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New Partnership Scales CleanKore’s Environmental Benefits

A new collaboration provides sustainability benefits at the mill and garment manufacturer level.

Hong Kong-based garment manufacturer Epic Group announced a new strategic partnership with CleanKore, which provides patented yarn dyeing technology.

CleanKore’s innovation changes the chemistry and the process used to dye yarns at denim mills by keeping the yarn’s white core intact and only dyeing the surface. The technology enables manufacturers to achieve a bright white abrasion effect using laser technology, reducing water, chemicals and process time in the denim garment finishing stage.

The products currently tested by Epic Group and CleanKore demonstrate up to 44 percent water savings in garment finishing and up to 60 percent energy savings in the fabric dyeing stage, the company reported.

It also “significantly” improves the health and wellbeing of garment workers, and prevents harmful chemical emissions, the company said. Coupled with laser finishing, CleanKore eliminates manual processes such as hand sanding and hand whiskering and the use of harmful chemicals such as potassium permanganate (PP spray).

In 2021, specialty chemicals company Archroma adopted the technology and developed different looks and effects.

“CleanKore coupled with Epic Group’s advanced technologies such as laser and low-liquor ratio washing machines will create a new benchmark for sustainably manufactured denim,” said Ranjan Mahtani, Epic Group chairman.

Through their partnership, Epic Group and CleanKore are planning to rapidly scale the technology. “Unlike other technologies, we are thrilled to offer a much more sustainable product to consumers that is cost neutral,” said Darryl Costin Jr., CleanKore president and CEO.

More than 4 million pairs of jeans will be made using technology in the first year, the company said. Through Epic Group’s customer base, the companies aim to convert a large portion of denim production in the next three years, resulting in 15-20 million pairs of jeans produced with CleanKore.

“As a leading global denim manufacturer committed to improving sustainability in product and process, we work with breakthrough technologies that reduce negative impacts to the planet and the people,” Mahtani said. “CleanKore technology offers a fantastic value proposition of significant sustainability benefits to our associates and the environment, without increasing the cost. Sustainable products should be scalable—not niche, and we will rapidly scale up the adoption of this technology.”