Fibers are the starting point for denim mills’ ambitions to be more sustainable. They are also the secret sauce behind new performance fabrics for Fall/Winter 2024-2025.
This season AGI Denim is focusing on petrochemical fibers. “Last year, we introduced our first high stretch fabric with growth control made without any polyester, which traditionally has been used as a staple or filament yarn solution to ensure jeans do not stretch out after a day of wearing,” said Henry Wong, AGI Denim VP product development and marketing. “With growth-control denim blends typically ranging between 6 to 30 percent polyester, we think that solving this provides real impact.”
The fabric range offers both high and mid-stretch fabrics that Wong said pass growth/recovery requirements without polyester.
Siddiqson, which shreds 10,000 tons of fiber per month, is launching 100 percent recycled denim. The circular collection offers indigo and non-indigo fabrics. “We already use all BCI cotton, organic cotton, CiCLO, Roica and Tencel, and now we are pushing the envelope on recycle fibers to reduce the usage of virgin fiber without sacrificing performance,” said Scott Gress, Siddiqsons president, North America.
Tat-Fung is developing a novel fiber produced from pineapple leaves. Tim Huesemann, Tat-Fung’s sales director, said the plant-based fiber has the potential to “significantly contribute to sustainable development.”
“We are working diligently to combine various fabric constructions and implement specialized yarn spinning techniques to achieve a cotton-like appearance with this fiber,” he said. “We acknowledge that this process is challenging, but we are enthusiastic about tackling this obstacle and confident that this innovative alternative to cotton will have a positive impact.”
Cone renewed its partnership with scientific traceability company, Oritain, earlier this year to enhance ethical cotton sourcing and supply chain transparency in its production. It also introduced its first fabric made with 100 percent GRS-certified post-industrial recycled cotton.
The mill is looking beyond cotton, however. “This season, we love the element of surprise in atypical combinations, which plays right into how we engineered some of our fiber blends this season,” said Pierette Scavuzzo, Cone Denim design director.
One example of this is the new fabric Libra, an ecru denim blend of Refibra with Oeko-Tex certified hemp that offers look of rustic luxury. “The contrast of the rustic and natural texture hemp brings, combined with the softness of Refibra, creates a unique result you can see and feel,” she said. “With its visible twill lines and bold statement yarns, the hand is soft but has body.”
Modern regenerative farming is a focus for Advance Denim. The company’s Advance Sico facility based in Nah Trang, Vietnam is partnering with Good Earth Cotton, the first climate-positive cotton program backed by FibreTrace’s tracing technology.
“Good Earth Cotton’s regenerative farming practices are proven to minimize the global environmental footprint of their cotton while maximizing soil health,” said Mark Ix, Advance Denim’s director for North American marketing. “It does this through a combination of carbon sequestration, soil enrichment, effective crop rotation, minimum tillage, and water efficiency. Then to back up the cutting-edge regenerative farming techniques Good Earth Cotton rigorously measures the crops and uses this data in primary impact reports provided on a farm-by-farm basis.”
Advance Denim is also exploring zero virgin cotton concepts. One solution is blending post-industrial recycled cotton and Refibra from Lenzing to make circular styles that have a soft hand, durable construction and vintage slub patterns.
NDL is leaning into Tencel for its moisture management properties. “With Tencel incorporated into our fabric composition in a unique construction, we have discovered its exceptional moisture management properties, making it a natural cooling fabric,” said Rashid Iqbal, NDL’s executive director of marketing.
Performance, in general, is a main area of focus for the mill. NDL is also launching Swift n Sway, a concept that provides cooling benefits through natural fibers.
In addition to adding new wool blends for thermal regulation and new linen blends for its specific look, Naveena Denim Mills is introducing a collaboration with The Lycra Company’s Coolwaste technology. The circular solution uses 100 percent textile waste as input to make cooling-performance fibers.
“Coolwaste fabrics keep you dry and cool, they are durable and long-lasting, and low impact,” said Berke Aydemir, Naveena Denim Mills head of R&D and technical sales. “Compared with the conventional polyester production with non-renewable resources, this technology reduces our impact on the environment. [It has] 25 percent lower CO2 than virgin counterparts.”
Artistic Fabric Mills is introducing recycled linen in the fabric, CYRUS-N ECRU. “An earlier iteration of this fabric has been one of our most popular fabrics,” said Haya Iqbal Ahmed, Artistic Fabric Mills director. “For F/W 24-25, we are introducing it in a Smart Linen—which is recycled—and Tencel blend for a modern vintage look with a seeded effect in ecru denim.”