IAF convention discusses sustainability and innovation in denim
The second day of the IAF World Fashion Convention was throwing some light on jeans as a more sustainable product
Mariette Hoitink of Amsterdam (NL) based House of Denim, Andrew Olah, founder of the renowned Kingpins tradeshow and Vincent Qin of the Chinese denim fabric supplier Prosperity demonstrated the large array of innovations aimed at reducing the environmental impact of denim products: Recycled water for jeans wet processing, laser and ozone in laundry, numerous alternative raw materials and alternative sources of energy are already available to reduce the environmental footprint of denim.
The supplier alliances have emerged to create the necessary change. Innovations are often bought from upstream requiring a collaborative development. Chinese Prosperity is collaborating with Tencel, Clariant, Olah Inc, as well with Jeanologia and has set up an innovation forum. House of Denim brings together such brands as G-Star, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Denham, and Scotch and Soda. Its “brighter blue” initiative will stage a research lab in Amsterdam aimed at sustainability. Its Jeans School is the first dedicated jeans school which also bets on sustainability.
Andrew Olah explained that all of this innovation and cooperation is still not sufficient, because these enter only into a small percentage of produced jeans. Efforts are undertaken in the centres of the U.S. jeans industry, as well as in Europe and China. He declared that for the jeans industry making big steps towards more sustainability is the best done by setting common goals, and an ambitious time table.