Jeans, a fashion item with a lot of history and dozens of facets. Made of cotton, the term denim originated with and through Jeans. Today, it is no longer just the trousers that are worn; shirts, blouses, skirts and jackets are also made from this all-round fabric. The fashion label Kings of Indigo is now breaking the previous industry standards and making sustainable yet beautiful denim fashion.
Next year, jeans will celebrate their 150th birthday. Admittedly, the patent for the first trousers reinforced with rivets was only filed in 1873, but already a year earlier, in 1872, the classic blue trousers were made of reinforced cotton fabric and said rivets and at that time orange stitching on the trouser pockets (Source). And it is this cotton fabric around which the fashion world revolves again and again and which has now become a fashion term: denim. A catchword for fashion as a base for workwear, confident everyday fashion and at the same time a touch of high fashion.
But what hardly anyone knows is that around 8,000 litres of water are used in the production of an ordinary pair of jeans. In addition, the denim material is usually treated with chemical colouring or bleaching products. An unattractive thought, for the sustainability-conscious conscience buzzing around in the background.
The Kings of Indigo brand wants to redefine denim and, above all, make it sustainable. With its own collection that is 100 percent sustainable and at the same time fashionable. In November 2020, the brand signed the so-called Denim Deal together with other environmentally conscious players. This is an agreement drafted by the House Of Denim in which all signatory parties commit to reusing old denim fabrics to a greater extent. In addition, around three million denim garments are to be produced with at least 20% recycled content. In this way, the global impact of denim fashion is to be reduced to at least 5 % recycled textiles.
Now Kings of Indigo is aiming for much more than five or 20 %. 100 is the internal target, no more and above all no less. Their name says it all. Kings of Indigo not only stands for the origin of denim, the deep blue, closely textured cotton fabric. The initials of the brand, KOI, also stand for the well-known fish, the koi carp, which is known for always swimming against the current. Just like the denim brand, which competes against existing manufacturers with its sustainable approach.
Part of or rather the basic framework of the entire strategy is to create a new, sustainable and at the same time functional, timeless and fashionable image of denim. They specially created five pillars of sustainable denim. These are:
“planet friendly materials – organic, recycled, natural, vegan, always sustainable”.
“less water use – from the ground to the shop we are committed to reducing water waste”
“clean transport – we don’t manufacture far away. Our garments are only transported by ship or truck”
“responsible production” – we are a proud member of the Fair Wear Foundation, because happy people simply make better clothes.”
“waste conscious – repair, recycle & reuse. Upcycling is our thing“
Sounds almost too good to be true and beautiful at the same time. But the products from Kings of Indigo are in no way inferior to the styles of conventional manufacturers. The same goes for the women’s jeans, Juno High, Eco Veggi Worn. The vegan brand patch on the high waistband rounds off the slim-fit five-pocket jeans. All metal rivets and buttons are made from completely recycled materials, the pocket lining is made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles, and on top of that, the elasticity makes them fit like a second skin.
For men, among many other jeans models, there is an absolute classic cut with the Daniel model, Ronald Light Vintage Coolmax. The Relaxed Tapered Fit leaves a little more air at the thigh for more comfort, then goes down tapered and is a little wider at the calves than comparable narrower models. The classic 5-pocket jeans also have a vegan patch, recycled buttons and rivets and the fabrics of the pocket lining are made from recycled plastic bottles. Daniel, the jeans, are made of organic cotton, a natural fibre that has not undergone any chemical treatment. So, it does not harm the planet, the farmer or the wearer. And what do the cryptic terms after the model name stand for? Coolmax, for example, stands for a specific fabric, the Coolmay Calik fabric. This is a specially developed fibre that is woven into the denim fabric to protect the body from moisture. The benefit is that it becomes cooler on hot days and more insulating, i.e. a little warmer, on colder days.
by Maximilian Immer