Cone Denim Introducing Sustainable Denim

As consumers are requesting more-sustainable options in their clothing, Cone Denim announced it is introducing a new denim fabric that will be made of Tencel and Refibra-branded lyocell fibers, which are among the most sustainable fibers available.

The new denim fabric will be introduced at the Kingpins trade show in New York June 6–7.

Tencel is made from repurposed wood pulp and Refibra is made from recycled cotton scraps and wood. Both are made by the Lenzing Group , an Austrian-based company that produces high-quality fibers.

Cone Denim, a historic denim maker with more than 125 years of history in the United States, said it is reacting to the apparel market’s call for fabrics produced with more consideration for the environment. The sustainable denim will be made in Cone’s North American mills and will be traceable with a fiber identification, which will provide brands an independent way to verify that the denim contains genuine Tencel and Refibra lyocell fibers.

“Denim consumers want authentic yet innovative products that maximize comfort, style and performance,” said Kara Nicholas, Cone Denim’s vice president of product design and marketing, in a statement. “They also want to know that their favorite jeans are responsibly made and remain sustainable at the end of their lifecycle when finally discarded.”

Cone Denim, based in Greensboro, N.C., was known as the last domestic producer of selvage denim, but at the end of last year it shut down its White Oak plant, where the tightly woven denim was made on old wooden shuttle looms from the 1940s. The weaving process was painstakingly slow, but selvage denim has always had its following among true denim worshipers.

Many tried-and-true blue-jeans makers are now going to Japan for their selvage denim.