July 25, 2021

What is the Amsterdam ‘Denim Deal’ all about?

3 min read

One thing is clear: to make the denim industry produce in a more sustainable way it needs more than just one party. That’s why in Amsterdam the public sector and private organizations and companies have joined forces in an initiative to help make the denim supply chain become greener.

The new international collaboration is focused on making post-consumer recycling of textiles the new standard in the industry and has been signed by 30 parties which include: Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Municipality of Amsterdam, Municipality of Zaanstad, Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, Circulus-Berkel, Midwaste, Rd4, Leger des Heils ReShare, Sympany, Smart Fibersort, Wieland Textiles, Wolkat Products, Bossa, Çalık Denim Tekstil, Ereks Konf., Gama Recycled, Orta Anadolu, Brightloops, Kings Of Indigo, Kuyichi, MUD Jeans, Scotch & Soda, Amsterdam Economic Board, House of Denim, Modint, Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut (NEN), Retail Experts.

All signatories to the Denim Deal have committed themselves to meet certain sustainable standards as part of their operations. This includes agreeing to work as quickly as possible towards a standard of using at least 5% recycled textile in all denim garments. Scotch & Soda, Mud Jeans and Kuyichi have also pledged to jointly make three million denim garments containing at least 20% recycled textiles.

‘In addition, the brand owners and retailers will set additional, ambitious targets in individual roadmaps. The roadmaps are inspired by the mutual trust that they will collectively make faster progress in the transition to the circular economy. With these agreements, first steps will be taken and experiences gained that can in turn be used for further upscaling,’ it says in the official declaration signed by the Dutch Secretaries of State for Infrastructure and Water.

“The strength of this Denim Deal lies in the fact that all parties involved in the making and processing of a denim garment will participate, from production companies, brands and retailers, but also collectors, sorters, cutters and weavers. We are initiating a change in the entire chain. Once that step has been taken, scaling up will be easier afterwards. That will make this Denim Deal a blueprint for making garments made from other materials more sustainable. At the end of each year, a report will be made on the activities undertaken by the parties, the results achieved and the effect these have had on the achievement of the objective,“ says State Secretary Stientje Van Veldhoven.

“Amsterdam wants to be fully circular by 2050. This means that we have to be economical with precious raw materials and reuse more materials. The Amsterdam Area is already a leader in the field of sorting and preparing used textiles for recycling. We now also want in the field of denim to take a pioneering role, so that we become a hub for circular textiles and circular denim,” alderman Marieke van Doorninck adds.

The City of Amsterdam will support this aim by collecting old textiles from residents and ensuring as many people as possible recycle their denim correctly. The deal will run for three years and at the end of each year a report will be compiled to assess all of the activities undertaken and the results. New parties that also want to participate can also still join up.


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