Calik Denim’s latest technology is kind of dirty–in a good way.
The eco-conscious Turkish mill introduced its new innovation B210 at Kingpins Amsterdam in October where it unveiled its new Spring/Summer 2024 fabric collection. The product, a combination of unique yarn technology with a special finishing process, is named B210 as it allows fabric to biodegrade in nature by more than 99 percent in just 210 days.
Serhat Karaduman, CEO of Calik Denim, said it took about three years of trial and error to perfect B210. He added that it took a while to develop because “the results of the tests [210 days] take about seven months for each trial.”
Players all along the denim supply chain are investing in biodegradable solutions. In 2019, Candiani developed its first biodegradable stretch denim made with plant-based Coreva technology. Meanwhile, Lenzing Group, a global provider of wood-based specialty fibers, has received scientific proof of the biodegradability of its fibers. Academic research institute Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California in San Diego confirmed that wood-based cellulosic fibers biodegrade in the ocean within a short period of time at the end of their life cycle, making them a better alternative to fossil-based fibers.
Calik’s B210 technology is unique in that it can be applied to fabrics containing synthetic fiber and of all types of elasticity and non-denim textiles as well. However, certain fabric coatings are still incompatible with it. Baltaci noted that laundering the fabric speeds up its biodegradability.
The process is not applicable to all-cotton denim as it is simply not needed according to Calik. “In rigid, there is no special process we do to denim with 100 percent cotton content; it dissolves in about six months anyway,” said Karaduman.
He added that brands such as Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Kings of Indigo and Mavi have shown interest in the technology and that the price difference between standard fabrics and those with B210 depend “entirely on the content of the fabric and the innovation so we can’t give exact [cost] information.”
“We offered a fabric family under the B210 concept but this is an innovation that can be applied all Calik Denim fabrics. At the first stage, we proceed according to customer needs,” he said. “We continue our new fabric tests. Our long-term goal is to have all our fabrics with this feature.”
Karaduman said Calik plans to promote B210 to consumers as well as brands. “We believe that the end consumer will also enthusiastically want to be included in this circle, as the innovation contributes [positively] to the global climate crisis and the circular economy due to its nature. Beyond being the producer side of the business, we are also very excited as individual consumers,” he said.
“Many global brands that are our customers, after seeing the test results of this B210 innovation, excitedly rolled up their sleeves to launch their collections in this technology to the market,” Karaduman added. “We, as their solution partner, aim to raise awareness in the end consumer and to tell them the contribution of this technology to nature in the best way possible. We are planning brand new campaigns and we are very excited about it.”
Calik will continue to develop the solution in the hopes of discovering even faster results Karaduman said.
Asked whether he actually expects people to bury their old apparel made with B210, he replied, “Definitely! This is the easiest way to test this technology.”