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Cone Denim Parent Details ‘Ten Threads of Sustainability’ Progress

Elevate Textiles, parent of Cone Denim, American & Efird and Burlington fabrics, released its 2022 Sustainability Report, detailing recent actions to advance its commitments and updates to the company’s 2025 sustainability goals.

Within the report, Elevate outlined progress on its “Ten Threads of Sustainability,” an internal program with a focus on driving sustainably sourced fibers, reduced water consumption and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The Ten Threads guides sustainable decision-making throughout Elevate and supports the company’s 2025 sustainability goals.

“We continue to drive meaningful actions across our brands and operations,” Sim Skinner, president and CEO of Elevate Textiles, said. “As a valued supply partner, Elevate and our brands are committed to understanding our customers’ sustainability objectives, while driving  actions to achieve key targets and doing our part to be good environmental stewards. We have many wins to share and significant work still ahead.”

The 2022 Sustainability Report highlights Elevate’s progress and key achievements over the past year, including raising its use of sustainably sourced cotton to 80 percent by 2025 from 55 percent currently, and to use 50 percent recycled polyester content in that same period.

Burlington’s Restora Collection of sustainable fabrics were developed with at least 50 percent recycled fibers from Repreve, used garments and marine ocean waste. Burlington Performance Apparel increased sales of recycled fabrics by nearly 300 percent in 2021.

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The company cited an 8.2 percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gases since 2019 and installation of its first rooftop solar project in China, increasing uptake of renewable energy.

The company’s 2030 goal is to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions 46.2 percent versus a 2019 baseline.

The report also noted the company’s 22.1 percent reduction of absolute global water usage since 2016 and increased global alignment with the ZDHC Manufacturer’s Restricted Substance List (MRSL). Its 2025 goal is to reduce water consumption in manufacturing operations by 25 percent per unit of production.

Elevate said in its report that since 2016, it has recycled more than 3 million cubic meters (over 900 million gallons) of water across the company and in 2021 maintained a global water recycling rate of over 13 percent. The company has four Ultrafiltration/ Reverse Osmosis facilities that recycle between 20 percent and 50 percent of water used and three Zero Liquid Discharge facilities that recycle 90 percent.

Last year, the company installed a new Zero Liquid Discharge facility at Cone Denim Parras in Mexico,  which recovered 2.3 million gallons and will enable the facility to recycle process waste water and save more than 140 million gallons of water annually when it becomes fully operational this year. Cone Denim also utilizes Jeanologia G2 Dynamic finishing for its Ozone Flash Finish line. The eco-efficient ozone technology uses less energy, fewer chemicals and less water.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made since our last report as we ramp up our efforts to achieve our sustainability goals and support the sustainability strategies of our customers,” said Jimmy Summers, chief sustainability officer for Elevate Textiles. “We commit to take the steps necessary to meet our commitments and continue our collaboration and support of industry and global sustainability initiatives, ensuring accountability and transparency.”

With a global array of premium fabric and thread solutions focused on innovation, sustainability and quality craftsmanship, Elevate and its brands offer advanced, high quality products and mission critical textile solutions across industries including fashion and functional apparel, footwear, military, fire, medical, athletic, automotive, aerospace and outdoor.