The pandemic has inspired its own set of fashion trends, one of which is “lived-in” jeans that can only be developed in one of two ways: by actually wearing them in, or through innovative finishing methods that mimic the look. Though traditional finishing technologies involve pumice stones, potassium permanganate (PP) spray or other reportedly harmful practices, a new system was recently developed with safety and the environment in mind.
The Jecostone System was created by Italian abrasives company Itexa Group after four years of collaboration with laundry experts. Two products come together to create the system: Jecostone, an abrasive multi-fiber carpet that covers the entire drum of an industrial washing machine, and Jecorock, an abrasive pad just 7 centimeters in diameter that works freely inside the machine in a similar fashion to pumice stones.
Its lightweight and long-lasting active abrasion produces unique effects on cotton, denim, knitwear and leather—including the popular ’80s-inspired stonewash effect for denim and a softer hand feel for knitwear.
The company estimates that the system can save up to 80 percent of water and provide varying levels of abrasion without the need for expensive, frequent machine maintenance. The product lasts up to 100 cycles, and the process eliminates fine dust on finished clothes, improving the working environment and reducing pollution.
According to Jecostone System distributor Alvise Arcaro, the system is unique to other pumice stone alternatives and carries more benefits than traditional methods.
“Even if the products look simple at first sight, there is a lot of work behind them,” he told Rivet. “We worked on many aspects of the laundry business knowing all the weaknesses that other systems are having.”
Arcaro noted that many alternatives damage or weaken the structure of the fabric, or they go the opposite route and provide minimal abrasion. Other solutions can waste a significant amount of water or require expensive maintenance, he added.
Jecostone system is already being adopted by supply-chain partners throughout the industry, including Diesel, which executes most of its production in Tunisia with Jecorocks.
The technology is currently on track to becoming circular as soon as it reaches the minimum volume required, Arcaro said. It plans to recollect all of the exhausted material at the end of its life and re-use it for different purposes such as road pavement and thermal insulation.
Jecostone’s next matter of business is gaining certification to further its commitment to transparency and sustainability. “At the moment, the University of Trieste, specialized in industrial waste, is conducting a deep research on the products’ life and results will be shared very soon,” he said. “And they seem to be very promising.”