Dutch eco-friendly jeans brand Kings of Indigo (KOI) has just launched Swim Upstream, a new denim capsule collection made with Coreva, a stretch biodegradable fabric from Candiani Denim. The collection includes a selection of trucker jackets, jackets and five-pockets for men, women and kids sold at prices from €150 to €200 for kids and from €220 to €290 for adults. The pieces are available in traditional look denim and, for the first time also in blue, black and ecru variants of the fabric using Coreva.
Swim Upstream is sold through the Kings Of Indigo channels, the Candiani Denim online store and the Candiani store at Piazza Mentana 3 in Milan. The collection’s items feature a series of colorful patches, including the brand’s iconic KOI carp motif.
Tony Tonnaer, founder of Kings of Indigo, and Alberto Candiani, owner of Candiani Denim, spoke about this latest collaboration.
How was this capsule born?
Tony Tonnaer (TT): We have worked with Candiani Denim for a long time and felt it was time to take our collaboration to the next level. By combining Candiani Denim’s biodegradable denim with our design and a selection of our finest Americana and Japan-inspired artworks, we created a strong line of outspoken pieces for those who dare to swim upstream. We’ve launched this new line in the Candiani Denim Store.
Tony Tonnaer, founder, Kings of Indigo
Ever heard the ancient legend of the school of KOI carp? After a long journey of swimming upstream they came to a waterfall. Having gained strength from pushing against the current, some of the fish looked at the waterfall not as a defeat, but as a challenge. One of the carp finally made it to the top and as a reward for its persistence and strength the gods turned the carp into a dragon–able to roam the lands freely for the rest of its life.
When you take a closer look at some art works on these pieces, you’ll see that little carp immortalized.
Alberto Candiani (AC): The idea that guided us was to merge engineering and creativity. We have Coreva, the strongest sustainable innovation ever conceived by Candiani, meeting meticulous artworks by KOI.
A different kind of interpretation tag leads to the creation of iconic pieces enclosing such a new impactful technology.
Where did this capsule draw its inspiration from, and what are its sustainable characteristics? And what about Candiani Denim? Did you codesign the collection or chose the KOI carp graphic?
TT: Inspired by the minimalism of high-quality Japanese denim and the heritage of the American jean, the Kings of Indigo design team brings its own unique flavor to the denim world and offered this collection made with Candiani’s 100% biodegradable stretch denim.
The Kings of Indigo x Candiani denim collection is doubly waste-conscious because the stretch denim contains zero plastics, meaning it can biodegrade completely. And the specially designed patches can be used over and over again, to repair and reuse those favorite pieces from your closet. You can just stitch them to the garments you’re not ready to say goodbye to yet. As for the trims, packaging and hangtags and such, all is made from 100% recycled material.
AC: As I think the interpretation was pretty much in the hands of Tony. We asked him to create jackets because we had focused too much on bottoms previously, and we wanted something as complementary as it was spectacular. Coreva, our patented bio-stretch technology, offers an interesting variety of fabrics with a particular performance that could perfectly adapt to KOI’s creations.
Alberto Candiani, owner, Candiani Denim
Mr. Tonnaer, your brand was born ten years ago with a clear sustainable imprinting. How did it progress? Where do you expect it to be in the next ten years while remaining environmentally friendly?
TT: Kings of Indigo has been sustainable from day one. And by being truly sustainable you need to be dedicated to innovation. There is always the next, lower impact method to pursue and develop. Being a pioneer, over the years our sustainable imprint has grown and grown. Which doesn’t mean we don’t still have many goals when it comes to sustainability. From moving away from new cotton completely, focusing only on recycled materials like we do with our 100% recycled denim, tops and wool garments, for instance, but also by bearing in mind the mountains of waste our industry produces. Upcycling, recycling and reusing garments is very important to us, as we move towards a circular approach. Besides that, we focus on the use of more natural and biodegradable fabrics that can naturally dissolve over time, such as the Candiani Coreva denims and yarns like hemp, linen and Tencel.
“Doing It Right” is our pledge, to do right by the planet and those we share it with. That means that no humans or animals are harmed, and every garment is made with a conscience. We don’t believe in fast fashion or in greenwashing. And since sustainability is the word of the moment, we want to be crystal clear with what we’re doing to make a difference. For this we have pinpointed our five pillars of sustainability, the most important factors we take into consideration in our holistic approach to creating clean clothing. They are: planet friendly materials, responsible production, being waste-conscious, using less water and choosing clean transportation. We make a real effort to keep developing each of these pillars. Just like we did for this collection together with Candiani.
Swin Upstream: Kings of Indigo x Candiani Denim capsule collection
Mr. Candiani, when did you launch Coreva, and how did it evolve since then? Did it also increase or better its performance in the meantime? And how was the market’s reaction?
AC: In fact Coreva will be publicly launched in March 2021. We did work on its r&d and fine-tuning together with several brands between 2019 and 2020, including KOI for this special capsule. The market has been waiting for Coreva enough, and now we are ready to go. We receive tons of inquires daily, but we wanted to make sure to have the technology secured by the international patent and the whole technological process fully locked in. Coreva easily matches synthetic elastomers performances, but it’s the only bio-based and biodegradable stretch technology available, and it’s time to change the stretch denim industry forever.