The back end of the denim production process has been an area many in the industry have scrambled to improve on, but Fuat Gozacan has thus far been one of the biggest success stories in ushering in a more tech-savvy future. In founding Wiser Tech, Gozacan has spearheaded the development of technologies like the denim bleaching Wiser Wash and the complementary WOX system, which combines an ozone drum and generator with AI-based algorithms to providing an analysis of the finishing process while identifying bottlenecks, improvement areas and maintenance requirements.
“In line with the data obtained from the first productions, WOX shortens the cycle durations by 40 percent and increases the production capacity of the facility by 66 percent, which leads the manufacturers to build a better scaling-up strategy,” Gozacan said.
Wiser Wash’s patented ozone bleaching process has eliminated pumice stone and hazardous chemicals from conventional bleaching techniques, therefore saving a noteworthy amount of water and energy.
The company says that its unique technique has saved more than 56 million liters of water. In the finishing process alone, Wiser Wash cuts water use by 53 percent. But there’s more, as this number can increase to up to 92 percent with wastewater treatment systems. Improving efficiencies at all levels, the Wiser Wash process uses 40 percent less energy and 28 percent less time.
In May, Wiser Wash brought its Ozone Tumbler to the Denim Premiere Vision in Berlin, offering exhibitors a visual tour of the machine for the first time.
What denim buzzword do you think is overused? And what would you replace it with?
It is indeed sustainability. It is overused not only in the denim industry but also in others. And even worse, it becomes meaningless as people often overuse the term without having any reliable data to support these claims. Brands must take this matter more seriously.
And frankly, I insist on giving sustainability real meaning again by supporting these claims with reliable data such as the life cycle assessment (LCA) score. I also beg all consumers to make wiser choices by asking for proof and questioning of sustainability claims.
What do you wish more consumers knew about the jeans they buy?
The consequences of climate change are everywhere: the flood in Pakistan, the fires in Australia and the drought in Europe. It's never been this close. We must get wiser in our choices by being aware of the results of our actions. The traditional denim production process uses tons of clean water. However, it is possible to look fashionable and protect the planet at the same time. Frankly, there are nature-conscious options. All we need is to go deeper into labels and seek sustainable ones.
If you had one request for denim brands, what would that be?
Stonewashing can unfortunately consume a large amount of water through its process. Although I'm aware of the costs of disrupting the production process, I can't see any other way to save the world. Wiser Wash uses 80 percent less water, and we don’t use toxic chemicals or pumice stones. And we just need one cup of water for decolorization.
If all the jeans produced worldwide were washed wisely, the denim industry could save 1 billion liters of clean water each year. Do not be afraid to try new methods of washing. Innovation will benefit the industry and our planet. We will create a more sustainable world together.
What can other apparel categories learn from the denim industry?
Denim has been an influential and inseparable component of our lives and a part of our culture. That is why the industry must adapt fast to the world’s changing needs. A sustainability-first fashion sense has permeated the denim industry rather quickly. I think that other apparel categories can follow denim’s lead and also transition to a “better world” understanding at this speed.
The improvements should continue within textiles and manufacturing, with a strong focus on water saving and contamination removal, as well as the introduction of conscious materials, fabrics and end-of-life solutions, from recycling to compost.
What was your most recent denim purchase? - What is your first denim memory?
When I was young, Levi’s denim fashion was all over the world. Especially the 501 model, which was very popular at that time. I also remember looking everywhere to find the Levis 501. As for my last purchase, I bought jeans from Diesel's Wiser Wash collection.