Denim, because of the processes involved, is one of the biggest pollutant categories of the clothing industry. Which is why we’re excited to introduce both Caja and Alva, two styles from Armedangels’ Spring ’19 detox collection. But what does sustainable denim really mean you may well ask?
Today’s cotton plants are sprayed more than thirty times throughout their growing cycle
Monocultures, deforestation and pesticides are the norm in cotton growing. And while cotton doesn’t rely on pollinators, global cotton harvests rises by a cool 60% when bees get involved. Yet, ironically, bees are especially threatened by increasingly aggressive pesticides used in farming. Most recently, the focus was on neonicotinoids: a single teaspoon of this substance could kill a billion bees – or 20,000 large colonies. The effect of these substances is fatal because their actions are increasingly complex, and it becomes harder to keep an eye on their interactions in the soil and groundwater. Cotton is a prime example of the ultimate result of such chemical escalation. It’s a sought-after raw material for the two billion pairs of jeans produced every year and is drenched in pesticides as a result. Today’s cotton plants are sprayed more than thirty times throughout their growing cycle with grave results for insects and bees. Hence our focus on certified organic producers that honour the GOTS standards and protect the environment by only using natural pesticides.
these metals can accumulate in the body and are highly toxic, with irreversible effects
Dyeing without heavy metals
Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, are often found in the dyes and pigments used to give denim a specific ‘wash effect’. When working with these dyes over time, metals can accumulate in the body and are highly toxic, with irreversible effects including damage to the nervous system (lead and mercury) or the kidneys (cadmium). Cadmium is also known to cause certain types of cancer. Uses of cadmium, mercury and lead have been severely restricted in Europe for some time, however no such restrictions apply outside of the EU where much of denim is manufactured. That’s why we’re especially careful to ensure the jeans we stock are without harmful chemicals.
Eco-friendly infrared light is used to etch off a fine layer of cotton and colour from each pair, thereby eliminating the use of chemical bleach
Lasers instead of bleach
Up to 2 kg chlorine is used in the bleaching process of regularly produced jeans. However, rather than using chemical formulations and manual sanding, Armedangels employs laser technology to create that familiar ‘distressed’ effect. Eco-friendly infrared light is used to etch off a fine layer of cotton and colour from each pair, thereby eliminating the use of chemical bleach and in doing so, reducing the likelihood of chlorine-related skin allergies.
touch nothing toxic