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Sustainable denim technology showcased at Kingpins

Sustainability was the key focus of most denim technology providers

In the new-normal of COVID-19, the apparel supply chain has been focusing on sustainability. Which was also shown in the just concluded Kingpins show. Denim players across the supply chain presented the innovations and projects being developed for Spring/Summer ’22 last week. This year, the denim industry’s most sought event hosted digitally.

Sustainable-denim-technology-showcased-Kingpins
Figure: Sustainability was the key focus of most denim technology providers.

Sustainability was the key focus of most denim technology providers. Also, they showed a renewed focus on the practicality and function of garments and in how they are made.

Tonello lineup up with denim expert Piero Turk to make a collection of denim garments that display the capabilities of its new finishing process, The Laundry (R)Evolution.

By using laser finishing machines and Tonello’s water-saving washing operation, the All-in-One System concept optimizes the entire garment finishing process. Turk and Tonello used denim fabrics for the collection which was viewed by the Kingpins Show as the most sustainable.

Alice Tonello, R&D and Marketing Director of Tonello said, “When it comes to working on new developments, we always start from new ideas and the constant research that starts from a concept that becomes reality, by increasingly raising the bar of sustainability.”

While Artistic Milliners is constructing on the success of ‘Crystal Clear’ indigo dye technology. With Crystal Clear 3.0, a process that decreases 80% water consumption as a combined wet process that is also powered by G2 Dynamic ozone technology by Jeanologia. Artistic Milliners presented the concept in a collection called Reflection, which includes eight fabrics made with Tencel Refibra.

This new technology created by Lycra Company aids garments to maintain their appearance wash after wash.

Also, Lycra highlighted its new Anti-Slip fiber, a denim seam slippage solution for applications in single-core spandex fabrics that require durable stretch and good recovery power.

The fiber complements Lycra’s existing technologies. It can be combined with Lycra dualFX technology and Lycra T400 fiber.

Steve Stewart, The Lycra Company’s newly appointed Chief Innovation Officer said, “Our innovation strategy identifies the stated and unstated needs of our consumers and customers, and is guided by proprietary research, trends and insights.”

Mills considered consumers’ at-home lifestyles. DNM Denim debuted a new performance denim concept called Shape N Relax. DNM’s U.K. sales director David Rumsey described the technology, a triple-core stretch yarn, as an ‘intelligent’ fabric. When the fabrics expand, extra support is given to areas where there is tension.

“This way you get a perfect but comfortable fit around the legs combined with the best shaping and support around the body,” Steve said.

Reducing waste and lessening the supply chain’s reliance on virgin components continue to be challenges for the denim industry to chip away.

Shape N Relax fabrics are offered in various weights and constructions.

To address comfort, cut down size-related returns, and prevent ill-fitting jeans from ending up in a landfill, Soorty introduced Re-Sync, a one-size-fits-all technology that allows jeans to adapt to the wearer’s body. The fabric sculpts the body with a 360-degree stretch comfort that enables the garments to “perform well” two sizes up to and two sizes down.

Reducing waste and lessening the supply chain’s reliance on virgin components continue to be challenges for the denim industry to chip away.

Calik Denim introduced E-Denim, a patent-pending process that allows the mill to incorporate higher recycled content in ring-spun yarn without compromising the quality and strength of the yarn by wrapping recycled core yarn with recycled cotton and recycled Tencel.

In the production of denim fabric, recycled cotton can be used in stretch products in the range of 30-40 percent, and in rigid fabrics, this rate can be doubled, the mill stated. E-Denim technology allows the mill to increase its total recycled content rate to 50 percent in stretch fabrics and 80-100 percent in rigid product groups.

“Considering all of the technology that is available at the moment, there’s no excuse for anybody to not care about the environment,” said Faheem Dar, AFM COO garment division.

Zero virgin cotton denim are key in Artistic Fabric Mill’s sustainable production for S/S ’22. The mill is continuing its Phoenix concept, a range of fabrics with zero virgin cotton and zero wastewater in the dyeing and finishing process. It is also exploring ways to recycle industrial cotton waste from its mill floor that requires no additional dyeing.

The Undone line of fabrics features the recycled industrial cotton in the warp and weft, resulting in a distinct shade of blue-gray, while the Reweft line uses industrial cotton waste only in the weft and rich indigo in the warp. This group of fabrics is available in heavy and light constructions and in options that enhance the color contrast like rip-stop and basket weaves.

Hemp is another versatile alternative to cotton that is picking up momentum. “The way we used our technology, you get the natural neps of the fabric,” said Towonda Vaughns, AFM global design director. The mill’s hemp fabrics have the texture of organic cotton fabric.

Also Read: Kingpins Amsterdam adjusting to virtual reality

Calik’s hemp story for the season is Blue H, a range of articles that includes 20 percent hemp in both rigid comfort, super stretch and 100 percent stretch alternatives. Along with being an ingredient in brands’ sustainable collections, hemp has the added benefit of providing natural antimicrobial properties, meaning it keeps clothes cleaner for longer and prevents it from developing odor-causing bacteria.

In general, companies are responding to the market’s heightened awareness around hygiene, health and wellness—but in ways that are safe for the environment.

Calik’s self-cleaning Washpro technology and ViralOff process, which uses treatment from Swedish chemical company Polygiene, can stop viral activity from adhering to fabric. With the technology, the Covid-19 virus is “completely deactivated” on the fabric within two hours, the mill stated.

New developments by Brazilian denim mill Vicunha center on antiviral and antibacterial technologies. The new V. Tech Protective collection offers denim and twill fabrics with antimicrobial and antiviral, antimicrobial and repellent properties suitable for clothing, masks and other protective items.

“We understand that, right now, the fashion industry’s primary function is to curb people’s fears of buying and wearing clothes. We’re talking about the emergence of a new category of clothing, which functions as a ‘shield’ and aims to bolster people’s sense of security when going out, offering them protection and practicality in their day-to-day lives,” said German Alejandro, Vicunha Director of Marketing and Trade.

“As such, we believe these fabrics are ideal for creating pieces that, in addition to being protective, are comfortable, functional and versatile for the new consumer lifestyle.”

The collection uses HeiQ Viroblock, a technology proven to destroy the virus responsible for Covid-19. Tested by Brazil’s Universidade Estadual de Campinas’ virology laboratory, the technology has a 99.9 percent ‘viral inactivation’ in just one minute of contact between the virus and the fabric, the mill reported.

Though the treated fabrics can maintain their effectiveness up to 30 home washes, Vicunha recommends that garment manufacturers use minimal industrial laundry processing.

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