Lee, who owns the Kontoor brand, recently announced a new water-saving dyeing strategy for denim, which reduces the number of chemicals needed to “abundantly”. At the same time, it allows easy recycling of water at the dyeing stage.
This technology, called Crystal Clear, uses indeterminate “organic” ingredients in dye baths, enabling water recycling and increasingly reducing the amount of waste, water, and energy needed to make denim.
The company said, “Crystal Clear represents a significant step forward in the history of denim production and one we are really proud to be implementing at Lee Jeans.”
Meanwhile, Lee also assistance with Los Angeles-based streetwear brand. With Hundreds co-branded workwear-inspired collection, featuring denim jeans and jackets, plus t-shirts and sweatshirts.
In a discussion, Lee’s vice president of global design, Betty Madden, emphasized how the brand’s goal is to use 100% laser dyeing methods by 2023, with the two brands.
She also revealed to The Hundreds’ managing editor, Duke London, how ongoing conversations at Lee are currently centered around partnering with companies who work in the repurposing (or upcycling) sphere.
Madden said, “The future is in what you do with your waste. If you’re going to leave it on the cutting room floor, what can it be repurposed into? This is a big topic of conversation – especially with our supply chain – and we do some of that, but I think we want to do it in a bigger way.”