Denim has become a staple in everyone's wardrobe. It is a unique garment that transcends time and culture. But, we have moved away from denim as workwear and now see it mass-produced all over the world. On the other hand, I had the pleasure of meeting Craft Denim in New York at Kingpins Show, which takes an artisanal approach to denim, which allows them to have a truly transparent and sustainable supply chain. From questioning how water can be conserved throughout the construction of a garment to extracting harmful additives from the finishing process altogether, the team of Craft Denim sought out to establish a product that would not only be desirable to its customers but a sustainable solution in today's ever-changing fashion landscape. All of their dyes, solutions, processing, and manufacturing are cruelty-free and provide a sustainable plant-based solution to textile production and consumption.
I got the chance to ask Stan, one of the founders, a few more questions about the brand’s mission and sustainable features! Read the interview below:
As an artisanal focused brand, have you found any barriers in the denim industry?
Stan: The only barrier we’ve found is getting the clean fabric message to the consumers. Helping them to care about what touches their skin.
You weave most of your fabrics in house, what have been some of the biggest challenges in doing this?
Stan: Since we weave our fabrics all in-house we face the difficulties of training new workers. To totally be sufficient in one particular fabric before moving to the next.
How would you explain the importance of brands like yours making steps to become more ethical and sustainable to someone who isn't well versed in what that means?
Stan: All of our fabrics are dyed with natural indigo and minerals etc... They’re some dyes that are used by major textile companies that may be of risk to your health! For instance, Azo dyes are known for having cancer-causing amines and disperse dyes can lead to hormone disruptions. We at Craft Denim pride ourselves on using all-natural elements to produce harmless products.
What do you wish you could be doing more of in the sustainability space and what steps are you taking to do that?
Stan: We would love to make all clothing chemical-free. We are starting to weave cotton and silks for other clothing categories like shirts, scarves, dresses, etc...
What is your favourite aspect of sustainability that Craft Denim implements into the brand?
Stan: The Batik process has been the most satisfying aspect of chemical free discharging of text shapes onto our garments. The Batik process uses a harmless wax solution to block out your shapes and text. After the garment is dyed and dried it is then boiled in water to reveal the desired text and or shapes.
Stan was also kind enough to send over some video footage all the way from Bali, where their production is based.
The weaving process: Dyeing the yarns with natural indigo before weaving:
It was such a pleasure to meet the brains behind this beautiful brand and I look forward to seeing them grow! They're running a Kickstarter campaign right now that you should definitely check out :)