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Editor's pick product sustainability

Wrangler is erasing 99% of water from denim dyeing with new foam process

Wrangler adopts foam dyeing
Wrangler

Classic American jeans manufacturer Wrangler has become the first brand to adopt ‘Dry Indigo’; a new foam-dyeing process that eliminates 99% of the water typically used in dyeing its jeans.

In 2019, the brand will launch a full line of jeans dyed with the new technique to showcase the evolution of sustainable denim.

“Foam technology reduces water consumption and pollution further upstream, helping our fabric suppliers to dramatically minimize the impacts of making denim fabric blue,” said Wrangler president, Tom Waldron.

This evolved manufactured process is just one of the ways Wrangler is working to approach their broader goal to reduce water usage by five billion liters by 2020. The company has already recycled 3 billion liters of water over the past 10 years.

Considering, a single pair of jeans today takes more than 1,000 gallons to be produced, this innovation is another significant step forward.

Tejidos Royo, a Spanish fabric mill with a reputation for prioritizing environmental performance, is set to receive the new equipment this October, pioneering the foam-dye process. “Our Dry Indigo process nearly erases the environmental impact of denim dyeing and represents the next generation of denim production,” said its sales director, Jose Royo.

Sustainability is becoming ever more of a factor for consumer purchase decisions. In 2017, 33% of consumers are choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good, according to data from Accenture. The study also says that 21% of consumers would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials more clear on packaging and in marketing – representing €966bn worth of untapped opportunity for brands.

How are you thinking about textile innovation and sustainability? We’re all about helping you build strategic integrations. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Madewell launches sustainable denim dyed with shrimp shells

Madewell 'Eco Collection'
Madewell ‘Eco Collection’

Madewell has launched a new line of sustainable denim that uses shrimp shell fibers in the dying process, significantly reducing the use of chemicals and water needed during manufacturing.

The J.Crew-owned brand is working with the Candiani mill in Italy to use its Kitotex® product, which is made with byproducts of the food industry (such as thrown away shrimp or lobster shells) to dye textiles. The exoskeleton of crustaceans contains chitosan, which is a fiber that helps bind dyes to fabric, while eliminating some of the chemicals traditionally used in the manufacturing of denim.

By using Kitotex and organic cotton also supplied by the Italian factory, Madewell’s Eco Collection is using 65% less chemicals and 75% less H2O than conventional material.

Once the fabric has been manufactured and dyed it gets sent to Saitex, the same Vietnamese factory responsible for G-Star RAW’s and Everlane’s sustainable denim. The factory recycles 98% of its water and turns manufacturing waste into bricks for affordable housing.

Madewell 'Eco Collection'
Madewell ‘Eco Collection’

For this inaugural collection, the American label is launching six styles of eco denim, from jeans to overalls. This is a part of its fall 2018 launch, which also includes the introduction of bigger sizes to 40% of its collection. Recently, J.Crew’s CEO Jim Brett has also noted that the brand will soon be launching a menswear line for the very first time, which should help push it towards its billion-dollar goal.

How are you thinking about product innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.