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Global Denim Works with Students to Find Sustainable Solutions

Mexico’s Global Denim is doing its part to ensure the country’s next generation of designers has a deeper understanding of the denim manufacturing process. The mill recently partnered with Anahuac Mexico Norte University in Mexico City to allow two groups of five fashion design students to create problem-solving, denim-based collections.

Each group was asked to design a range of 10 outfits and make four physical looks. The students were prompted to consider sustainability, inclusivity and labor while balancing key trends and “a personal exploration of what motivated them to design.”

Students were also given a tour of Global Denim’s facilities in San Martin, Texmelucan where they were given an in-depth look into the denim supply chain, from sustainable technologies to the manufacturing process. Global Denim’s creative director Anatt Finkler, designer Vanessa Troice and sales executive Isaac Troice were part of the consultation team behind every step of their design process and gave students advice on how they could improve their “sustainable journey” as a designer.

The goal of the program, Finkler said, is to learn about the supply chain through a real-life experience versus simply relying on textbooks. Citing a Technavio report that forecasts Mexico’s textile manufacturing sector to grow $3.98 billion between 2021 and 2026, she said there’s not enough emerging local denim talent to benefit from this growth.

“We believe education is the key to progress and change, and if we want to ensure the next generation really stands with better practices, a more sustainable approach and a circular mindset, it is [important] to be an agent of change and to support the local students on their educational journey,” she said.

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The students ended the semester by presenting their designs to their teachers and the school’s coordinators. “Uno Mismo,” which translates to “oneself,” was the winning theme. The concept addressed circularity by repurposing denim scraps from the mill. The dress combined organic shapes and followed the curves of the body to create a sense of confidence and comfort.

Global Denim is lending its support to education. In 2019, the mills partnered with finishing technology company Jeanologia to teach 20 graduating students from Trozmer Fashion University in Puebla, Mexico about sustainable processes. The semester-long project examined denim manufacturing from cotton to final garment, culminating in a student-designed collection and runway show based on sustainable artisan designs.

“We do it for the love of teaching and the love of learning,” Finkler said about the mill’s student-oriented work. “It is part of our mission to enrich others with knowledge, and it is part of who we are to lend our support and make our country and our people grow.”

Up next, the mill is joining The Circle Book, a collaborative project between Lenzing, Officina+39, Mediea and more that serves as a look book of sustainable and circular inspiration.