Stretch yourself: Denim of the future, designed by Gen Z
A denim design exploration by the House of Denim Foundation x Jean School students in collaboration with The LYCRA Company and 7 of the most progressive denim mills in the world.
“Which denim would generation Z design for its generation?” was the question the House of Denim team asked when thinking about the future of stretch denim with The LYCRA Company. Being the co-founder of Jean School, the first and only denim educational institution in the world, the House of Denim collaborated with 30 students of Jean School, Amsterdam, seven of the most progressive mills in the world and The LYCRA Company to answer this question.
The most innovative and sustainable stretch denim fabrics of today were the medium. The result: A perspective on the future of denim and an exhibition with 14 designs titled “Stretch Yourself”.
Education by industry leaders and unrestricted creativity: couture meets street
All participating students got lectures by The LYCRA Company team and live online presentations by the participating denim mills. The mills sent out their most premium fabrics to the House of Denim and students were free to choose which fabrics they wanted to work with.
Mariette Hoitink, co-founder of the House of Denim, says,”What excited me about this project with Jean School, Lycra, and these seven mills is that we started with an educational segment on sustainability and innovation involving all mills and that we kept it open for the students to design whatever they felt like. The mills provided the students with super special fabrics. The end result ranges from well designed tight and baggy pants to dresses that question gender. Couture meets casual.
The title of the exhibition, "Stretch Yourself", really applies; the students worked day and night to come up with the final results and took a totally unexpected take on stretch denim. The whole project reflects diversity and inclusion and supports creativity.”
Amongst the most innovative and sustainable denim mills in the world
Participating mills in “Stretch Yourself” are Calik Denim, Bossa Denim, Orta from Turkey; Naveena Denim Mills and Soorty Enterprises, Pakistan; DNM Denim, Egypt; and Advance Denim, China.
Innovative technologies by The LYCRA Company
Any close-fitting style of jeans or any body-positive garment will need to use a stretch fabric because otherwise, the garment would be uncomfortable and restrict movement. The new generation of innovative, premium stretch denim is redefining comfort and quality. It’s more durable and more sustainable.
The supplied fabrics contained three innovative technologies from The LYCRA Company: LYCRA® dualFX® technology is a patented fabric construction that boosts the recovery power of stretch denim fabrics so that body-hugging styles retain their shape. It involves two stretch fibers: LYCRA® elastane fiber and LYCRA® T400® fiber to boost that recovery power.
LYCRA® FREEF!T® technology offers easy stretch with high flexibility for flattering, figure-hugging jeans with soft and stretchy comfort. This technology allows for comfort in motion across a wider fit window. LYCRA® T400® fiber is a co-polymer (bi-component) that generates its own stretch when exposed to heat—it literally coils up like a curly human hair. LYCRA® T400® EcoMade fiber is made from 50% recycled PET bottles and 18% plant-based fibers, giving it a sustainable content of 68%. The fiber is also GRS certified to ensure traceability throughout the distribution chain.
Helen Latham, Sr. Strategic Accounts Manager of The LYCRA Company says, “It is our goal to collaborate with jeans designers of the future in our industry, supporting them to share our innovative technologies. Their inspiration and intellectually fresh ideas inspire us.”
All of the fabrics used in the Stretch Yourself project are available at Denim City for design and sample purposes.
video reel Femke Verhoeff by Superstories
video reel Tijke Veenstra by Superstories
About the House of Denim
The House of Denim Foundation is an independent, not for profit organization that conceives and initiates collaborative projects to connect and inspire key stakeholders in the denim industry ‘Towards a Brighter Blue’. Its mission is to ‘advocate the good’ by promoting best practices. It ‘collaborates for the better’ by building a network for industry-wide collaboration on standards, projects and resources for a dryer, cleaner and smarter industry. And it ‘educates the best’ by training a new generation of bright blue talent aiming to raise the bar on knowledge, skills and innovation throughout the industry. To name a few initiatives: Denim City Amsterdam (home of the House of Denim Foundation and Jean School) and Denim City Sao Paulo, Global Denim Awards, Denim Days and the Indigo Embassy sessions. houseofdenim.org
About Jean School
Jean School was founded in 2012 by the House of Denim and ROC Amsterdam and offers a 2-year specialization in Denim Design & Development for fashion students and a 1-year International Course at Denim City. The curriculum of Jean School focuses on development, craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability. Collaborations with leading denim brands and industry experts are part of the program. The result - a unique educational institution with alumni working all over the world. Jean School celebrates its 10th anniversary in the fall of 2022. jeanschool.com
About The LYCRA Company
The LYCRA Company innovates and produces fiber and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, it is recognized worldwide for its innovative products, sustainable solutions, technical expertise, and unmatched marketing support. The LYCRA Company owns leading consumer and trade brands: LYCRA®, LYCRA HyFit®, LYCRA® T400®, COOLMAX®, THERMOLITE®, ELASPAN®, SUPPLEX®, and TACTEL®. Its legacy stretches back to 1958 with the invention of the original spandex yarn, LYCRA® fiber. Today, The LYCRA Company focuses on adding value to its customers’ products by developing unique innovations designed to meet the consumer’s need for comfort and lasting performance. thelycracompany.com
all images by @sirconrads