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Advance Denim Doubles Down on Sustainability with Vietnam Facility

As part of its ongoing investment in sustainable innovation, Advance Denim has brought eco-friendly manufacturing to life at its newest production facility in Nha Trang, Vietnam, named Advance Sico.

The facility, completed in 2020, services the China-based denim manufacturer’s growing production needs in a new market that can help it serve more customers.

Advance Sico has the same foundational goals as the company’s initial production center in Shunde, China. The manufacturer not only wants to supply its customers with the most innovative denim styles in Vietnam, but also mirror the sustainable innovations that have already served as the Shunde mill’s foundation.

Upon building the Vietnam facility, Advance Denim’s general manager, Amy Wang, took a deep look at the entire denim-making process to see how can the manufacturer could further innovate with more sustainable, eco-friendly processes. It is this focused approach to sustainability that gave way to such innovations as Big Box dyeing, which saves up to 95 percent of the water used in conventional dyeing while using traditional liquid indigo.

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When completed, Advance Sico was the first mill in Vietnam to use Archroma’s aniline-free indigo for a cleaner, safer indigo dye without using the harmful carcinogenic chemical.

Advance Denim then added BioBlue indigo to its dye ranges in Vietnam, creating a clean indigo that does not produce environmentally harmful toxic waste. BioBlue indigo also creates a safer work environment by eliminating the highly flammable and unstable chemical sodium hydrosulfite from the workplace.

As its name suggests, sodium hydrosulfite has a very high salt content, and salt is notoriously hard to remove from wastewater. The powder-like substance has a high sulfate level that also builds up in wastewater, which can release harmful gases. Sodium hydrosulfite is not only harmful to the environment, but it is a highly unstable flammable material that is very dangerous to transport.

The wastewater treatment plant at the Advance Sico facility.
The wastewater treatment plant at the Advance Sico facility. Advance Denim

Advance Sico is located in the resort town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, an international tourist destination known most for its beaches and scuba diving. In operating the Advance Sico facility there, the manufacturer feels a responsibility to protect the natural environment and be the cleanest, most sustainable mill that it can be.

In that spirit, Advance Denim installed an innovative reverse osmosis water purification system designed to effectively remove residual indigo and harmful impurities. This process creates water that is almost 50 percent cleaner than the national standard for chemical oxygen demand (COD). This also enables the facility to recycle close to 40 percent of the water used in its manufacturing process.

As all denim manufacturers must be aware, it’s not just about the processes, but the raw materials themselves that drive sustainability. The Advance Sico facility uses sustainable materials including finespun hemp and finespun recycled cotton within the company’s Greenlet sustainable collections in Vietnam.

“We are also working closely with global sustainability innovators such as Lenzing to incorporate their wide range of circular and carbon zero fibers into many of our styles,” said Wang. “We are proud to not only partner with some of the world’s most sustainable innovators, but we felt that it was critical that we had the certifications to back up our claims. These certifications are extremely important in giving our customer base the comfort that Advance Sico is doing everything possible to be the most sustainable denim manufacturer in Vietnam.”

Advance Sico is certified by the Organic Content Standard (OCS), the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and also the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Advance Denim will continue to question the old ways of producing denim and innovate new sustainable manufacturing.

“We are proud of Big Box denim and BioBlue indigo and how these innovations create a cleaner, safer and more sustainable indigo dye process without sacrificing the shade and wash down of traditional indigo,” Wang said. “We are excited to take these sustainable innovations to Advance Sico in Vietnam in order to be closer to our ever-expanding customer base in that region and better serve the needs of our customers around the world.”

Learn more about Advance Denim Limited here.