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New report details improvements in Jeans Redesign participants

By Rachel Douglass


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Jeans Redesign Project. Credits: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

A new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has outlined a series of industry improvements by the companies and brands participating in its Jeans Redesign project.

Initially launched by the foundation in 2019, the initiative provided a minimum bar to design and make garments in line with circular economy principles, offering guidelines surrounding criteria like durability, traceability and recyclability.

100 participants from over 25 countries took part in the project, and have ultimately contributed to the development of the insights used in the report.

For example, 70 percent of the participants were reported to have overcome design and innovation challenges to meet the guidelines, meanwhile more than a third had applied the principles of circular design beyond jeans to other garments.

Additionally, between 2021 and 2023, 1.5 million pairs of jeans were redesigned by brands to meet such guidelines, with one-in-nine brands having redesigned at least 40 percent of their jeans portfolio.

Obstacles were also highlighted in the report, with challenges such as having to pay a premium to source the right materials being one of the defining difficulties faced by brands.

Companies also said that they found it difficult to develop jeans with stretch that met the guidelines, while other technical solutions were avoided due to the need for specific design choices.

Commenting on the report, Jules Lennon, fashion lead of the foundation, said that to “truly challenge conventional linear models at scale we must go beyond redesigning products”.

Lennon suggested the there was a need to redesign the services, supply chains and business models that deliver garments and keep them in use, adding that it was “time to step up the pace and scale of progress”.

Circular Fashion
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Jeans Redesign