Researchers from Deakin University have come up with ‘circular denim’ to reduce the huge environmental impact of denim production. As a part of their entry into the Global Change Award, they developed a unique process that produces ultrafine particles from used denim, and then coats or prints the colour particles to create typical denim appearance.
The Global Change Award, an initiative of the H&M Foundation gave $1 million seed funding to five winning teams that promote sustainable fashion. Xungai Wang, Rangam Rajkhowa, Nolene Byrne, Christopher Hurren and Rebecca Van Amber have developed the ‘circular denim’ concept that was awarded $150,000 to take their idea to industry. The team was one of five winners, out of a total of 2885 entries from 130 countries, to share in the prize.
As per Want, the team had already developed a successful prototype and the Global Change Award grant would be used to scale up the idea and work with denim producers and fashion brands to explore its potential for the fashion industry and the environment. He further added denim was the single largest apparel item on the fashion market and traditional denim production had serious environmental impacts. Denim recycling is a huge issue worldwide and currently, old denim products are dumped in landfills, and dye run-off from denim production can pollute local water supplies.