Our Production Process
Hi, glad you’re here. We'll shortly walk you through our circular production process.
Harvesting old jeans
The raw materials of our jeans are worn out denims, which we collect via our unique HNST harvest campaigns. Our first harvest we did in 2017 in partnership with De Kringwinkel. So far we’ve collected around 17 000 old denims which we’ll recycle into new HNST jeans.
Sorting & quality control
The collected trousers are carefully sorted according to quality and usability. About half is still of good quality and is resold to people in need. A small part is too dirty and would pollute our recycling process with chemicals we do not want, this fraction is downcycled. The remainder is our raw material and is fed into the controlled HNST recycling process.
Our German based specialised recycling partner first removes all hard parts and labels by using smart mechanical and magnetic separation techniques. After that, the used denims are carefully shredded into fibers through mechanical recycling.
Because of the mechanical braking forces, recycled cotton fibers lengths are too short to create a fabric consisting of 100% recycled fibers. To attain good quality properties, the recycled denim fibers are blended with Tencel®. The weft yarns for our HNST collection are produced in Belgium by ESG and are made out of 50% recycled old denim (cotton) and 50% Tencel®.
To properly weave denim fabric, yarns have to be pre-treated. Normally, this is done by using low-cost Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA). The residues of PVA are microplastics being released during industrial and domestic washing. Luckily, Pure Denim, our Italian denim, came up with a solution. Instead of PVA, they use a film made of industrial vegetable waste to protect the yarn during processing and to favor its bonding.
In denim fabric, only the warp yarn is being dyed. For dying the warp yarn, our weaving partner uses their unique patented technology called SmartIndigo. It is the most sustainable way to dye denim because it completely skips the use of chemicals, causes zero environmental burdens and health hazards and only discharges oxygen.
Any woven fabric consists of a warp (longitudinal) and a weft (lateral) yarn. Working with our Italian denim mill we are using their existing warp yarn with post-consumer recycled cotton in combination with the HNST weft yarn, leading to the creation of the HNST fabric containing 56% recycled cotton, 23% Greek cotton and 21% Tencel®.
Sewn to last
Expert seamstresses in Portugal are dedicated to transforming the recycled denim fabric into HNST jeans. We have deliberately chosen for a European confection partner in order to guarantee the best working and safety conditions for the people behind our HNST jeans.
Conventional denim washing has a very high impact on the environment and workers because the process removes the indigo dye from the fabric with quite aggressive techniques. At HNST, we use three certified ecological washing methods: laser, ozone and enzyme washing. Doing this, we reduce the water footprint of our washings from 100 to only 10 liters per jeans while using no unnecessary chemicals.
Circular customer service
For all online orders, we use RePack a reusable and returnable delivery packaging. In addition, we developed the Morning After Spray, which contains active probiotics that naturally freshen up your jeans. On top, we offer our clients a repair service in order to keep our products as long as possible.
Closing the loop
Every story comes to an end, but not that of HNST. When our customers cannot wear their HNST jeans anymore, we motivate them to bring them back to us for recycling by offering a 15 euro discount on their next purchase.
Read more about HNST.