Recycled cotton is the main ingredient in Armedangels’ new Detox Denim collection.
The men’s and women’s collection offers popular styles in denim fabrics made from an 80/20 percent blend of pre- and post-consumer cotton waste. By exclusively using recycled cotton, the German brand saves CO2 emissions, land use, energy and water consumption that would otherwise be required for the cultivation of fresh fibers.
For the collection, Sara Maier, Armedangels Design Lead Denim, said the brand was sourced from Turkish mill Calik Denim and Portuguese textile recycler Valerius 360°. The entire supply chain in the manufacture of Detox Denim can be traced transparently via a QR code sewn into the jeans. By scanning the code, consumers gain access to Aware Virtual ID, a digital product passport that tracks the entire product journey.
In addition, the garments are PETA certified and vegan as their patches are made of jacron and not leather.
Women’s detox denim styles include the Mairaa mom jean, a cropped ’90s style with a high waist and tapered legs; the straight-leg Aaikala jeans; and the Enijaa, a cropped, wide-leg, high-waist jean. The brand offers the Annoj shirt jacket for men in black and indigo.
Maier said the brand is working to address the challenges posed by recycled cotton, noting that both pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled cotton cannot match the high quality of new cotton, largely due to the impact of the mechanical recycling.
“For us, quality is synonymous with sustainability, which means we always strive to offer products of the best possible quality,” she said. “Based on our experience, we have found that pre-consumer recycled cotton is generally better quality than post-consumer recycled cotton. One of the problems with post-consumer waste is the difficulty of sorting it. The market is flooded with fiber blends and many very poor quality garments are already out there.”
Maier added that although Armedangels only uses GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified content, it can also be difficult to trace the origin of the waste and ensure environmental standards.
In terms of design, heavier and more compact fabrics are an advantage when using recycled cotton, “because they compensate for the disadvantages of short-staple fibers,” says Maier. The targeted use of recycled fibers in the warp or in the weft, depending on the fabric construction, has also proven to be a favorable approach.
“In terms of treatments, we have found that sanding as a finishing treatment increases the comfort and softness of circular knit fabrics. This technique involves a controlled brushing of the fabric surface, resulting in a softer feel,” she said. “We incorporate this technology into our recycled cotton products to enhance their softness and comfort, offering the best of both worlds – roundness and comfort.”
Armedangels reports that 99.62 percent of its summer collection is made from natural fibers or recycled materials and is working to increase the proportion of recycled fibers in the coming seasons. “A layer [toward] A more circular economy is embedded within our company as part of our materials strategy. This includes recycled materials as an important part of decarbonization,” said Maier.
Armedangels reports that 99.62 percent of its summer collection is made from natural fibers or recycled materials and is working to increase the percentage of recycled fibers in the coming seasons. Other fabrics in the Armedangels sustainable denim range are made from organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester and Tencel.
The collection is an example of the supply chain’s efforts to reduce the use of fresh cotton without sacrificing quality and durability. Tencel recently partnered with Advance Denim and Officina39 to improve the look and feel of non-cotton denim fabrics.
Maier said the combination of recycled cotton with Tencel is proving to be an excellent approach to ensure stability and high quality. “Tencel offers good resilience and has long staple fibers that contribute to the overall strength and durability of the fabric. This combination allows us to meet the desired standards and deliver high quality products,” she said.
Detox Denim is part of Armedangels sustainable efforts. In 2022, the company launched a second-hand platform to extend the life of its garments.
Cotton farmers are also supported in the conversion to organic cotton through the Armedangels Organic Farmers Association in cooperation with Suminter, an Indian organic cultivation company. According to the brand’s 2022 Impact Report, between 2021 and 2022 the association has converted 365 farms to organic cotton and 135 are in the final stages of converting to organic cotton.
The company is also building its team of sustainability experts. Jordan Nodarse was recently hired as an advisor. Nodarse advises Bossa Denim and served as creative director for Boyish for three years.
https://sourcingjournal.com/denim/denim-brands/armedangels-detox-denim-100-percent-recycled-cotton-jeans-sara-maier-444207/ German brand Armedangels detoxes denim with recycled cotton – Sourcing Journal