There has been a lot of talk about Made in USA denim, but not much thought has been given to denim Made in the Americas. Denim sourced from Mexico offers the advantage of saved shopping time as production schedules grow increasingly tight. Global Denim, the Puebla-based mill operating since 1996, has an especially close tie to the U.S., sourcing 80 percent of its cotton in America.
The prevailing misconception that Mexican denim mills must combat is that they make basic product, explained Global Denim Creative Director Michelle Branch. Global Denim is defying preconceptions with its new Prime facility, located adjacent to the mill’s existing facility in Puebla. The mill is investing in new equipment and will use its top-of-the-line technology to target premium brands. The first Prime collection made its debut at Blueprint Denim Expo this week in New York City with new fibers, constructions and finishings.
In addition to the innovation surrounding the launch of the Prime facility, Global Denim has also been working on advancements in sustainability. The company recently received the “Clean Industry” certification issued by PROFEPA, the Mexican federal environmental agency. The mill has its own hydropower plant, water treatment facilities and a pro-generation plant that converts the steam generated back into reusable energy. The mill also reuses thermal energy so that there are no emissions into the atmosphere.
So far, the mill’s business has largely been focused in stretch, in particular, warp stretch denim. The fabric is good for the men’s market, as male consumers are focused on movement and less concerned about lateral stretch. The amount of stretch in jeans across the collection continues to grow though, and the mill will debut high stretch product with up to 70 percent stretch.
For Fall ’17, Branch said athleisure will continue to be important however it’s more about focusing on real denim product than on joggers. “It’s moving away from the denim market mimicking the active market and moving toward jeans perfecting stretch,” Branch said.