Interview by Emma Holmqvist Deacon

Swedish retailer Lindex is one of Scandinavia’s biggest highstreet names. Sustainability is high on the agenda and the chain, which caters for women and children, aims to produce the majority of its wares sustainably within the next few years. To learn how they’ll go about the challenge, we sat down with Lindex’s sustainability manager Sara Winroth in London during the launch of the retailer’s Better Denim collection.

Tell us about Lindex's Better Denim initiative and your general efforts to go green.
So far, we’ve implemented low impact production processes for the majority of our denim offering, which is a big step towards our goal to produce 80% of our products sustainably by 2020. Since 2010, we’ve been part of the Better Cotton Initiative, which aims to make cotton-production more sustainable worldwide and at the same time help improve the lives of cotton farmers. We work closely with our suppliers to make the changes happen – it’s not as simple as giving them instructions to use less water or pesticides, for example, we have to find ways and solutions together that work in the long-run.

Sara Winroth, sustainability manager at Lindex
Sara Winroth, sustainability manager at Lindex

What defines the newly launched Better Denim collection and how will the range develop?
Since 2016, the majority of all Lindex’s denim has been made from sustainable cotton and produced using processes saving up to 45% water, 27% energy and 30% chemicals per denim style, and we aim to improve these scores each year to minimise environmental impact. To help customers identify the sustainable styles in-store, all 5-pocket denim has the size printed in the waistband, thus reducing the use of paper labelling. Some styles even feature sustainable trims like zippers, buttons, rivets and badges. We’re currently looking for suppliers who can provide trims and metal hardware on a larger scale, so that every piece of denim we offer is entirely sustainable, down to the last rivet.

Which are the key styles and washes?
The denim pieces in the collection are gently washed but still very soft. There are on-trend button through skirts, classic jean jackets and jeans in different fits as well as denim-look Lyocell shirts and tees. We’ve also introduced our first upcycled item – a sneaker made from natural rubber and recycled denim collected from our post-consumer textile reuse banks. The customer recycling collection system is managed in-store and sorted by Swedish charity shop organisation Myrorna.