With around 1.2 billion pairs of jeans produced each year, it’s no great secret that denim jeans are one of the worst offenders in the fashion industry in terms of the environmental and human costs of production.
According to The Ethical Fashion Source Denim Report, a pair of jeans “consumes an average 10,850 litres of water and causes 32.5kg of CO2 emissions – from growing the cotton, to processing, dyeing, finishing, shipping, and, once bought, washing,” while “conventional cotton is ranked among the least sustainable fibres.”
At Outland Denim, we believe every aspect of a jean deserves our attention to ensure it’s made in a way that’s environmentally and socially conscious. To this end, we source raw materials from reputable companies similarly invested in sustainability and positive community outcomes, including our premium denim mill, Bossa.
Bossa has been actively involved in environmental and ethical issues since its inception in 1951, implementing a wide range of projects to further cement its place in the sustainable and ethical fashion industry, including its sustainable RE-SET denim line, which Outland Denim utilizes for its indigo styles.
“We first launched the RE-SET concept in 2006 and since then, we expanded it with new technologies and systems for eco-friendly manufacturing,” says Bossa.
“Today, the use of organic cotton and of ecological chemicals and dyestuff has been taken to the next level in RE-SET. We acknowledge that it is important to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order not to compromise the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs, and to this end, we do our part.”
The RE-SET collection is dedicated to producing organic, recycled and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) denim fabrics that look and feel as good as the good they do. Outland chose to work with Bossa on a custom organic line in keeping with its social and environmental positioning.
Organic cotton has proven to use 20-25 per cent less water than conventional cotton, and since competition for natural resources is a significant problem in many of the less developed countries where cotton is grown, Outland Denim aims to utilise organic cotton in all denim sourced from Bossa.
Furthermore, the RE-SET range employs natural indigo dyes derived from a plant species called Indigofera. Use of natural dyes such as this means workers are not exposed to toxic chemicals, and the likelihood or severity of water pollution is reduced.
After travelling to Turkey to see Bossa’s factories firsthand, and learning of the company’s passion for environmentally and ethically sound denim, we were excited to cement the relationship.
Bossa is involved in the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which aims to increase the sustainability of cotton production through reducing the negative environmental and social impacts of cotton. It abides by the Global Organic Textile Standard and has a variety of ISO certifications.
By 2017 Bossa aims to increase the use of BCI cotton from 35% to 60%. The final aim of their operation is to reach the employ of BCI cotton to 90% of the total cotton they use plus, for the remaining 10%, employ organic cotton.
Through sourcing from BCI, Bossa is reducing its environmental impact by ensuring that farmers are using the best practices in regards to water, fertilisers, chemicals and other resources.
Additionally, Bossa has undertaken multiple research and development projects in order to better understand and reduce environmental impacts. Some of these include: design of a waste recovery system for a spinning mill; utilisation of natural dyes; development of recycled cotton in blended denims; as well as undertaking studies on their carbon dioxide emissions and reduction measures.
While celebrating its 65th year in the textile industry, supplying global brands such as Armani and Levi’s, Bossa has also been awarded as one of Turkey’s most female-friendly workplaces. Around 40% of Bossa’s mid-level management are women, which is significantly higher than the average for Turkey. Empowering women, going organic, reducing impact…that’s three solid ticks from us.