Customer in the spotlight: HNST. The world’s most sustainable jeans

Buroform pays close attention to sustainability. Consequently, there is little as inspiring as collaborating with brands doing the same thing. A little while ago, we came in contact with HNST. Like us purebred Malinois, but above all an innovative denim label with a great sense of social and ecological responsibility. HNST is developing circular jeans that consist of more than half recycled materials. A Q&A with Eva Engelen, one of the faces behind the brand.

Hey Eva, can you briefly explain what exactly HNST stands for?

“HNST was created in response to the environmentally damaging and socially irresponsible operation within the apparel industry. The jeans sector in particular poses a major problem in this regard. Jeans may be the most polluting garment in our closet. Each pair of pants requires a huge amount of water, energy and chemicals. On top of that, jeans are often produced in countries with deplorable working conditions.

With HNST we take a completely different approach: our jeans consist of 56% recycled cotton from old jeans, supplemented by a portion of new fibers. Therefore, the ecological impact is a lot lower. For example, per pair of jeans we save about 7,000 liters of water and emit a good three-quarters lessCO2. Manufacturing is also done entirely within Europe, making the chain quite a bit shorter compared to other brands.”

HNST is an honest jeans brand that combines the best of both worlds: the brand offers stylish jeans styles that are also 100% circular. A process that founder Tom Duhoux and co-founder and CEO Lander Desmedt say should be universal. That is precisely why HNST was given the tagline “nothing to hide.

HNST would make the world’s most sustainable jeans: is that the ultimate goal?

“Our big goal is actually to make the apparel sector completely circular. Of course, you don’t do that in one day. Jeans is the starting point for us, but we go very far with that. Toxic chemicals on reused jeans, for example, we have them removed integrally. We also choose screw-off buttons, labels composed of cellulose, embroidered rivets and inside pockets made of recycled white T-shirts. We also communicate very openly about our methods. On our website you will find all the info about the composition of the fabrics and data about our production partners and price setting. You rarely see something like that, but for us it’s part of our story.”

People can also bring in their old jeans to you themselves?

“That’s right. For the collection of old jeans we cooperate with the Circle Shop. In addition, you get €15 when you bring in an old pair of HNST jeans to us. The base price of our jeans is €135 euros. So you can actually see that €15 as a kind of deposit.”

HNST came to us for new hangtags. How does Buroform fit into your story?

“We want to infuse our way of working into everything. This means that we only work with partners who meet our criteria around sustainable business. Buroform fits perfectly into that philosophy because it itself has high standards in that area.

The hangtags we had you make for us consist exclusively of recycled industrial paper, but in time we want to go a step further. We are toying with the idea of developing hangtags that also have their use in everyday life. I can’t say much more about it yet, but there are many great things coming up to work on together. (laughs)