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11 Ways the Denim Supply Chain Tackles Sustainability

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There isn’t one way to define sustainability. Denim mills and trims suppliers at Denim Première Vision in Paris Tuesday made a case for multiple approaches to reduce the garment industry’s impact on the environment.

From water-less technologies and smart indigo dyes, to the growing acceptance of fibers made from post-consumer waste, here’s a look at 11 ways companies take on sustainability.

YKK Europe launches its first-ever “Zero Water” button. The button comes with an eco-finish that requires no water at all in any step of its manufacturing process. Instead of a galvanic bath, the trims company uses a polishing process that is applied to the cap base material. The zero water-free button complements the growing number of water-saving and water-less denim fabrications.

YKK Europe

A strong sustainable story for jeanswear is only as deep as its pockets. Copen United presents Encore, a pocketing fabric made with Repreve, Unifi’s recycled polyester made from plastic bottles saved from landfills.

Copen United

Garment and finishing company Firemount Textiles tackles sustainability across all areas of the manufacturing process. The company touts Eco Wash, an eco-responsibly wash that uses 12.5% less water and 67.5% less chemicals. The process combines laser and ozone technologies.


Arvind Limited reduces its carbon footprint and water usage by 80 percent with “0 Pumice Stone.” Garments are washed with the new geo-power NPS product, making it possible to achieve a true stone wash effect without any pumice stone. The process is GreenScreen certified, meaning all of the chemicals pass strict toxicological tests for textiles.

Arvind Limited

Velcorex finds new solutions to create color effects without the heavy use of chemicals and finishing. The Evolutive Colors collection offers a wide range of colors that can be applied to velvet or sporstswear to achieve a jeans look.


Spanish mill Santanderina is one of the first to adopt Refibra, the new Tencel fiber made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting operations and wood. With the introduction of Refibra, the mill aims to drive a circular economy.


Kilim Denim partners with the Alliance for Responsible Denim, a platform for collaboration between eco-conscious brands, to develop denim made with post-consumer jeans. The mill’s Re-Create concept contains 80 percent organic cotton, 10 percent cotton and 10 percent post-consumer jeans.


Transparency is top of mind for Tavex. The mill delivers authentic sustainable fabrics with complete traceability of all the materials used. In the “Remin” collection, Tavex offers denim fabrics made with a minimum of 30 percent recycled materials, including recycled polyester and recycled cotton from post-consumer jeans.


Prosperity launches Carmine Blue, a vintage-inspired, pure mid-tone indigo shade that uses certified organic dye additives. The result is a product that contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment. The mill also offers Miller Blue, a mid-tone indigo that reduces water consumption by 15 percent and is designed for quick wash downs and unique high and lows.


No steam, no water, no chemicals, Naveena’s thirst-free denim line called H2NO saves 12 liters of water per jean. The collection is made with a sustainable technology that uses air to reproduce ozone gas conutions to give fabrics the look of authentic wear. The process conserves up to 90 percent of water and energy and reduces carbon footprint.


Soorty finds the perfect recipe for sustainable performance denim. The mill combines 50 percent organic cotton and high resistance fibers with Herbal Blue, its range of indigo dyes based on natural resources.


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