Sustainable technology provider, Bluesign, plays a key role in G-Star Raw’s multi-prong approach to clean denim.
At Munich Fabric Start on Tuesday, Sara Fessler, G-Star Raw’s Restricted Substance List and environmental specialist, outlined the Dutch brand’s path from landing in Greenpeace’s infamous 2012 Dirty Laundry report to creating 100 percent Bluesign products in 2017.
“While we have already introduced the fabric into our supply chain, we want to create a Bluesign label product,” she said.
The ambitious company expects to have a prototype of its first line of Bluesign label products ready in the next couple of weeks. Fessler said Bluesign products could launch as early as this year.
The brand is in the midst of ensuring that it uses all Bluesign components for the collection, from zippers and rivets, to labels and lining.
“We need to make sure that these components are sourced from Bluesign-approved suppliers and are produced according to Bluesign criteria,” Fessler said. “This is our challenge for this year.”
In 2017, G-Star also plans to begin launching a new sustainable production innovation every other year. Fessler said the innovations will be based on either materials or washing levels—steps she said that will help close the loop in denim.
G-Star combines Bluesign’s chemical usage guidelines with support from the ZDHC Foundation and its own individual action plan, which entails a team of technical engineers working with G-Star’s 28 key suppliers (50 percent have been partners for over 10 years) to clean up their chemistry.
“We are first denim brand to join Bluesign and we are quite convinced that, with respect to a solid and fundamental chemical management system, Bluesign is actually providing the solution to achieve an industry management,” Fessler said.
G-Star joined Bluesign in 2013, allowing the sustainability solutions provider to set its standard for responsible chemical use. In 2015, the brand partnered with Calik, the first Bluesign denim mill. One year later, G-Star and Calik debuted the first Bluesign-approved denim fabrics, which are in the market now.
“We believe we are on the right path. And we’re working hard to constantly improve our processes,” Fessler said. “Our mission is blue. We’re pioneers in denim and we’re one-of-a-kind and we take up the challenge to detox our denim processes and the industry.”