DENIM & Sustainability
MATERIALS & DETAILS
Denim is primarily made of cotton. Strong, breathable, natural, and renewable cotton is one of the most widely used materials in the fashion and textiles industry. Find out more about the cotton we use in our denim and the choices we made to reduce the impact of the details; patches, button and rivets of your jeans.
Conventional cotton production can be chemically intensive. Pesticides used in the production of cotton contaminate the soil as well as ground and surface water. Synthetic fertilisers, which are widely used to increase production, result in water contamination and significant greenhouse gas emissions. Cotton production is also heavily dependent on water to grow. Our solution: organic and recycled cotton. In 2022, 96% of all of NA-KD’s denim was made of at least 50% organic or recycled materials. In total 77% of all cotton used in our denim in 2022 was organic, whilst 2% was recycled. Read more below!
Compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton uses mostly rain water while growing. Neither are any toxins used. Textile Exchange states that organic cotton cuts the water needed by up to 90%. It also saves the ecosystem and soil around the farms. At NA-KD, our organic cotton is certified by the Organic Content 100 Standard (OCS100) or the Organic Content Blended Standard (OCS Blended) depending on the percentage of organic cotton in the product.
The Organic Content 100 Standard (OCS 100) is an international, voluntary standard that provides chain of custody verification for materials originating on a farm certified to recognized national organic standards. The standard is used to verify organically grown raw materials from the farm to the final product. The goal of the Organic Content Standard (OCS) is to increase organic agriculture production. To earn a OCS 100 certificate the product must contain at least 95% organic material. The Organic Content Blended Standard (OCS Blended) is an international, voluntary standard that provides chain of custody verification for materials originating on a farm certified to recognized national organic standards. The standard is used to verify organically grown raw materials from the farm to the final product. The goal of the Organic Content Standard (OCS) is to increase organic agriculture production. To earn a OCS Blended certificate the product must contain at least 5% organic material, but NA-KD requires a minimum of 50%.
Recycled materials keep waste from ending up in landfill, and they also reduce the need for virgin materials and the associated production resources. As a result it saves chemicals, energy and water usage. Most recycled cotton is recycled from production waste materials, and increasingly also from recycled textiles and clothes. All our recycled cotton meets the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) or Recycled Claim Standard (RCS).
The Recycled Claim Standard Blended (RCS Blended) is an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled input and chain of custody. The primary goal of the RCS is to increase the use of recycled materials. To earn a RCS Blended certificate the product must contain at least 5% recycled material according to Textile Exchange, but NA-KD requires a minimum of 25%. The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled input, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. The primary goal of the GRS is to increase use of recycled materials in products and reduce the harmful social, environmental, and chemical impacts of production. To earn a GRS certificate the product must contain at least 50% recycled material.
For the majority of our jeans produced during 2021 and up until now, jacron patches have been used. Jacron patches are a vegan alternative to leather made from cellulose and is very similar to paper. Compared to real leather and PU leather, a patch made of paper is a more environmentally friendly option. Our jacron patches are FSC certified which helps protect and restore forests. In 2023, however, the jacron patches will be replaced as stock is clearing out. The patches on the back of our jeans will be replaced with an embroidered patch instead.
The embroidered patches on the back of our jeans make it possible to reduce the usage of multiple materials in our denim. Instead of using the old patches made of jacron, threads are now used to create the label on the back of our jeans. This is not only making the production more efficient, it also makes the garment easier to recycle later on.
Eco-finished buttons, rivets, and zippers
For selected denim styles, the buttons and rivets are made using a YKK eco-friendly finish. Compared to the conventional method of electroplating, this YKK finish is using the base colour of the metal and changing it through chemical conversion treatment which uses less water, electricity and hazardous chemicals. Zippers used in the denim are made with YKK Natulon tape which is made from recycled material.