontoor Brands, the parent company of Lee Jeans.

With the Aureola and Nymph designs being Cradle to Cradle Certified, our customers can wear Lee Jeans with confidence, knowing that we are always enhancing the sustainability and circularity of our products for the benefit of people and the environment.

In addition, Murtaza Ahmed, the managing director of Artistic Milliners, stated that the company’s partnership with Lee on the creation of an eco-friendly jeans line is an excellent example of the sort of transformational research and development that can take place across the value chain.

“It allowed us to leverage our current Cradle to Cradle Certified denim fabric as a foundation for developing a completely certified vertical garment,” says the manufacturer. The outcomes are a reflection of our common commitment to a circular future for people and the earth, which has been achieved via collaboration with companies that are committed to having a good impact.”

Lee’s Cradle to Cradle certified jeans are offered in limited quantities at select retail locations and online in North America and Western Europe.