The Dutch Denim Project: Doing Denim Differently
“The world is changing, and so is the denim community” are the first words of the latest blog post on dutchdenimproject.com. These words refer to the sustainable reformation that the denim industry has been going through and in addition, they give context to grounding of the Dutch Denim Project. Founder of the brand Edwin van Zoeren started the company from a personal passion for denim and a desire to adopt a responsible, sustainable and conscious production model for his brand.
Dutch Denim Project want to do things differently. They want to do things more consciously and more responsibly. Treading a fine line between traditional heritage and the ruggedness of the raw denim scene as well as the forward-thinking vision of sustainability pioneers within the industry, the brand adopts a unique position in the market. Some might argue that sustainable practices and environmental consciousness still have a way to go in the heritage-driven area of the industry, but the sales from Dutch Denim Project’s first capsule collection suggest otherwise. The consumer is ready.
The Dutch Denim Project Concept
The Dutch Denim Project concept is based on storytelling, limited edition capsule collections and personalization. The brand attempts to be transparent throughout the entire production process and invites its customers to join them in the journey through the supply chain. On this journey, which partly takes place on social media, the Dutch Denim Project will explain the story of their jeans, revealing where and how they’re made. This isn’t tokenistic or greenwashing either. Every detail will be explained, every stone will be unturned. This is thoughtful and considered transparency at a small scale, in an effort to include the customer and increase their understanding about the garments they’re wearing.
For the fabrics, Dutch Denim Project have teamed up with Kuroki Mills from Japan, a renowned fabric mill which has been actively contributing to the Japanese denim industry since the 1950s. The mill works with 100% BCI qualified cotton and it has made great efforts for a more sustainable denim industry in Japan. The mill is known for making some of the finest denim fabrics throughout Japan, with fantastic fading properties and textures.
The hardware and labels of the Dutch Denim Project have also been made by a leading supplier, exclusively out of recycled content. The custom made buttons and rivets are made from 100% recycled copper – from processed old buttons – and are branded with ‘Dutch Denim Project’ or ‘DDP’. All labels are made from 100% recycled cotton and display the brand name alongside some basic information.
While the fabrics will be woven in Japan, the manufacturing of the jeans will take place in Portugal. The industry in Portugal has been booming during the last few years, building a reputation for its high quality and smaller production runs. Portugal has quickly become a gold standard of manufacturing within Europe, and with good reason. On the ground in Portugal, all Dutch Denim Project jeans are being made in just one leg length and without a leather patch. Once constructed, the jeans will be sent to the Netherlands where they will be finished in the Dutch Denim Project studio. Customers then have a choice to select one of the brand’s leather patches, giving a more personal touch to a pair of jeans and encouraging customer involvement during the finishing process.
Every pair of jeans comes with a free hemming service, resulting in the perfect length of jeans for each and every customer. In addition, the jeans also come with free repairs for life, all done in-house by the DDP team.
The Dutch Denim Project Capsules
In contrast to a more traditional denim brand, the Dutch Denim Project doesn’t work with seasonal collections. Instead, the brand is launching limited edition capsule collections which will first be available for pre-order. When a certain amount of the jeans have been sold via the pre-order, the production will then start in Portugal. If any jeans aren’t sold via the pre-order, they’ll be available via the brand’s online store (as long as stocks last). This keeps waste and excess inventory to a minimum.
The first capsule collection – ‘CAPSULE #1’ – was released on March 6th 2021 and consisted of a beautiful 14 oz. selvedge denim fabric utilized across two well-balanced fits, limited to just 200 pairs of jeans in total. Within 48 hours of the release, the 200th pair was sold, surpassing far beyond the expectations of the brand itself. It proves once more that the denim consumer is widely embracing sustainable initiatives and smaller concepts, in turn pushing the industry to move forward and innovate.
For those who are dying to lay their hands on a pair of jeans from the first capsule collection but missed out on the release, there is a waiting list that can be joined here. It won’t guarantee a pair of jeans, but there is a chance you might get lucky!
After such quick success with their first collection, we asked the Dutch Denim Project what they had lined up for the future. Anxious to hear more, we were privy to the following information on the second capsule collection, which you won’t find anywhere else!
The second capsule collection of Dutch Denim Project will be available in two very different 15 oz. black denim fabrics from Kuroki Mills. One of the fabrics is a black x black denim fabric, while the other fabric consists of black weft yarns and indigo warp yarns. At first glance, both might look similar, but where the black x black fabric will fade to grey, the indigo x black fabric will evolve into an interesting greyish blue over time and wear.
The fabrics included in capsule #2 will come in the same two fits that the brand introduced for their first release. It will include the same recycled hardware and labels and will again be limited to just 200 pairs of jeans.
The jeans from capsule #2 will carry the same signature details as the first capsule with a two-piece coin pocket and selvedge key hook being the most striking accents. Each pair of jeans will also come with a free key-chain (which is made from the same 100% recycled copper as the hardware of the jeans), as well as free hemming and repairs for life.
The Dutch Denim Project Capsule #2 is scheduled for June 2021 and will likely be available for a very short time. Anticipation is high, so stay informed and follow along on the DDP journey to avoid any denim disappointment! More information will follow on dutchdenimproject.com, so make sure to subscribe to the Dutch Denim Project newsletter!