Recycled Denim: A Spotlight on Bossa
If you work in the denim industry, chances are you’ve heard of Bossa. Based in Turkey, Bossa has been leading the textile industry in sustainable denim production since the launch of their ecological Re-Set collection back in 2006.
Back then, sustainability in fashion was a hush-hush topic behind closed doors, and today it has become one of the biggest buzz words around. For Bossa however, sustainability is not just a trend — it has always been a principle of practice.
Bossa’s Re-Set Collection was one of the first to prove that a collection of fabrics made entirely from 100% recycled materials was possible, and its environmental impact was even calculated and certified through a Life Cycle Assessment.
Recycling is an important theme for Bossa as natural resources become increasingly limited. The company reuses their own textile production waste by turning them into raw material, and also works with fibres obtained from plastic bottles as part of their r-PET project.
And what about all the clothing waste that ends up in landfills? Staying true to their vision of sustainable textiles, Bossa also launched “Denim is Reborn in Bossa”, a post-consumer denim recycling (PCRD) concept where old jeans are collected, sent to their partner in Gaizantep, Turkey for shredding, and then fibres are remade into fabrics. As an idea, about 1000 old jeans can be used to produce 2000 metres of 20% PCRD Blended Fabric. Major brands such as Nudie, Zara, Kuyichi and Marks & Spencer are a few of the brands using fabric from Bossa’s concept.
As a growing number of brands are requesting sustainable denim, Bossa has adapted by continually improving their end-to-end production process to reduce environmental impacts. For example, the company uses organic cotton, and natural chemicals and dyestuffs; they conserve energy by 20% through their own on-site cogeneration plant; they save about 85% of the water used in production through their “Saveblue” process. After all, sustainability requires a holistic view.
So what sort of obstacles is the denim industry facing to becoming more sustainable? Most companies would agree that the government plays a vital role, especially when it comes to raising public awareness and enacting laws that benefit businesses who prioritise sustainable practices. As an example, Bossa suggests that governments could provide tax incentives for garments with a Global Recycled Standard certificate.
If everyone in the supply chain down to the consumer plays a role, fashion can have a positive impact on nature and communities.
“Denim starts with cotton, so farmers should prefer more responsible production methods such as organic farming. Mills should be responsible and transparent. They should use greener denim production methods – such as increasing recycling, decreasing water use — and then report the numbers of their ecological footprint,” says Bossa. “Brands should appreciate the value of the research that goes behind sustainable production and support it, while customers should be aware of what they are buying and choose more sustainable products in the market.”
By doing their part and offering solutions that do not compromise the needs of future generations, Bossa is taking action to address the critical imperative of sustainability while embracing its opportunities.
More sustainable initiatives by Bossa:
- To neutralise their wastewater, Bossa uses liquid CO2 instead of sulphuric acid. They are looking into using CO2 directly from their funnels as the next stage.
- “DyeArt”: Bossa has developed a new environmentally-friendly dyeing process for colourful denim fabric.
- “Future Denim”: Set to launch at Denim by PV, this concept will be made up of 100% sustainable fabrics. Fibre and yarn contents include organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester, eco T400, Refibra™ (recycled TENCEL™), post-consumer recycled denim. All will be dyed with the Saveblue dyeing process.
Watch Bossa’s interview at the 8th Future Fabrics Expo: