360° Coverage : I Am Not A Virgin To Sell "Eco-Sexy" Denim Jeans

10 Updates
I Am Not A Virgin To Sell "Eco-Sexy" Denim Jeans

I Am Not A Virgin To Sell "Eco-Sexy" Denim Jeans

Jan 24 2014, 10:20am CST | by

Eco-friendly denim takes the prize. By that I mean, I recently was a judge at a pitch competition held during MakeImpactNYC, a conference aimed at getting social enterprises and other like-minded...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

27 weeks ago

I Am Not A Virgin To Sell "Eco-Sexy" Denim Jeans

Jan 24 2014, 10:20am CST | by

Eco-friendly denim takes the prize.

By that I mean, I recently was a judge at a pitch competition held during MakeImpactNYC, a conference aimed at getting social enterprises and other like-minded people from the five boroughs of New York together at one time. Called the Battle of the Boros, the competition pitted startups representing Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island–one for each borough.

The winner, by unanimous decision, was a startup in Manhattan by the name of I Am Not A Virgin, which plans to sell a line of jeans made from a mix of cotton and recycled materials, like plastic bottles, and from non-cotton materials like bamboo.  (Bamboo, according to founder Peter Heron, makes for a better fit. Also, in case you’re wondering, the company name refers to the fact that the denim is made of other things in addition to cotton).

The company was started by Peter Heron, who was working as a creative director for an advertising agency in Australia when he won a green card in the lottery five years ago and decided to move to New York City to start a business. The idea was simple, in a complex way: “I wanted  to know if green technology could make a better fitting jean,” he says.

Through a lot of research he discovered that some people were making denim manufactured partially with scraps of leftover fabric.  That seemed like an ok idea, but Heron didn’t think the quality was good enough. So he decided to take a different tack, at first using 75% cotton and 25% recycled materials. Too much of the recycled stuff, he feared, would hurt the jeans’ durability.

At the same time, “I knew if you want a great product you need a great team,” he says. Through a contact, he met Walt Connelly, a former executive creative director at JWT and Ogilvy, and they became partners.  He also took a course in how to cut and sew, a pretty important skill he wanted to master.

Heron continued to try out other approaches, however, always with his eye on producing eco-friendly jeans that fit well.  The company’s motto is “First we save your ass. Second we save the environment.” Says Heron. “Number one thing is we are a fashion brand.”

So, Heron tested out different proportions of recycled to non-recycled material. To produce trendy skinny jeans, for example, he tried lowering the content to 10% recycled stuff. (Zippers are made partially from milk protein).  At the same time, he started working with other materials, like monocel, which is made from bamboo, is very soft, and, with a four-way stretch, makes for a better fit, he says. (He also plans to make t-shirts that may be made partially from such materials as recycled X-ray film).

The exact styles he’ll launch with–and the material they’ll contain–are still a bit of a work in progress.

Finding investors, apparently, also is a work in progress, because so many investors are putting their money in digital tech startups these days. He’s talking to some potential investors now, but can’t say who they are. He hopes to launch in two months or so.

As you might expect, it’s the story behind the company that Heron hopes will be particularly attractive to investors and consumers–an authentic message likely to resonate with today’s young, socially conscious consumers. “We’re what we term eco-sexy,” he says.

The actual cutting and sewing of the fabric will be sub-contracted out to manufacturers in L.A. As for where he’s selling the product, first step is online, next is to get in brick and mortar stores. According to Heron, they’re working on a sophisticated technology with which consumers can figure out the best size and fit online.

How, exactly, does Heron turn, for example, bottles  into fabric for jeans? In the case of bottles, it’s all about extracting oil. So bottles, which are collected in a recycling facility,  are melted down into fine particles, which, in turn, are extruded through a nozzle system that pulls out strands to be twisted into yarn. That material, finally, is woven into denim, along with virgin cotton. Each pair of jeans uses six to eight recycled bottles.

The result of this process, according to Heron, is a big reduction in oil. He says that about 600 million pairs of jeans are sold in the U.S. every year and if they all used his process, we’d save about 1.2 million barrels of oil a year.

The bamboo route, of course, doesn’t even involve using cotton.  That can reap big savings in reduced use of land, water, and fertilizer needed to grow cotton.

/>/>

(The right to use the word “virgin”, by the way, has been disputed by Virgin, something that Forbes contributor Anderson Antunes has written about).

I Am Not A Virgin, of course, is not the first social enterprise to use recycled materials. There’s Terracycle, a seller of fertilizer made from worm poop, along with other products fashioned from recycled juice pouches and other such things. And Rareform, which I’ve written about, makes surfboard bags from billboards. So why not jeans?

“Our green technology is a unique fit,” says Heron.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by ro ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in co ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2014. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billi ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

A 'surface' that controls fluids
Washington, Aug 2 (IANS) Defying gravitational forces, an Indian-origin scientist-led team has developed a new way of making surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move across them.
 
 
Probiotics crucial for super gut health
New York, Aug 2 (IANS) The bacteria that aid in digestion help keep the intestinal lining intact, scientists say, adding that daily probiotics hold the key to ward off inflammatory disorders that occur when the intestinal lining has been compromised.
 
 
Two new polio cases detected in Pakistan
Islamabad, Aug 2 (IANS) Two new polio cases has been detected in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a media report said Saturday.
 
 
Microsoft sues Samsung for breach of trust
New York, Aug 2 (IANS) Microsoft filed a case against Samsung Electronics in a US court over breach of contract. The lawsuit accuses the South Korean company of not paying for cross-licensing of technology.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

A 'surface' that controls fluids
Washington, Aug 2 (IANS) Defying gravitational forces, an Indian-origin scientist-led team has developed a new way of making surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move across them. The discovery...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Ashim Ahluwalia's 'John &amp; Jane' to be screened at MIFF
Melbourne, Aug 2 (IANS) "Miss Lovely" fame Ashim Ahluwalia's 2005 film "John &amp; Jane" will be screened at the ongoing Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) here Sunday in the 'India in Flux Living...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Probiotics crucial for super gut health
New York, Aug 2 (IANS) The bacteria that aid in digestion help keep the intestinal lining intact, scientists say, adding that daily probiotics hold the key to ward off inflammatory disorders that occur when the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Six killed in Nepal landslide
Kathmandu, Aug 2 (IANS) At least six people were killed Saturday after a massive landslide hit a remote village In Nepal. Caused by continuous rain since Thursday, the landslide that hit Mankha village in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jennifer Lawrence splits from Nicholas Hoult
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Actress Jennifer has reportedly broken up with her beau and actor Nicholas Hoult once again. The Academy Award-winning actress has split up with her longtime boyfriend again after rekindling...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Two new polio cases detected in Pakistan
Islamabad, Aug 2 (IANS) Two new polio cases has been detected in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a media report said Saturday. Health officials said that one-year-old...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Drew Barrymore's half-sister didn't commit suicide, says brother
Los Angeles, Aug 2 (IANS) Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore's half-sister Jessica, who was recently found dead inside her own vehicle in California, did not commit suicide, her brother insists. Jessica was surrounded...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Vote auditing of Afghan presidential elections postponed
Kabul, Aug 2 (IANS) The auditing process of votes cast in Afghan presidential elections was once again postponed Saturday. According to election commission officials, a fresh round of the audit was scheduled to resume...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Pacific Rim exercises conclude in Hawaii
Honolulu, Aug 2 (IANS) The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval drill held in Hawaii has concluded. The five-week exercise involved more than 40 vessels, 200 aircraft and some 25,000 personnel from...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Microsoft sues Samsung for breach of trust
New York, Aug 2 (IANS) Microsoft filed a case against Samsung Electronics in a US court over breach of contract. The lawsuit accuses the South Korean company of not paying for cross-licensing of technology. The...
Read more on Business Balla