Project: Alliance for Responsible Denim

Kunst, Cultuur en Creatieve Industrie
van 1 september 2016 tot 21 augustus 2018
The denim industry faces many complex sustainability challenges and has been especially criticized for its polluting and hazardous production practices. Reducing resource use of water, chemicals and energy and changing denim production practices calls for collaboration between various stakeholders, including competing denim brands. There is great benefit in combining denim brands' resources and knowledge so that commonly defined standards and benchmarks are developed and realized on a scale that matters.
Collaboration however, and especially between competitors, is highly complex and prone to fail.

This project brings leading denim brands together to collectively take initia! steps towards improving the ecological sustainability impact of denim production, particularly by establishing measurements, benchmarks and standards for resource use (e.g. chemicals, water, energy) and creating best practices for effective collaboration. The centra! research question of our project is: How do denim brands effectively col/aborate together to create common, industry standards on resource use and benchmarks for improved eco/ogical sustainability in denim production? To answer this question, we will use a mixed-method, action research approach. The project's research setting is the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA), which has a strong denim cluster and is home to many international denim brands and start-ups.