- Huw Hughes |
Kingpins was back in Amsterdam last week, bringing together industry professionals to discuss the latest trends, innovations and technologies in the world of denim.
The two-day event, running between 23 and 24 October at the former gasworks complex Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, was a bustling scene of blue, with brands, buyers and denim mills attending in large numbers. Though whispers of uncertainty surrounding current issues such as the US-China trade war and Brexit gloom made their rounds across the fair floor, attendees were generally upbeat. Here are FashionUnited’s favourite innovations spotted at the event:
Tejidos Royo unveils One Million Litres initiative
Spanisih fabric manufacturer Tejidos Royo announced Wednesday that since implementing DryIndigo technology this year it has saved more than 1 million litres of water used in denim dyeing.
Originally announced in 2018, Tejidos Royo’s dyeing process removes water by using a foam that dyes the yarn. It also reduces energy consumption by 65 percent during manufacturing, uses 89 percent less chemical products, and completely eliminates wastewater discharge, the company said. According to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), producing a single pair of jeans with conventional dyeing methods uses the same amount of water that the average person could drink over seven years.
Tejidos Royo donated the economic contribution from the first million litres saved through its new dyeing process to UNICEF for its water and sanitation programmes and is now challenging other companies to make similar commitments through the launch of the One Million Liters campaign.
José Rafael Royo, member of the company's board, said at Kingpins: "In the textile industry, we need to rework our processes to become a much more sustainable industry. DryIndigo is a major milestone in this area, and we hope that it inspires to make our industry a much more responsible one towards our surroundings.
“We are facing the sustainable denim revolution and, with One Million Liters, we want everyone to take part in it so that, together, we can meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals before 2030."
Rudolf laser primer technology
Rudolf Hub 1922, the fashion division of Rudolf Group, showcased its new laser primer technology at Kingpins. While local abrasion has long been used on denim to create texture - with brushing, sandblasting, chemical spray, and scraping - laser burning has taken a central role in the process.
Rudolf Laser Primer is a foam primer that is added onto fabrics before they are laser-treated, resulting in a less expensive and more environmentally friendly process due to the reduction in chemicals and sprays used. "It’s a breakthrough innovation,” said Alberto De Conti, head of Rudolf Fashion. “Lasers have been around for a while - they have been instrumental in pushing forward this industry. From our perspective what was important was to look at the tool and see how we can improve it.”
Candiani’s newest fabric Resolve is made of organic cotton and customized Roica premium degradable stretch yarn developed by Asahi Kasei. It is the third fabric to join the Italian company’s family of sustainable ‘Re’ fabrics, along with ReGen, and Relast.
"This year we've been looking for better polymers and smarter ingredients because the real problem is the landfill," said the company's owner, Alberto Candiani. Stretch fibres used in denim are synthetic and remain in the ground as a toxic element after a garment is disposed of. The latest fabric Resolve uses V550, a Roica stretch fibre made from a polymer that does not release toxins or microplastics.
Moving forward, Candiani said he plans for most of the company’s production done with normal elastomer to be replaced by V550. “Next year we will come up with a final stage of this evolution with an elastomer which will finally aim for biodegradability and full compostability,” he said. “So there is a lot going on, step by step."
M&J Start to Measure system and water reduction initiatives
Genesis: M&J Group presented its multi-measurement system Start to Measure which allows unique insights to each customer Genesis facility’s machinery and chemicals consumption. The new system means every customer can request a detailed report on water, gas, steam, electricity and chemical consumption to encourage more transparency and traceability across the supply chain. The system also generates a unique QR Code, directly linked to the single machine where each product was produced.
The company also adopted a new washing process that allows it to recycle the 50 percent of treated effluent from water waste treatment plants (WWTP /ETP). The Genesis facility is able to recycle the treated effluent directly in the garment washing process, reducing freshwater requirements by 50 percent, according to the company.
Garmon smart foam treatment
Garmon collaborated with Itaclab and Mactec to launch its smart foam system at Kingpins which the company said saves up to 80 percent of water and reduces energy requirement due to the fact all treatments are performed at room temperature. The process is also reportedly up to 3 times faster to load chemicals in the washing machine compared to nebulization systems.
Photo credit: FashionUnited