Along with amplifying the stories of partners that use Lenzing’s fibers such as Tencel and Tencel x Refibra in their collections, the platform has been a transformative B2C and B2B communication tool that now encompasses news articles, social media, videos, webinars, ecommerce, a YouTube channel and most recently, a podcast series called Blue Cast.
In 2020, Carved in Blue was awarded “Best Topic Specific Blog” by the Content Marketing Institute, an annual award by the education and training organization. The accolade—along with the industry’s positive response—are affirmation of what Carved in Blue creators Tricia Carey, Lenzing director of global business development for denim and Michael Kininmonth, global denim development manager for Lenzing, believed in 2016: the denim sector, rich with stories and personalities waiting to be shared, lacked a central community-building platform that bridged the supply chain with brands and consumers.
Despite some naysayers at the beginning who were skeptical that a fiber producer could sustain a media platform, Carved in Blue became part of the denim media landscape to the point that now people and companies pitching their own ideas, Carey said. “We’re never at a loss for stories—at all.”
Some of its most read articles are about brands like Boyish, Guess and Kings of Indigo and interviews with industry veteran Adriano Goldschmied. The blog is also home to several popular content series such as “All in the Family,” a collection of 25 profiles on family-owned denim businesses.
“Denim is different from other markets because it has a sense of family to it,” Carey said. “It’s also a part of the business that’s different because there are so many companies that are multigeneration, either mills or brands.”
With sustainability ingrained deeply into Lenzing’s business, it has naturally become a hot topic on the blog as well. “SDG: Decoded,” a content series about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, shines a spotlight on the many ways that companies have incorporated the goals into their sustainable and social responsibility platforms, while a video series called “Modern Definition of Denim” examines the category’s past, present and future through the lens of industry influencers.
The blog is certainly strategic to Lenzing’s own marketing initiatives. It allows the company to tell the stories of its latest innovations like Tencel Modal with Indigo Technology and collaborations, including one with the U.K. design consultancy Endrime which birthed the “Tencel Mini Jean”—a bite-sized jean that people in the industry photograph in faraway places à la the roaming gnome.
“Along the way we try to weave in the benefits of Tencel, but we try to do it in a way that is natural to the story,” Carey said.
Though Lenzing’s involvement in the sector is primarily through Tencel, Carved in Blue is also about community. It’s a quality that became apparent when the global pandemic shut down the in-person meetings and events that the close-knit global denim industry has grown to rely on.
During this period of crisis, Carey said Carved in Blue pivoted to videos and a webinar series to help the industry stay connected. “With the pandemic, it was wonderful to have this digital platform to keep in touch with the people and companies in the industry when nobody could travel or meet anywhere,” she said.
The community responded. The blog’s traffic increased 30 percent during the pandemic. “[Carved in Blue] has continued to evolve to meet the needs, the stories and the conversations of the market,” Carey said.
This article and more appears in the summer issue of Rivet. Click here to download the issue.