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Cone Denim Taps Decode’s Danielle Elsener for Zero

Jul 04, 2023

Bonsai, Cone Denim’s first 100 percent post-industrial recycled cotton denim fabric, is used throughout the mill’s new Interconnected collection, which debuted last week at Kingpins New York.

The Elevated Textiles-owned mill partnered with Spanish finishing technology company Jeanologia and Decode founder and zero-waste designer Danielle Elsener to create the concept collection that highlights how responsible manufacturing and design are the foundation to modern garments.

Interconnected builds on Cone’s “Nothing Goes to Waste” capsule launched last year, which focused on circular materials and zero-waste patternmaking. Rather than making garments with the traditional straight lines associated with zero-waste designs, Cone said Interconnected rethinks what is possible and offers a fresh and unexpected warped perspective.

A highlight in the collection is a skewed, five-pocket jean in Cone’s new Fall/Winter 2024 shades, Black Cherry, a deep burgundy alternative to basic black, and Seaglass, a unique turquoise-casted indigo. Elsener experimented with lasering from Jeanologia and paintbrush lines that follow the pattern outline.

Additionally, Elsener was intentional in using mono fibers to make the garments reclaimable at the end of life. She used high-quality, 100 percent biodegradable sewing thread (Chroma SPC and Chroma Plus) from Cone Denim’s sister brand American & Efird, an industrial sewing thread manufacturer.

Elsener, who specializes in developing zero-waste design systems, teaches responsible patternmaking in workshops and consults for multiple brands on ways they can reduce waste.

“We are shifting the narrative to carve out a space to explore, have fun, and create a positive space,” she said. “Interconnected is more than just a collection of garments; it’s a statement about the importance of continuing to iterate sustainably within the fashion industry. As the cycle repeats itself, we have the power to change it.”

Cone also bowed a new denim fabric using Noble Biomaterials’ Ionic+ technology, an antimicrobial solution for textiles that lasts the lifetime of the garment. The technology uses positively charged silver ions that are permanently embedded in yarn fibers to prevent the growth of bacteria and microbes on the surface of the fabric.

The result is a fabric that is microbe and odor-free, meaning jeans made with it will require fewer at-home laundries during its lifetime. The denim is also dyed using one of Cone’s pre-reduced Distilled Indigo shades, which offers additional water, energy and chemical savings.

Allon Cohne, Noble Biomaterials chief marketing officer, lauded Cone for being “ahead of the curve” and anticipating market demand for commercially ready denim using Ionic+ permanent mineral technology.

The fabric will be featured in men’s wear brand Mack Weldon’s Fall 2023 collection.

“We are excited Mack Weldon has partnered to bring the Ionic+ technology to market, merging the sustainable fabric manufacturing by Cone with the added benefit of sustainable garment care for the consumer,” said Kevin Reardon, Cone Denim’s SVP commercial strategy.

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