Kingpins New York will take place at Basketball City on Jan. 11-12, offering denim mills a chance to highlight the best of their Spring/Summer 2024 collections.
Collections that focus on circularity and zero waste solutions are this season’s stars.
Prosperity Textile’s Leave No Trace and Galatic collections are among the Chinese mill’s most popular products for S/S ’24. Leave No Trace uses fiber technology that fully degrades, thus reducing the environmental impact of fabrics at their end of life. The stretch constructions combine recycled polyester with CiCLO, a solution that allows polyester and other synthetic materials to biodegrade like natural materials do in wastewater treatment plant sludge, sea water and landfill conditions, with Roica’s proprietary stretch fibers.
With Galatic, Prosperity offers a plant-based alternative PLA (polylactic acid) to polyester. PLA is derived from corn through fermenting sugars to create a polymer like conventional polyester, which Andy Zhong, Prosperity’s marketing director, said is sometimes needed to boost performance in stretch denims. However, Zhong said PLA outperforms polyester in many ways.
“It is lighter, softer, generates 10-15 percent stretch and has 35 percent better recovery than polyester,” resulting in “exceptional sustainable performance,” he added. “Brands and retailers like the products for their classic denim look, uncompromised stretch, and the concept for a faster degradability.”
Since its launch, Calik Denim’s B210 has attracted attention from both customers and industry stakeholders, said Selen Baltaci, Calik’s senior marketing communications executive. B210’s ability to dissolve over 99 percent of fabric—including synthetic fibers—in nature within 210 days and without causing a toxicity problem for the soil ticks off many boxes for the mill’s stakeholders.
“It has been proven that it does not show any negative effects on germination rate and no visible damage to plants is observed,” she said.
The industry is responding positively to Orta’s waste-free and bio-designed denim alternatives: Bio Ratio and Golden Ratio. Using bacteria as processors, Orta’s Bio Ratio fabrics are made with biologically recycled cellulose from a waste cocktail of 20 percent material waste and 80 percent wood pulp.
With Golden Ratio, the mill said it achieved a new threshold for zero-virgin cotton using only pre-consumer recycled and reclaimed fiber waste. Textile waste is even used as a portion of feedstock for Liva Reviva viscose, reducing the amount of wood pulp needed to make it.
Clients are responding to DNM Denim’s Re-Generation collection of fabrics created using 100 percent recycled post-consumer textiles and no new dyes. “The story of our recycled fabric begins with the collection of clothes and textiles, sorting by color and fiber content, shredding them in a textile recycling facility, and converting them into usable fibers,” said Zuhal Karacayir, DNM’s marketing assistant manager. “These usable fibers are combined with other recyclable fibers to produce colored yarns that have not been dyed.”
“This new technology has been very exciting to many of our clients looking for ways to add 100 percent recycled fabric to their collections,” she added.
A “hot property” for Artistic Milliners has been mechanically recycled Tencel lyocell, which the Pakistani denim manufacturer can now produce up to 10,000 meters of at its purpose-built fiber recycling facility, Circular Park.
“This means recycling consciously produced fiber that allows us to unlock new frontiers in our road to 360-degree circularity,” said Baber Sultan, Artistic Milliners’ director of product, research and trend. “The result is a range of fabrics with a vintage, uneven, and neppy look, but still carrying the soft hand feel of a Tencel fabric reflecting on an updated authentic aesthetic.”
Most of Bossa’s products are dyed with Saveblue’s waterless zero-waste dyeing technology, and also contain recycled cotton. “We are using our wastes from spinning, rope dyeing and fabrics to produce new denims,” said Özge Özsoy, Bossa marketing chief.
The mill’s most in-demand product, however, is a group of comfort stretch fabrics with 30-35 percent elasticity. Soft-touch Tencel-blended PFD articles are also big trend in the denim market, Özsoy added.
Global Denim’s Supreme collection is getting attention for its ability to help brands reduce sizes and inventory and helping retailers mitigate their returns problem.
With stretch of more than 80 percent and Lycra T400 technology, the fabrics have excellent performance and recovery, softness and comfort and different shades, Anatt Finkler, Global Denim creative director, said. “This season we introduced men’s products in this category with heavier weights and we just developed a PFD version which is perfect for novelty and color for spring and also for the upcoming fall season,” she said.
The market is responding to collections built on heritage and nostalgia as well.
Clients are showing interest in Naveena Denim Mills’ vintage and heritage-inspired fabric range, Retrosoft. The collection of authentic and marble-look fabrics provides wear comfort and a super soft touch without sacrificing vintage authentic look thanks to Tencel blends.
Nostalgic fabrics are trending for Indigo Textile. Fusing comfort technologies with inspiration from the ’70s and Y2K, the Newstalgia fabric range offers a crossover between retro and modern aesthetics for men’s denim. The mill’s Softluent collection appeals to women’s brands by providing fabrics that are luxuriously soft using novel fiber blends and a proprietary yarn technology called Velluto Yarns.
For Soorty, Longevity is the concept getting the highest attention from customers this season. The fabrics are designed as a canvas for jeans that will stand up to the test of time. “They are built stronger to last longer and need to be replaced less often, creating less waste,” said Eda Dikmen, Soorty marketing and communications manager (fabrics).
Crosshatch options—from rigid to high-stretch constructions—are especially popular. Dikmen said clients are warming up to their “slightly uneven looks” and the worn-in characteristics they reveal with laundry.
Mills are receiving good feedback for their color concepts.
AGI Denim’s color yarn dyed Kaleido collection is gaining traction. The fabrics, which are dyed and finished exclusively with recycled water, now includes colored wefts. Part of the collection’s denim head appeal is how the colors fade like well-worn blue jeans.
Pierette Scavuzzo, Cone Denim’s design director, said the mill’s Sunlit Shades color concept has a garnered positive responses. Wavelength, an indigo piece dye with a bold twill line, is a standout in the group.
“Brands are telling us that the Wavelength product hits some of the color trends and overt character that we’re seeing in street style going through a pandemic,” she said. “The exaggerated color and bold twill line make for a garment that will stand out in a sea of indigo jeans. This product has also been appealing to all genders, giving designers inspiration to create a new silhouette outside of a five-pocket jean. We can’t wait to see what the industry creates with this fabric.”