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F/W 24-25 Preview: Denim Mills Unveil New Sustainable Strategies

Green is on the mind’s of denim mills as they are preparing to launch their Fall/Winter 2024-2025 fabric collections.

Smarter alternatives for inefficient processes, circular designs and low-impact dyes are the framework for their new sustainable concepts.

Circularity is at the core of Cone Denim’s sustainable innovations for F/W 24-25. The mill is introducing Bonzai, its first fabric made with 100 percent Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified post-industrial recycled cotton.

Designed to be an heirloom fabrication, Pierette Scavuzzo, Cone Denim design director, said the midweight fabric can work across silhouettes, sizes, and gender. The mill, she added, was intentional about making a timeless fabric that will resonate with as many brands as possible to achieve the highest positive impact by not using any virgin fibers.

“The look of the fabric is classic denim in a deep, pure indigo that can achieve a wide range of shades and wash effects,” she said. “It’s important to us that this 100 percent recycled fabric be commercial and reach across a broad spectrum of brands.”

Traceable fiber is the starting point for Kaltex’s sustainable story for F/W 24-25. The Mexico-based mill sources 100 percent of its cotton from the U.S. “Kaltex has developed a system that allows us to trace every cotton bale from the gin that produces it and share that with our customers for complete transparency,” said Monica Betancur, Kaltex America’s marketing, merchandising and product director. 

Recycled cotton is where the mill really excels, however. “Kaltex has been a pioneer in recycling post-industrial waste. While this is something that many mills have recently become involved with, Kaltex has been doing this for more than a decade,” she said.

Most Kaltex denim products contain a percentage of Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) fiber. To date, Betancur said over 65 percent of the current Kaltex denim collection is RCS certified, meaning customers can use and have confidence in marketing recycled products.

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Recycled cotton is the foundation for Global Denim’s sustainable fabrics. “We are continuing with our circularity quest and incorporating more recycled pre-consumer content to our fabrics,” said Anatt Finkler, Global Denim creative director. “We are also trying new fibers and working closely with our brand partners to develop new more sustainable approached products.”

Calik’s seasonal collection, called Reviviscence, encompasses sustainable innovations like B210, the biodegradable solution it launched last season, and Re/J, a vintage-inspired fabric range made with 100 percent pre and post-consumer recycled content. 

Longevity and sustainability are the two main fundamentals in Soorty’s collection. The result is a line filled with fabrics that offer “great strength and greater bounce back with lower growth values” and dobby designs with hemp, Indigo Modal, Tencel and cotton blends in a variety of weights, said Noman Nadir, Soorty VP research and product development. 

The mill plans to build stories around the Soorty Organic Cotton Initiative, which supplies organic cotton grown according to strict environmental and ethical standards, and Herbal Indigo, a natural and sustainable alternative to synthetic indigo dyes.

Recycled fibers and recycled indigo have Artistic Fabric Mills’ attention. The mill is introducing GIOTTO-X in Indiloop, a fabric constructed from 100 percent recycled post-industrial waste, meaning it uses zero virgin fibers. The fabric is dyed with Indiloop technology, the mill’s 100 percent recycled indigo, and is finished with its proprietary 02 Tech that eliminates wastewater from the dyeing and finishing processes.

“It is a rigid denim with a dense body and big, clean twill lines. It has a smooth hand-feel that washes down into a beautiful vintage marbled look,” said Haya Iqbal Ahmed, Artistic Fabric Mills director.

“Advance Denim is committed to lowering our carbon footprint year over year and we realize that in order to do this we need to not only look inward to our manufacturing process but look outward and partner with suppliers that share or goal of continuous sustainable improvement and a reduced carbon footprint,” said Mark Ix, Advance Denim’s director of North American marketing.

Part of the mill’s mission to shrink its footprint is in dyeing innovation. Advance’s BigBox Dyeing saves over 95 percent of the water needed to dye indigo, while BioBlue Indigo eliminates the need for added toxic sodium hydrosulfite in the indigo dye process. “These innovations literally change the way indigo is dyed to create a cleaner more sustainable indigo dye without sacrificing the traditional vintage denim look and wash down,” Ix said. 

“Our new products for F/W 24-25 represent where the market is headed in terms of consumer expectations, brands’ focus areas but also our planet’s needs,” said Berke Aydemir, Naveena Denim Mills head of R&D and technical sales. 

The mill’s sustainable collection, called Holistic Denim, combines conscious raw materials and processes that require less water, chemicals and energy. A focus is on new natural fibers made in collaboration with Circular System’s Agraloop technology, Aydemir said. The technology transforms agricultural crop leftovers into scalable, high-value natural fiber for denim products. 

Naveena’s durable and low-impact Biotech fabrics are made with natural fiber derived from CBD hemp crop residue and refined into textile-grade fiber called Agraloop BioFibre. He said the life cycle assessment conducted by SCS Global shows that Agraloop CBD Hemp BioFibre processing uses 99 percent less water, and releases 54 percent less CO2 to the atmosphere compared to conventional hemp processing.

Indigo Dehydro, a process that preserves vivid indigo shades and requires 90 percent less water compared to traditional dyeing, is Tat-Fung’s main sustainable story for F/W 24-25. “The Indigo Dehydro technique stands out for its reduction of freshwater usage and elimination of chemical waste,” said Tim Huesemann, Tat-Fung’s sales director. “Built upon circularity principles, the system achieves these outcomes through the recycling of blue wastewater.”

Moreover, he said the technology improves the ring dye effect, making it a perfect match for laser washing. The color is being applied to Tat-Fung’s top bestselling fabric constructions and a black iteration is on the way. 

Siddiqsons is implementing Colourized, a commercial technology to sustainably color cellulosic yarn. Compared to the traditional dyeing method of fiber-reactive dyeing, Scott Gress, Siddiqsons president, North America, said Colourized produces zero discharge of harmful chemicals, reduces water usage by 98 percent, reduces infrastructure needs, cuts energy consumption by half and reduces the carbon footprint by 73 percent.

“Sustainability and circularity are the core aspects of the collection as consumers are becoming more and more aware,” said Nauman Ahmad, Indigo Textile’s deputy general manager, product development. 

Indigo Textile is expanding its Terra Mater concept and exploring different yarn types and fabric constructions using 100 percent recycled fibers. All the fabrics are dyed using sustainable dyeing techniques which save up to 90 percent water. The mill is working on Texloop and Agraloop fibers by Circular System and Circulose and experimenting with alternative fibers such as hemp, rami, banana and pineapple, he added.