Design with the End in Mind

Jeans should have the right shape and just enough stretch. They should also be biodegradable…

For four generations, Candiani, an Italian mill established in Milan in 1938, has been evolving their products to match the changing times. And with ecosystems crumbling and the threat of climate change looming, designing jeans for these dark times needs to involve much more that the perfect stretch denim.

Alberto Candiani, the current owner, gets it. He has put sustainability and innovation at the heart of the business.

‘When it comes to denim, to deal with the environment is a crucial aspect. There’s a lot of waste in general: water waste, fibres, chemicals – so I personally feel like I’ve got to do something about it.

We recycle 100% of our waste. A big part of it now goes into new fabric. There’s many different ways you can recycle, but if you’re able to create a new product which is even better than the one that gave you the waste – I think this is a big accomplishment.’

Candiani weaving loom
Candiani Denim on Instagram

Two of their innovations are making headlines lately.

The first is their Kitotex Technology, which is used in the dyeing and finishing processes and enables them to make jeans with 30% less energy, 50% and 70% less chemicals.

The second is Coreva Stretch Technology where organic cotton is wrapped around a natural rubber core. This means the denim is free plastics and micro-plastics and is biodegradable.

The elasticity and recovery that means jeans are comfortable and hold their shape often comes from synthetic and petrol-based elastomers. But this fully plant-based technology provides the same results without damaging the planet.

According to Candiani:

‘In a world where resources are diminishing and landfills are overflowing with discarded garments, it’s our duty to look for renewable resources, in addition to biodegradable and compostable materials.

Denim has to take the lead as the indigo flag of this revolution. We are not doing this because there is a demand, but because it’s the right thing to do.’

We couldn’t agree more!

Initially released with Dutch jeanmakers Denham, the biodegradable denim will now feature in Stella McCartney’s autumn/winter 2020 collection. Fashion United reports that the collection will feature 10 pieces made with the Coreva Stretch Technology and be available from May 2020.

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