For the first time, used jeans are transformed into paper for packaging...
Innovative papermaker, James Cropper, is giving used jeans new life as beautiful paper for packaging with its new Rydal Apparel range. Never before has worn denim been used in modern papermaking on a commercial scale, marking a significant contribution to the circular economy and James Cropper’s ongoing commitment to the war on waste through world class fibre blend innovation.
With eight billion pairs of jeans produced globally each year, fashion’s favourite staple contributes significantly to the textile waste problem. According to the World Economic Forum, 73% of worn clothing is incinerated or sent to landfill when discarded. Only 12% is recycled for insulation or mattresses, and less than 1% is used to make new products.
As part of James Cropper’s Rydal range of recycled papers, Rydal Apparel is comprised of 20% post-consumer denim fibre and 80% recycled fibre from sources such as used coffee cups. This not only makes the paper 100% recycled, but also globally recyclable. As a cellulose based product, cotton-based paper can be recycled in standard waste streams, giving the fibre not only a second life, but also a potential third and fourth.
The launch of Rydal Apparel is the latest innovation using James Cropper’s FibreBlend Upcycled Technology. The papermaker’s leading fibre expertise and passion for innovation is behind a number of innovations targeted at global issues. These include CupCycling, the world’s first technology to upcycle used coffee cups, that has so far given new life to more than 150 million cups as premium paper for packaging.
“This launch is about giving forgotten fashion a new lease of life. Cotton is the purest form of natural cellulose, and is a renewable resource often used for its archival qualities in papermaking. Using cotton in paper harks back as far as Shakespeare’s first folio, which exists today because it was penned on paper made from cotton fibres. “Cotton fibres are strong, yet soft, and make beautiful paper. Although modern papermaking relies heavily on pulps made from wood fibre, we are reviving the use of cotton rag in our portfolio as part of our ongoing commitment to fibre innovation and creating value from waste.”Kate Gilpin, Packaging Project Leader at James Cropper says:
Rydal Apparel is launching with a 350gsm and 220gsm paper in Denim White, perfect for small boxes, garment tags, gift cards and retail carrier bags. The colour is an icy white with a very subtle blue tinge created by the visible denim fibre in the sheet which adds a unique finish.
The pulp used to produce Rydal Apparel paper is created through a relatively new technology which allows the cotton to be turned into pulp. This process offers the potential to create fibre of equal or higher quality with the properties demanded for premium paper for packaging.
“Our first Rydal Apparel offer is the start of an exciting journey. In the future we’re looking to offer customers the use of this fibre for bespoke shades, in a variety of weights. “The development of Rydal Apparel began in the midst of the first Coronavirus lockdown in 2020 while our technical teams were working from home. This is a perfect demonstration of James Cropper’s culture for continual innovation through our FibreBlend Upcycled Technology strategy.”Kate Gilpin at James Cropper concludes: