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In 2017, Stockholm-based designer Naim Josefi launched his first laser printed jeans, which were something of an eco-success thanks to an innovative technology that saves about 80 liters of water per pair during production. We think that sounds pretty great, and so did Copenhagen Fashion Summit – a world-leading business event for sustainable fashion – that rewarded Josefi with their Sustainable Denim award the same year.    

For this year’s denim drop, there have been more work done to develop the sustainability of the jeans styles, which now comes in 90-98% organic cotton, certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, and about 5% polyester, though they try to keep it to a minimum. We asked the designer to share more details.

What has winning the ’Copenhagen Fashion Summit – Sustainable Denim’ award meant to you? 

– It is a confirmation that we are on the right track and are doing something good. It was fun to get it confirmed that the jeans are sustainable in an innovative way.

How did you come up with the idea of laser printing your jeans?

– We use technology in many of our products, and we started thinking about how we could use our core technology and at the same time develop our product in a sustainable way. Laser printing is not a new technique, but it has not been applied in fashion on a large scale before. 

Tell us about the method – what’s the printing process like?

– We start with drawing the design in a CAD (computer aided design) software. From the software it is communicated to the laser printer machine. The laser printer then creates the design by burning the surface of the fabric several times. To explain the process of the laser printer you could say that it shoots the fabric with tiny sparks of fire and burns the surface off. 

Why is it beneficial from an environmental perspective?

– Through laser printing, we don’t need to wash the denim as much to bring out the design or the character. Usually the color, look and surface design of a denim garment is produced by bleaching. Every time a denim fabric is bleached, it demands a usage of 20 liters of water. We only wash our denim once to achieve the right color and by laser printing the surface design, we are able to save 80 liters of water per jeans. Besides that, our jeans fabric are certified with Standard 100 by OEKO-tex (a certification against dangerous chemicals). 

Would you care to share the entire process of designing, sourcing and producing a pair of circular jeans?

– First, we design the jeans using the CAD software. Then we make a prototype of the jeans in our studio in Stockholm. When we are satisfied with our prototype, we send it to our agent in Portugal who then contacts different denim manufacturers. The agent sources the manufacturer, and then we go there to supervise the process. In order to make a product as good as it can be, you often need to be there to develop the product on site. 

What’s the next step for your denim line?

– We are developing – together with the Swedish steel companies – a new kind of denim fabric which is made of 50% steel yarn and 50% cotton yarn. 


Visit Naim Josefi here and follow here.

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