CQY / Sustainability

We’re big believers in doing our part to look after our planet and environment. Check out our efforts to keep our planet clean:


Better Cotton Initiative (BCI):

We all love cotton for its versatility, but here’s what we don’t feel so great about: it can be really harmful to farm. We’re talking pesticides and nasty chemicals that inflict damage on the land. Plus, cotton is a thirsty crop that requires a significant amount of water to grow.
That’s why CQY has sourced a number of fabrics spun with BCI cotton. BCI is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world, and we’re proud to be using cotton that’s sustainably grown. Check out what makes BCI cotton more Earth-friendly:
  • BCI cotton farmers grow their crop responsibly by minimizing harmful crop-protection practices.
  • BCI cotton farmers also promote a responsible use of water.
  • BCI also makes caring for the health of the soil a high priority.
  • BCI Principles and Criteria can be found here.


We really love using TENCEL™ as a fiber alternative in many of our fabrics. Tencel is made from cellulose fibers of sustainably sourced natural Eucalyptus trees. Here’s why we like to use TENCEL™ and blend it into our denim:
  • TENCEL ™ has a low carbon footprint, requiring less energy and up to 20 times less water than typical cotton to produce.As a reference, one kilogram of cotton (2.2lb) requires about 10,000 liters of water to produce.
  • TENCEL™ requires up to five times less land required than cotton.
  • TENCEL™ , it is also very strong, effective in moisture absorption, and very silky and soft to the touch.


Recycled polyester is used in many of our fabrics as a component that provides stretchability. Polyester is made using many of Earth’s non-renewable resources such as coal and petroleum. We choose to use recycled polyester for the following reasons:
  • Recycled polyester is made with used plastic water bottles instead of using up Earth’s non-renewable resources to produce new polyester.
  • Resources, such as petroleum, are saved, and our environment is kept clean by reducing the amount plastic in landfills and our beautiful oceans.


We audit the mills all of our major suppliers to make sure that they comply with our standards of sustainability, quality, and safe working conditions.

Kaihara Denim Mill

The Japanese just know how to do it right, and Kaihara Denim Mill is one of the finest producers of denim in the world. They are the first company in Japan to produce denim with a tradition dating all the way back to 1893.
Not only do they produce beautiful denim, but they have found ways to reduce waste, use less harmful chemicals, reduce water consumption, and adopt fibers that are eco-friendly and made of recycled materials. Kaihara has seen a 20% reduction in water consumption by improving their efficiencies in the refining process, saving approximately 10 gallons of water per denim roll produced. Kaihara has also adopted many recycled fibers into their denims such as using cotton waste that is swept up in their factory floors and spinning them into yarns. Like we said, they just know how to do things right.


But don’t forget about Italian denim. Candiani is a family-run denim mill established in 1938 in a small town near Milan, Italy.
The company believes in the importance of being Made in Italy, and prides itself on their focus on sustainability and innovation. Candiani is perhaps the most sustainable denim mill in the world, and constantly invests in the development of sustainable product. Candiani uses BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) certified cotton, which ensures that the cotton is grown in an environmentally and socially conscious manner. The mill has seen a 30% reduction in energy use, 50% less water consumption, and 70% less chemicals by using a polymer in their dye process called Chitosan, which is obtained by recycling the exoskeleton of shrimp (yes, you read that correctly, shrimp!). Although shrimp are small, those are huge savings and reductions!


Cobra/Riri, based in Northern Italy, is one of the finest suppliers of metal trim and hardware in the world. In addition to producing metal trim and hardware for many of our favorite designer brands and luxury houses in Paris and Milan, they also produce metal hardware for a select few brands who produce denim.
Cobra produces amazing metals and finishes, but they also produce them in an eco-friendly, socially and environmentally conscious method. Cobra has gone through the painstaking efforts ensuring their social and eco-responsibility by receiving the following certifications: OEKO Tex Standard 100 Certificate, Certificate of SATRA Membership, ISO 9001: 2015 Certificate, ISO 14001: 2015 Certificate, and BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 Certificate, among others. Beauty is all in the details, and our metal trim is second to none.