After learning what compostability means and why compostable materials are essential in a circular fashion model, it is time to see how to manufacture compostable clothing. The third and last chapter of our guide to making compostable jeans focuses on the creation and the features of a fully compostable denim garment. Here are some tips.
Which compostable components should be chosen for your jeans?
To create compostable jeans, it is essential to use compostable components, or at least those which can be removed and recycled or reused for new products at the end of the garment life. Instructions can be provided to consumers, underling the importance of disassembling all the different jeans components once they are ready to dispose of their clothes.
Most denim garments have buttons. We recommend using those made with natural materials or bioplastics. If compostable buttons are not available, consumers should have the possibility to remove them easily. It is also better to apply high-quality buttons to be reused for future garments.
Zips are common in denim clothing. Bioplastics could be an effective solution since metals usually need some time to break down in nature, especially alongside zip tapes from natural fibers. If compostable zips are not available, they should be easily removable. We, however, recommend choosing button flies.
Rivets prevent denim garments from wearing out and ripping at the seams. They are typically made from metal or petroleum-based plastics, so they should be treated like zips. Anyway, the best option is to replace rivets with bar tacks of compostable thread.
Sewing thread is difficult to remove from old denim clothing. It is then necessary to use natural fibers which can biodegrade or compost at the end of their life.
Patches and jacrons
Patches and jacrons often contribute to the aesthetic of denim garments, especially jeans. They can be made from many different materials, and so we recommend choosing plant-based and compostable ones. If they are unavailable, applying high-quality patches that can be easily removed and reused is an adequate alternative.
Internal labels in denim clothing are usually made from polyester and hence cannot biodegrade. This synthetic material should be replaced with natural fibers, or information could be directly printed on the internal fabric using water-based ink.
Washing and finishing
Finally, many washing and finishing effects and techniques can be used on denim fabrics. We recommend avoiding complicated finishes using adhesives or petroleum-based ingredients to improve compostability and disassembly. Enzyme or laser finishes and washes guarantee the best compostability.
Candiani Denim’s COREVA™ stretch technology passed the compostability test
- after 12 weeks, the sample disintegrated at 98.1% of its original value
- after 104 days, the sample reached an average value of biodegradation equal to 91.4+/-0.4%, which confirms the biodegradability in mature compost
- seeds were planted in soil containing the composted COREVA™ sample; after 12 weeks, their growth was not inhibited, yet resulted in even superior