Sourcing Journal: Jeans Redesign Represents American Eagle’s ‘Ongoing Journey’ in Sustainability

Jeans Redesign Represents American Eagle’s ‘Ongoing Journey’ in Sustainability

By Liz Warren | Link to article

American Eagle has joined the growing list of denim brands participating in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign program, a circular initiative destined to transform the industry for the better.

The brand debuted its AE x Jeans Redesign collection, which abides by the initiative’s guidelines for recyclable, durable denim. Consisting of four jeans styles—two mom jean fits for women and two slim jean styles for men—the range is made of 100 percent organic cotton with easy-to-remove hardware. As per the guidelines, the denim garments are finished with water-saving methods and zero harmful chemicals.

The move comes on the heels of a positive forward-looking statement from American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) CEO and executive chairman Jay Schottenstein, who in April said denim’s shift to wider fits has been good for business. The Jeans Redesign adoption furthers American Eagle’s aggressive sustainability goals, which it outlined in 2019. In 2020 alone, it reduced water usage in jeans by 21 percent, conserved about 2.4 billion gallons of water, used 37 percent sustainably sourced cotton and featured almost 70 million plastic bottles in recycled polyester.

According to Schottenstein, the brand’s sustainability commitments will only get increasingly stronger with new collaborations.

“By taking measures to ensure more responsible product sourcing, we are working hard to help create a healthier environment for future generations. As part of AEO’s broader sustainability goals, we’ve made a commitment to move toward more sustainable raw materials and manufacturing techniques, as well as reducing our water and energy usage,” said Schottenstein. “Our adoption of the guidelines set by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the AE x Jeans Redesign collection represents AEO’s ongoing journey and pledge to accelerate improvements across our operations through innovation and collaboration.”

Though it launched in 2019, the Jeans Redesign initiative has already been broadly adopted throughout the industry, with brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Gap and Frame all debuting their first collections made according to the circular guidelines. To continue the momentum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a mini documentary highlighting the significance and progress of its initiative.

The AE x Jeans Redesign collection is now available exclusively on the American Eagle website. The jeans retail for $59.95.