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Madewell launches sustainable denim dyed with shrimp shells

Madewell 'Eco Collection'
Madewell ‘Eco Collection’

Madewell has launched a new line of sustainable denim that uses shrimp shell fibers in the dying process, significantly reducing the use of chemicals and water needed during manufacturing.

The J.Crew-owned brand is working with the Candiani mill in Italy to use its Kitotex® product, which is made with byproducts of the food industry (such as thrown away shrimp or lobster shells) to dye textiles. The exoskeleton of crustaceans contains chitosan, which is a fiber that helps bind dyes to fabric, while eliminating some of the chemicals traditionally used in the manufacturing of denim.

By using Kitotex and organic cotton also supplied by the Italian factory, Madewell’s Eco Collection is using 65% less chemicals and 75% less H2O than conventional material.

Once the fabric has been manufactured and dyed it gets sent to Saitex, the same Vietnamese factory responsible for G-Star RAW’s and Everlane’s sustainable denim. The factory recycles 98% of its water and turns manufacturing waste into bricks for affordable housing.

Madewell 'Eco Collection'
Madewell ‘Eco Collection’

For this inaugural collection, the American label is launching six styles of eco denim, from jeans to overalls. This is a part of its fall 2018 launch, which also includes the introduction of bigger sizes to 40% of its collection. Recently, J.Crew’s CEO Jim Brett has also noted that the brand will soon be launching a menswear line for the very first time, which should help push it towards its billion-dollar goal.

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Retail sustainability

L’Oréal and Avery Dennison team up on recycling scheme

L'Oréal
L’Oréal

L’Oréal Australia has teamed up with manufacturing company Avery Dennison and local waste management company Wasteflex to introduce a recycling scheme for its labels.

This initiative will help the brand stay committed to its sustainability goals and aim to reduce packaging waste across its international product ranges.

The program, which was developed in coordination between the three companies, will keep a specific part of the label application process (called a glassine paper liner) out of landfills, instead giving it a new life as recycled paper. Up to six tonnes of the glassine paper liner waste could potentially be recycled as a result.

David O’Leary, national logistics manager of L’Oréal Australia explains: “The savings from this program have been significant, but the biggest benefit for L’Oréal Australia is being able to meet our zero waste to landfill through the services and expertise of Wasteflex and Avery Dennison.”

This is not the first time L’Oréal has partnered with Avery Dennison. In 2015, the American branch of the beauty group collaborated with the manufacturing company to leverage its materials science expertise and find a solution for decreasing the waste of its Global MDO product labels. The effort reduced the materials needed for its labels by half, decreasing solid waste by 40%.

With the circular economy becoming an increasingly important topic across fashion and beauty, this initiative exemplifies how innovative new processes and global cooperation can reduce material costs, while also pushing the industry towards a more sustainable business model.