Japanese denim label Edwin denim recently relaunched business in the U.S., building upon growing interest in sustainable denim practices among consumers in the market.
“Timing was on our side,” the brand’s newly appointed U.S. creative director Catherine Ryu told FashionUnited. “Sustainability was more or less a novel idea that few specialty stores cared for six to eight months ago. The demand has grown exponentially with more stores and consumers becoming aware and concerned about environmental and ethical issues.”
Edwin’s product line is manufactured at Saitex, popularly known as “the world’s cleanest denim factory.” The Fair Trade and Leed-certified facility recycles 98 percent of its water through a closed-water system, relies on alternative energy sources and repurposes byproducts.
Saitex’s principles directly align with those of Edwin. Ryu explained: “The ethos of Edwin USA is to create value through responsible innovation in sustainability and a mindset in which ethics and environmental improvements are the priority at every stage of design, research & development, and manufacturing without compromising style, fit and quality.”
Positioning itself as a purpose-led brand, Edwin’s relaunch is centered around showing the brand as a sustainable, responsible label that belongs in the wardrobes of U.S. consumers “Denim is the cornerstone in everybody’s wardrobe. We must fix antiquated old ways of denim manufacturing standards to a new frontier of sustainable and ethical methods,” Ryu said.
Edwin seeks new demographic with U.S. launch
While broadcasting its sustainable angle to American consumers, Edwin hopes to reach more female consumers than it does in other markets. Ryu noted that the global brand retails among a predominantly male audience, while Edwin USA offers both women’s and men’s collections, with a focus on the women’s premium denim sector.
Edwin USA offers two lines in: Edwin Essentials for everyday styles, and Edwin Vintage for more elevated and fashion-forward silhouettes. Both lines feature women’s and men’s styles, and prioritize consumer’s style interests equally to sustainability interests.
“Fit, wash, and quality of denim are still the number one priorities for customers when purchasing,” Ryu said. “When customers know there is sustainability, ethical manufacturing practices, and fair price built in, it’s an easy choice for the consumer.”
Photos courtesy of Edwin USA