The Jeans Redesign updated guidelines now published

The Jeans Redesign guidelines encourage leading brands, mills, and manufacturers to transform the way jeans are made. Based on the principles of a circular economy, they’re a blueprint for collective action to scale circular practices. To take part in the project, participants must specify how their jeans or fabric meet The Jeans Redesign Guidelines, and how they intend to accelerate progress against the Guidelines beyond the minimum requirements set out. 

In February 2019, Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular brought together a group of industry experts in an intensive workshop, to collaboratively test and further develop a common vision of what good looks like for jeans. The result of this work is a set of Guidelines, co-developed with representatives from brands, manufacturers, fabric mills, collectors, recyclers, and academics, that define a starting point for the industry to design and produce jeans in accordance with the principles of a circular economy.

The first version of The Jeans Redesign Guidelines – published in July 2019 – was based on four areas: durability, material health, recyclability, and traceability and saw over 70 organisations create jeans in line with the principles of a circular economy. 

The second version of the Guidelines has been aligned with the three focus areas of the vision of a circular economy for fashion, published in 2020 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with input from leading organisations across the fashion industry. Based on the three focus areas, jeans are designed to be used more, made to be made again, and made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs. 

They’re a ‘minimum bar’, designed to be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they continue to drive the industry forward. The first redesigned jeans using the guidelines were completed in June 2021, demonstrating that it is possible to create circular jeans today.

The Guidelines were updated in 2021, and all participants should now be working towards these. The Jeans Redesign – Insights from the first two years, reveals the barriers, solutions and innovation gaps faced by participants between March 2019 and June 2021.

Creating solutions for a world where clothes are kept in use

For decades, jeans have been at the heart of countless fashion collections. However, they’re no exception to the fashion industry’s take-make-waste approach. Making jeans requires large amounts of resources, such as pesticides, water, and energy, and the way they’re designed and constructed makes jeans difficult to remake and recycle after use.

Redesigning this iconic fashion staple is the perfect starting point on the journey towards a circular economy for fashion.

Download The Jeans Redesign Guidelines

Download The Jeans Redesign Report 2019-2021


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