In a first fully circular experiment, Italian denim manufacturer Candiani has developed a plant-based stretch yarn obtained from natural rubber to replace synthetic, petroleum-based yarns. Representatives from brands such as Redone, Everlane, J Crew, Citizens of Humanity and Taylor Perez inspected the experiment on site as part of the Road to Denim project.
In the seven-week experiment, the new Coreva yarn was used to fertilise the soil and grow regenerative Blue Seed cotton. Blue Seed is Candiani's exclusive, hybrid non-GMO cotton variety. It was designed to be a stronger fibre, but also to be more resistant in the field and require less water and chemicals.
For the experiment, Candiani partnered with California's Rodale Institute, the leading research centre for organic and regenerative agriculture. The company wanted to prove that its Coreva technology could have a positive impact on the environment and can be used to grow regenerative cotton.
The result showed that the presence of Coreva in the soil increased the moisture content of the soil from the first to the seventh week. After the seventh week, this effect decreased, probably due to the decomposition of the material. No effect on plant growth was observed, but this is probably due to the fact that cotton has a long growth cycle and seven weeks is not enough. Further trials are therefore required.
The positive result shows that Candiani's vision of combining industrial denim production with regenerative agriculture is possible. This means that when a pair of jeans reaches the end of its life, it can go back to nature to grow the raw materials for a new pair.
“In a world where resources are diminishing and landfills are overflowing with discarded garments, we must look for renewable resources, in addition to biodegradable and compostable materials,” said the company’s president and owner Alberto Candiani in a press release.
“Denim has to take the lead in this revolution, and we are thrilled to be working alongside Denham the Jeanmaker and Stella McCartney and brands including Huit, Kings of Indigo, Closed and Heron Preston to share our innovation with the wider fashion industry,” added Candiani.