We caught up with Canadian designer Adam Taubenfligel to learn more about the groundbreaking new range.
Jeans are one of the worst offenders in our wardrobe when it comes to the environment – the amount of water used to make a single pair is incredibly high (in thousands of liters), and washing our jeans on the reg has a lasting impact thanks to the release of microplastics from denim into our water supply. How do you then decide between sustainability and style? You don’t have to, thanks to Canadian designer and creative director Adam Taubenfligel of LA-based denim brand Triarchy. Triarchy has just launched its new website, making sustainable stretch denim zero Plastics – and it’s as game-changing as it sounds.
The denim – developed and patented by the Italian denim mill Candiani Denim – consists of 96 percent organic cotton and four percent natural rubber, which gives the material its stretch. Traditional stretch denim derives its stretch from gasoline-based plastic elastane, which can take centuries to break down if thrown away. However, due to the natural composition of this new denim, it is completely biodegradable. Taubenfligel, however, who takes sustainability education to its customers very seriously, is careful to focus on this aspect of denim to avoid confusion among consumers. “Biodegradability requires conditions – you need a compost, you can’t just take it and throw it over there and say I did it! That’s not how it works. It’s a little misleading because not everyone knows how composting and biodegradability work, and so do people [can’t] Just throw it in the trash or recycle. That’s why we market it as a plastic-free stretch because that’s true. If you want to read more on the website we will talk more about biodegradability and the conditions required for it, but the whole point of the conversation is that it is the first pair of stretch jeans without plastic and therefore also without microplastics. “
The brand is the first to introduce this stretch denim for women. This is a tremendous achievement for the brand. However, as Taubenfligel found out, pioneering a new category is not without its challenges. “Everyone is very excited [this new innovation] but then [buyers] Go, ‘Hmm, when I hang this on the wall next to my 80 pairs of traditional denim, I’m basically saying it to the left of [the Triarchy] Jeans are rubbish. And I’m right, ”he says with a laugh.
The launch of the jeans was also possible as Taubenfligel made the decision at the end of 2018 to stop selling skinny jeans, as there were no sustainable denim materials that met the standards that he and his brand adhere to. “All of our poly are made from recycled water bottles, which is great,” he says of his old stretch denim range. “But the truth is, you’re still making new trash with old trash.” His patience has paid off and the earlier business decision has allowed him to scream about the fabric’s incredible properties without being a) hypocritical and b) cannibalizing his existing inventory – what he suspects is why other brands have introduced new manufacturing more slowly.
In terms of fit, the designer says the jeans “hold you tight” and have exactly the same fit and feel as “every other stretch jeans on the shelf” – the main difference is that “your skin breathes in” sacrifices the triarchat because it is not suffocated by plastics. This technology is also suitable for use in sportswear. “I’m more excited that this is finding its way into the sport than that I’m for denim.” In terms of size, Taubenfligel says that by reintroducing stretch denim, the brand has “expanded its size range by three or four waist sizes,” and there are plans to expand this further in the next production.
Triarchy’s new website was launched last Thursday and Taubenfligel said he had sold more jeans in the following five days than in the last half of September. In large part, he believes this is due to the website’s focus on providing customers with an easily digestible sustainability snapshot for each product. “There has to be a correlation between all sustainability aspects and [making people] feel good – and that’s what I made to convey this comfort and knowledge. This is an informed purchase. “
Discover the website and the new sustainable denim line here.