Denim tailored for the Egyptian Queen born in 69 BC was designed by data and 3D sizing technology and is intended to symbolize a sustainable future for the fashion industry.
As part of a public awareness campaign, a custom-made pair of jeans called Cleopatra’s Jeans, which were actually designed to fit the iconic Queen, have been revealed in Amsterdam to send a message to the denim and fashion industries: ‘Let’s work together to find innovative solutions to make textile waste history. Let’s make fashion’s future waste-free’.
The jeans were presented at a launch event at the Fashion for Good Museum, a museum dedicated to sustainable fashion in Amsterdam. During the event denim expert Mariette Hoitink, of the House of Denim Foundation, and the fashion industry leaders of the future from Amsterdam Fashion Institute discussed textile waste and possible solutions.
Every year, 85% of all textiles are thrown away according to UNECE, with a huge proportion of these being from returned clothing purchases, single-handedly creating 2.3 billion kilograms of waste and 15 million tonnes of carbon annually, in the US alone, according to research from (Optoro.
Much of this ends up in landfills, not to mention the excessive energy, carbon, and water use caused by wasted production. This is particularly true when it comes to denim, which is one of the most polluting fabrics to produce according to the campaign.
While they may look like a ‘normal’ pair of jeans, these were tailored to the long-deceased Egyptian queen. Through cutting-edge 3D scanning, plus historical and genetic research to calculate the timeless style icon’s body shape, these jeans demonstrate the possibility of creating a perfect fit for anyone in the world. As a call to arms, these jeans pave the way for a future where every order can be tailored perfectly to the customer – meaning no returns, and no waste.
“Fashion has a challenge with waste, we all know that. We should buy less and more consciously,” said Mariette Hoitink, founder House of Denim Foundation.
“The fashion and denim industries are working hard to address this – but technology will be the crucial factor that makes the difference in the race against waste.”
One of the biggest contributing factors to these huge quantities of waste is badly fitting clothes from e-commerce. A recent Wunderman Thompson report showed 69% of fashion spending is now online. More than half of e-commerce customers knowingly over-order (Pitney Bowes, 2019), and roughly 72% of American shoppers returned badly fitting items over the 2018 holiday period (Bodyblock AI, 2019). A huge proportion of returns are then destroyed, piling fuel on the fire of the fashion industry’s wastage crisis.
What if technology could create a perfect fit for anyone in the world?
That would mean no badly fitting clothes, no returns, no waste. Enter Cleopatra’s Jeans, a collaboration between creative agency Wunderman Thompson’s Hong Kong and Amsterdam offices and Taiwan’s TG3D, a tech company whose 3D technology scans any kind of body shape to produce tailor-made designs at high definition.
Together they are asking brands to consider how technology can design a better future to help minimize textile waste.
“Using innovation to make a pair of jeans for someone that died thousands of years before jeans were even invented is not only awesome, but also shows how body scanning can play a role in making a more sustainable fashion industry,” said Carlos Camacho , Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Amsterdam.
The aim is to show that it’s possible to design the perfect jeans for anyone, anywhere, any size – so why not set the bar high? To ask the industry to think of the future, a character from the past is brought back: Cleopatra, arguably the most famous female in history. But how do you design a pair of jeans for a woman who lived several millennia ago?
Creating the jeans was part of many months of historical research with data collection: by measuring hundreds of contemporary Coptic Egyptian women – who closely resemble the ancient queen, according to historical archives and genetic data.
Through this, the body measurement data for Cleopatra was calculated – and then used to design and produce a perfectly fitted pair of denim, specifically tailored for the Egyptian queen.
“As an innovative creative agency, our mission is to bring creativity, technology and humanity together,” said Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson.
“And we’re interested in creating campaigns or statements that explore the intersection of those three domains. Cleopatra’s Jeans is just that: a provocative statement and an inspiring conversation starter – a symbol for how technology can drive us towards a zero-waste future. I’m already looking forward to seeing Napoleon’s jeans, Joan of Arc’s jeans and of course Mozart’s jeans.”
Cleopatra’s Jeans will be displayed at key locations where the fashion industry intersects with consumers.
Bas Korsten/ Global CCO
Daniel Bonner/ Global CCO
Sheung Yan Lo/ APAC CCO
Carlos Camacho/ ECD WT Amsterdam
Tunchan Kalkan/ Head of Art WT Amsterdam
Martijn van Hees/ Producer
Jasper Korpershoek/ Senior Creative
Khlaus Feldhaus/ Senior Creative
Nando Correa/ Web Designer
Charlotte Lilly/ Project Manager
Matt Parry/ MD WT Hong Kong
Kiefer McKenzie/ ACD WT Hong Kong
Paddy O’Mahoney/ Senior Creative WT Hong Kong
Nicole Hedemann/ Digital Creative WT Hong Kong
Sandra Gin/ Account Head WT Hong Kong
James Yong / Web Developer
Tim Arnolds/ Motion Graphic Designer
PR director: Jessica Hartley
Production House/Post Production: Macarena Films
Sound Studio: Canja Audio Culture
Photographer: Ale Burset