Our suppliers and how we choose them
Here at DENHAM we stand for premium-quality products, made in the best, most honest and sustainable way possible. In order to ensure our products have the longest-life possible we source our resources, fabrics and materials from the industry's leading suppliers, denim mills and work with the best laundries.
By working with the right partners, who have the same values and dedication to the craft as we do, we are able to make outstanding collections that look great and made in a conscious way. What's more, we refuse to work with companies who do not share our passion or who do not uphold our standards.
We work with a vast network of suppliers, who help us create the best quality products using the fairest and most responsible processes. We hand select the denim mills, manufacturers and laundry companies that make our products, to ensure they share our passion for authenticity, quality and great product design.
By continuing to partner with leading 'green' denim mill Candiani Denim, who we've worked with for over 10 years and whose sustainability mission closely aligns with our own, we ensure we continue to push our agenda for conscious innovation.
It's safe for us to say that all of our suppliers uphold our high, sustainable standards including those overseas in China and Japan. For example, we are proud to say that we work with Advanced Denim, the first denim mill in China which has made environmental sustainability a core part of its business. At the same time, Advanced Denim also shares our dedication to social responsibility by protecting its workers rights, offering safe working conditions and delivering premium-quality products.
We choose to work with factories that provide safe, fair and healthy working conditions. We strive to partner with suppliers that share our common vision for sustainability, transparency and social responsibility. We work hard to make sure the suppliers we work with are able to meet our steep standards. At the same time, we also audit our factories using independent, third-party auditing companies to ensure they uphold our code of conduct.
Being a global brand means we are present in several countries, both retail and production wise. The bright side of working with international suppliers means that a large percentage of the products made in certain regions, remains there. For example, 45% of our garments for 2019 were produced by our EU-vendors, our biggest retail market. By producing and selling to local markets, we are able to reduce our overall energy usage and C02 emissions.
Win-win all round.
HEADING TO ZERO WASTE
Becoming zero waste is no mean feat, but it is part of our broader sustainability mission. In order to help us reach this target, we are launching a new consumer-facing initiative, the DENHAM Bring Your DENHAM Jeans programme. By recycling our old, unwanted denim into new fabrics and industrial products we are cutting down on waste and our use of natural resources.
As a conscious fashion brand, we seek to make our products using the most premium-quality fabrics and materials in the world. We believe that in order to make the best possible garments, you have to start with an excellent foundation, which includes using sustainable and high-caliber fabrics such as BCI cotton, hemp and Tencel.
We aim to use recycled cotton and BCI cotton whenever possible in our collections, due to its low water, fewer chemicals and minimum energy usage. In addition, BCI also works to make the global cotton industry better for the farmers, environment and the textile sector - a winning combination if you ask us.
Considered to be one of the greenest fibres in the world, Tencel Lyocell is made from sustainable wood sources. Developed by Lenzing AG, Tencel Lyocell is produced in a closed-loop manufacturing process with minimal impact on the environment that transforms excess wood pulp into sustainable fibres. These fibres can be blended with other fibres, like wool, silk or cotton or made into a Tencel Lyocell textile.
Even though hemp is considered to be a weed by many, it is actually easier to grow than cotton, because it needs less land, water and chemicals to grow. It is one of the fastest-growing plants and one of the first to be spun into usable fibres. The fibre made from pure hemp is similar to linen, and it can easily be blended with other fibres, like cotton or bamboo.
The dyeing of textiles is traditionally seen as very chemical, energy and labour intensive. The fabric is exposed to several chemicals making up the different pigments and inks during the process and uses significant amounts of water. However, our suppliers use new technologies which means we are able to recycle our water, reduce our chemical usage and save energy.
Derived from Chitosan, a naturally occurring polymer from shrimp, this initiative from Candiani Denim drastically reduces the use of water, chemicals and energy during the production of textiles. It uses 30% less energy, 50% less water and 70% less chemicals overall, making it very sustainable.
Improving the efficiency of the refining process, E-Blue from Kaihara Denim reduces the amount of water usage by 20% compared to traditional dyeing techniques, as well as energy for wastewater treatment by 17%.
By using pre-reduced indigo, which has less sodium hydrosulphite and caustic soda than traditional indigo, we use less chemicals overall.
By ensuring the Indigo dye does not sink too deeply into the yarn, this technique ensures that a fraction of water, energy and chemicals are used to fade the fabric during the laundry process.
The laundry and finishing processes are usually seen as the most energy, chemical and water significant stages of making a garment. Thankfully, our main partner and lead laundry since 2008, Elleti Martelli Group are pioneers in washing techniques and share our commitment to making indigo more sustainable.
Heating up water is where most of the energy usage stems from during laundry. To reduce energy usage, our supplier washes all of our jeans in cold water - and we ask that you do the same at home. Less energy used means less cO2 emissions all around :)
Instead of resorting to traditional hand-scraping methods to distress our jeans, we use high-tech lasers for the fading. The machines take up less space and use less time to produce the same effect in a safer way, essentially using less energy as well.
Our supplier uses the special Tonello All-in-One system which uses vapour water spray rather than filling the entire machine with water. The vapour spray is mixed with enzymes and a nanobubble machine, which makes tiny nanobubbles that we use to add to the vintage ‘stoned’ look, without the use of stones and harsh chemicals.
These machines and enzymes also use less time to make vintage look we all love, meaning less energy and resources used all around.
This technique uses a minimal amount of water in denim production, up to 90% less than traditional bleaching methods as well as few chemicals, meaning less water pollution.