A landmark new deal to make the denim industry more sustainable

Public and private organisations have joined forces in a new initiative to help make the denim supply chain more sustainable. The City of Amsterdam, other public bodies and firms working throughout the textile supply chain have signed the ‘Denim Deal’, an agreement to make denim products more sustainably. The new international collaboration is focused on making post-consumer recycling of textiles the new standard in the industry and has been signed by 30 parties, including the City of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Economic Board, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Municipalities of Haarlem and the Zaanstad. Major brands, including Mud Jeans, Kings of Indigo, House of Denim and Scotch & Soda, have also signed up.

Creating millions of garments more sustainably

All signatories to the Denim Deal have committed themselves to meet certain sustainable standards a part of their operations. This includes agreeing to work as quickly as possible towards a standard of using at least 5% recycled textile in all denim garments. Scotch & Soda, Mud Jeans and Kuyuchi have also pledged to jointly make three million denim garments containing at least 20% recycled textiles. The City of Amsterdam will support this aim by collecting old textiles from residents and ensuring as many people as possible recycle their denim correctly. The deal will run for three years and at the end of each year a report will be compiled to assess all of the activities undertaken and the results. New parties that also want to participate can also still join up.

The 'Denim Deal' is signed

Amsterdam’s role in the new initiative

As the deal was launched, alderman Marieke van Doorninck said: “Amsterdam wants to be fully circular by 2050. This means that we have to be economical with precious raw materials and reuse more materials. The Amsterdam Area is already a leader in the field of sorting and preparing used textiles for recycling. We now also want in the field of denim to take a pioneering role, so that we become a hub for circular textiles and circular denim.”

The deal is another boon for Amsterdam’s thriving sustainable fashion industry, which is home to design houses, schools educating the next generation of tastemakers and both big-name and independent brands. At Fashion for Good, Amsterdam educates those outside the industry about their clothing choices, while a growing scene of second-hand clothing stores offers an alternative to fast fashion. The Dutch capital is also home to the world’s highest concentration of denim brands.

Find out more about the deal, or read more business news from around Amsterdam.