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Lee launches sustainable platform and new "Indigood" denim line

Sadiyah Ismailjee
04 February 2020

Denim brand Lee is stepping up its sustainability strategy with the launch of a new global platform named "For A World That Works", as well as a new "Indigood" denim line.

Owned by Greensboro-based based Kontoor Brands, the new sustainable platform is part of a number of initiatives Kontoor Brands has taken since its development from VF Corp. In September 2019, Kontoor Brands introduced a new forest-originated materials policy, and in June 2019 Kontoor Brands became an independent, publicly traded company.

The new sustainability platform focuses on three key concerns, including people, the planet and solutions:

  • The "All People" focus concentrates on prioritising the well-being of workers to guarantee the very best health and safety. Through this Lee aims to unite people together to transform communities where the brand is located.
  • The "Our Planet" focus is a commitment to incorporate more sustainable solutions in the production process of its products. This includes waste reduction, cleaner energy, and particularly water conservation during the production process.
  • The "All People: focus is a bid to explore more innovative design solutions to create high quality products which caters to an ever-growing demanding consumers which maintains the brand’s social and environmental ethos.

The USA brand has plans to grow the platform globally over the year.

Chris Waldeck, EVP and Global Brand President, said: "As one of the most iconic denim brands in the world, the Lee brand understands its responsibility to help lead our industry toward a better future. Our new sustainability platform is the roadmap that will guide our actions and help drive meaningful progress toward more positive environmental and social impacts."

Through the launch of "Indigood Denim", Lee aims to replace traditional water vats and chemical baths which are present in indigo dyeing techniques with a foam dye applicator. This removes the use of water and decreases the energy required by 60% and also cuts out chemicals required by 89%. From spring 2020, the brand plans to release a compostable "Back to Nature" jean in select markets.

In 2019, the brand partnered with Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign, with the aim of transforming its design methods. The brand established guidelines that reduce waste part of the denim production, formed requirements for jean durability, recyclability and creating positive impacts on the environment. Lee uses these guidelines as a means of assessing and measuring sustainability performance within the brand.

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