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From Denim to Hosiery: How Interloop Can Do It All Responsibly

Partnership

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Interloop has only been manufacturing denim since 2018, but its commitment to sustainability is unwavering, coming from nearly three decades of experience in responsible apparel production.

Case in point: Interloop’s Denim Plant is already one of the largest apparel manufacturing facilities to receive LEED v4 Platinum Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), the highest standard for any structure assigned by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 600,000-square-foot facility, located in Lahore, Pakistan, is designed to be environmentally conscious and resource-efficient with various innovative measures and built-in systems that save up to 50 percent water and more than 50 percent energy just through its building design.

Further minimizing Interloop’s carbon footprint is its highly advanced denim laundry operating on water reuse technology with reduced dye-to-fiber ratio and shorter wash cycles. This allows the company to produce garments with an extremely low environmental impact saving 70 percent of water during each process.

While the LEED Certification is a major win for Interloop’s denim division, it is the latest among many sustainability milestones Interloop has reached across all categories.

“Reaching this level of achievement by conserving energy and optimizing our natural resources with our collaborative teams has encouraged us to do more with all other areas of operation,” said Feroze Ahmed, vice president, denim at Interloop. “We know that creating quality products while taking care of our planet is the only direction for the future of the industry.”

Ahmed noted that building this new facility from the ground up was the best way to bring leadership to the denim apparel industry and offer authentic greener solutions. This included building on Interloop’s research in hosiery and pooling together multi-category expertise from its numerous other manufacturing operations, including yarns, knitwear and seamless activewear.

In fact, the denim plant builds on the success of Interloop’s Hosiery Plant 4 in Faisalabad, which was the first sock facility in South Asia to receive LEED Gold Certification.

The pursuit of a responsible and ethical business has been embedded in Interloop’s values since its inception in 1992. The company has a central Sustainability Team with partners in each of its business divisions for effective coordination and accurate reporting adhering to GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards.

Interloop’s commitment to leadership in sustainability is not going unnoticed. Alongside the LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Interloop has been recognized by Swiss Business School Lausanne, Fair Trade USA and UN Women, among other global organizations, for its pledges to social and environmental consciousness.

Across Interloop’s numerous categories, reducing its carbon footprint is a top priority, especially as climate change has become a critical industry concern. Interloop signed up with the UN’s Race to Zero emissions reduction campaign and is a signatory to the UN’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C climate action campaign, which calls on companies to commit to a set of ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets.

Using responsible raw materials in the manufacturing process is another priority for Interloop. “If we are not spinning the yarns ourselves, we purchase cotton fabrics that are primarily BCI certified, or organic GOTS certified. We are less reliant on fossil fuel-generated materials like polyesters,” Ahmed said. “We are incorporating new advancements in stretch yarns into our mix as well as antimicrobial fibers like hemp and more cellulosic fibers.”

Interloop is also a major contributor to the Organic Cotton Accelerator, helping to build a local organic cotton supply chain in Pakistan, supporting farmers with secure working conditions and a better livelihood.

Always focused on responsible manufacturing through innovation, Interloop’s “triple bottom line” approach to sustainability carries an emphasis on People, Planet and Prosperity to ensure the highest levels of quality and transparency along each step of the value chain. This commitment has led to successful partnerships with key brands like Nike, Adidas, Target and Diesel, to name a few.

“Sustainable production comes at a cost and until all customers are willing to pay for it, it will be difficult for it to be ubiquitously practiced,” said Navid Fazil, CEO of Interloop. “However, we are seeing a much larger segment of conscious consumers and the rise of more responsible brands and retailers, which is encouraging.”

Interloop remains committed to collaborating with its partners and industry peers towards shared environmental goals. Fazil continued, “If large manufacturers in Pakistan were to work together, perhaps set a common agenda on just one aspect of carbon footprint reduction and invest collectively, then the whole will be greater than the sum.”

Learn more about Interloop Limited and its LEED journey here.

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