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Cone Denim’s Parent Elevate Textiles Details Sustainability Progress

Elevate Textiles released its 2021 Sustainability Report detailing how the company and its American & Efird (A&E), Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components brands increased involvement in global sustainability initiatives and made significant progress against the materials maker’s 2025 goals.

The goals are focused on sustainably sourced fibers, as well as reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The report also shares the company’s increased participation and leadership in global collaborations and its alignment with the United Nations Global Compact’s 10 Principles that align with Elevate’s own environmental program–the 10 Threads of Sustainability.

“As a valued supply partner and responsible manufacturer, our Elevate teams and brands are committed to understanding our customers’ needs and aligning our actions to help achieve critical sustainability goals,” Sim Skinner, president and CEO of Elevate Textiles, said. “We are focused on providing ethically and sustainably sourced products that offer innovative solutions needed to be successful, and we view our teams and global resources as a collaborative extension and partner to our customers, suppliers, employees, communities and other stakeholders.”

The report outlines Elevate’s progress and achievements, including measurement of Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and continued efforts toward reduction of Scope 1 and 2 GHSs, in line with the corporate goal of 2.5 percent per year reduction. Scope 3 emissions are those generated by either the production, use or disposal of products outside of a company’s operational control.

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In addition, the company reported a 7.5 percent reduction of absolute global water consumption since 2016 and a 65 percent increase in water recycling since 2016 by implementing new wastewater technologies.

Elevate and its brands have also reached 68 percent sustainably sourced cotton usage against a goal of 80 percent sustainably sourced by 2025. The company also has a 2025 goal of using 50 percent recycled polyester content. This includes the use of Repreve, a performance fiber made by Unifi from recycled plastic bottles.

At Cone Denim, the report notes that “it all starts with fiber, from eco-friendly fibers like hemp and Tencel to responsibly sourced cotton, including Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and Organic Content Standard (OCS) certified organic cotton.”

Cone’s Sustainblue collection is comprised of constructions using recycled fiber and sustainable components. Cone also introduced the Ozone Flash Finish in conjunction with Jeanologia’s G2 Dynamic system allowing for 85 percent less water compared to conventional finishing methods. The eco-efficient ozone technology uses less energy, fewer chemicals and allows the company to engineer fabrics with an affinity for laser and eco garment washing techniques.

The company recently joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and contributed resources to support the Higg Index, while increasing participation on task teams and councils within the ZDHC Program and with working groups of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.

Elevate installed a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) facility in Parras, Mexico, in 2021, which after completion, will bring to three Elevate’s operation of ZLD facilities globally.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made since our last report as we ramp up our efforts to achieve our sustainability goals and support the sustainability strategies of our customers,” Jimmy Summers, chief sustainability officer for Elevate Textiles, said. “We are focused on advancing our efforts and environmental commitments across Elevate and our brands with innovative and responsible manufacturing practices.”

With a global range of premium fabric and thread solutions focused on innovation, sustainability and quality craftsmanship, Elevate and its brands offer advanced and mission critical textile solutions across vast industries, including fashion and functional apparel, footwear, military, fire, medical, athletic, automotive, aerospace and outdoor.