As the world continued to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, the spotlight shifted to supply chains in flux. Denim brands and suppliers alike honed in on production and sourcing methods, identifying areas in need of improvement. The year 2021 saw sustainable strides throughout the denim supply chain that have the potential to make a significant environmental impact at scale.
The Lenzing Group debuted a sustainable fiber designed to scatter light and permanently diminish sheen in denim. In October, it introduced matte Tencel branded lyocell fibers that answered partners’ call for less shiny fabric. Made with a resource-efficient closed-loop production process, the fiber is fully traceable, and is a combined effort of global mill partners Advance Denim from China, Pakistan’s Artistic Fabric Mills Pvt. Ltd., Arvind Limited and KG Denim Limited from India, Turkey’s Kipas Denim, Panther Denim/Tat Fung from China and Spain’s Textil Santanderina.
In September, the Lyrca Company introduced Lycra Adaptiv, a stretch offering that provides a better fit for various lifestyles, movements and different body types. The material is made from a revolutionary polymer that adapts to bodies in motion and at rest. The fabric’s durability and ability to accommodate fluctuating sizes means products will have a longer shelf life.
A recent report from Cotton Diaries, an organization dedicated to making cotton supply chains more sustainable, highlighted that 69 percent of denim brands don’t know their cotton’s origins. In light of this figure, and with greenwashing rampant in the denim industry, tracing solutions are crucial to holding companies accountable for their claims.
In 2021, companies made strides in this area, implementing solutions like FibreTrace, which recently earned a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification for its luminescent pigment, confirming its organic status. The pigmented fibers are mixed into cotton fibers so the resulting fabric can be scanned throughout the supply chain to capture data, which consumers can later access by scanning a QR code or alternative method based on the brand’s choosing. The technology is used by Nobody Denim, Reformation, 7 For All Mankind and others.
In September, FibreTrace was one of the partners included in the Higg traceability program, a global collaboration that helps brands track the hidden impacts within their manufacturing processes, ensure fiber integrity and understand, communicate and accelerate product sustainability.
In March, Advance Denim, one of China’s largest denim manufacturers, joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, a system that helps assure mills and manufacturers that their cotton is sustainably grown. The Trust Protocol is on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials from which more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program. Advance Denim joins over 200 other mills and manufacturers as members.
Pakistan-based vertically integrated manufacturer Soorty partnered with Green Story, a supply chain sustainability analysis platform, for an extensive life cycle analysis of two garments with differentiated raw materials and garment processes. The platform uses the global standard of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology with data sourced from accredited partners to measure the impact of production processes. It then brings them together with easy-to-understand visuals to enhance the customer experience and highlight Soorty’s green choices. The partnership encourages consumers to buy more consciously.
Turkish denim mill Calik Denim is gearing up for a more sustainable 2023 by introducing E-Last, …….