Amsterdam: global denim capital

Amsterdam again played host to the global denim community at the third annual Amsterdam Denim Days. Denim Days is an event that attracts thousands of denim insiders from around the world, from brands to manufacturers. In a series of events in Amsterdam, they share their ideas about innovation, sustainability and education in the denim industry. After gaining much recognition over the last two years, this unique series of shows, gatherings, and events returned to the city of Amsterdam from 11-17 April.

The Netherlands is a global leader in the denim industry. G-Star Raw was founded here, and the country is currently home to brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Scotch & Soda and Pepe. 

Leading sustainability in Amsterdam

The Netherlands is also a world leader in reducing the amount of pollution that the denim industry creates. Amsterdam’s role in turning jeans into eco-friendly fashion began in 2009, when House of Denim was launched by James Veenhoff, the former director of the Amsterdam International Fashion Week, and the fashion consultancy owner Mariette Hoitink. They wanted to capitalise on the leading role that denim played in Amsterdam’s fashion economy, and realised that if that business sector was to grow, then the entire industry would have to become more sustainable.

House of Denim is their non-profit initiative, an “innovation campus” for the denim industry that conducts research and creates networking opportunities. It has even launched its own denim academy, known as the International Jean School. The first eight students graduated last year, and another 25 are currently enrolled. House of Denim’s corporate sponsors include the C&A Foundation, the City of Amsterdam, Levi Strauss, Tommy Hilfiger, and others.