Benzak Denim Developers released a collection of denim garments made with our 13 oz. indigo eco-selvedge fabric. This is the most sustainable denim used by the Amsterdam-based brand so far. In order to explain all its technical features, Simon Giuliani, Candiani Denim’s Global Marketing Director, joined a conversation with Lennaert Nijgh, Benzak’s founder.
Our selvedge denim mixes post-consumer recycled fibers and organic cotton
The eco-selvedge denim used by Benzak Denim Developers is a mix of organic cotton and recycled fibers from our PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) program, i.e., fibers obtained from old, wrecked jeans. This kind of fiber is weaker, so it needs to be balanced with new, strong cotton. Moreover, only a small percentage of recycled material can usually be used to produce new garments.
We created a cotton fiber to compensate the recycled ones
Simon Giuliani explained that “we want to use more recycled fibers in our blend, so we need to compensate for this weak fiber with an extra-long, strong fiber. We created our own cotton fiber, Blue Seed. We worked with Gowan Seed Company on this non-genetically modified seed which is the child of two natural seeds that have been cross-pollinated. The result is stronger than the parents”.
What is Blue Seed cotton?
“Blue Seed has the best of extra-long staple and Upland cotton, which has a higher resistance. It was conceived to be grown and harvested in arid areas, so it requires very little water. We have exclusive access to it and several partners to grow it. We mix Blue Seed cotton with PCR fibers, allowing us to use up to 26% of recycled cotton in our fabrics, which is a very high percentage”.
Recycled cotton can be used in the weft
“Recycled cotton can be used only in the weft. When we dye a specific color, we need a white canvas to have consistency in the dyeing. Recycled yarns are not white; they are blue or greyish”.
The lengthwise yarns that travel vertically along jeans build the warp. They are held in tension on the loom to insert the weft (i.e., the crosswise yarns) over and under and are usually the ones that are dyed.