Jeanologia co-founder Enrique Silla aims to equip the denim industry with the tools it needs to clean up its act.
In the 24 years since he co-founded Valencia, Spain’s Jeanologia with his uncle, José Vidal, Enrique Silla has worked tirelessly to bring technology into the denim industry for the sake of a finished product that doesn’t wreak quite so much havoc on the environment.
“Our objective is to become the technological partner to our clients, accompanying them through their process of change, and adding value at each step,” Silla explained. Though Jeanologia makes machinery that enables denim production that’s less reliant on water and harmful chemicals to create the classic faded and whiskered jeans looks, Silla said the company really is about “connecting people and ideas.”
One such idea? Leveraging “business as a force for good,” Silla said. That means building disruptive technologies that “break the norm” and offer the denim industry innovative and transformative ways of operating. “We don’t want to just improve the textile industry 10 percent,” Silla added, “but to make it 10 times better.”
Silla described the new generation coming into the industry as “tech-artisans” who care equally about the craft of creating denim as they do about how the technological innovation can advance the product. “By combining authenticity and technology, we will go one step further in forging the denim artisan of the future,” Silla said. “From now on, vintage and technology will be linked forever.”
Silla hopes designers will start to lose their fear of technology and embrace its purpose of servicing the industry. “Designers just need to adopt it to have creative freedom,” he noted.
Will the future bring shrinking supply chains? Perhaps. But either way, Silla’s wish is for denim production to move closer to where the creatives are designing them, in studios across Milan, New York and Tokyo. “Denim is much more than a product; it is an icon,” he said. “Do not forget that the way we manufacture a jean is part of its DNA.”
What is your first denim memory?
“To become a jeans collector when I was just 15 years old.”
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“I’m a fan of my old 501s and I think this will never change.”