"Kingpins New York, held at Basketball City, show cased industry trends in fibre and fabric collaborations, new generations of stretch and recycled materials, and put the sustainability at the forefront. In tune with this, Tricia Carey, Director, global business development for denim at Lenzing, said Lenzing Fibers partnered with DL1961 that uses Lenzing’s Refibra branded lyocell fibres to create a new denim blend for DL1961 jeans that utilises renewable wood sources and employs a supplementary proportion of recycled cotton scraps to create a garment that is sustainable, innovative, but still retains the premium quality, feel and fit."
Kingpins New York, held at Basketball City, show cased industry trends in fibre and fabric collaborations, new generations of stretch and recycled materials, and put the sustainability at the forefront. In tune with this, Tricia Carey, Director, global business development for denim at Lenzing, said Lenzing Fibers partnered with DL1961 that uses Lenzing’s Refibra branded lyocell fibres to create a new denim blend for DL1961 jeans that utilises renewable wood sources and employs a supplementary proportion of recycled cotton scraps to create a garment that is sustainable, innovative, but still retains the premium quality, feel and fit. Thrusting a lot on sustainability, DL1961 is one of the first partners of Lenzing to use Refibra fibers in its denim collection launching for Pre-Fall 2018. DL1961 has been using Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fibers in its denim since 2012 and has achieved great success in both the industry and with customers as a result.
Lenzing is offering a viable solution with Refibra branded lyocell fibres to provide innovation with reduced environmental impact. Denim is not just about fit and style, it is also about sustainability.
Striking innovations by Core Denim
Cone Denim introduced its new S Gene stretch denim with Repreve. Kara Nicholas, VP-Product design & marketing, Cone Denim, remarked 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the S Gene performance denim, adding significance to the collaborative introduction. S Gene with Repreve combines the advanced stretch technology of S Gene with the superior sustainability and performance of Repreve recycled polyester fiber, offering the most advanced sustainable dual-core stretch denim on the market. Nicholas added the newest addition to Cone’s Sustainblue collection of fabrics maintains the authentic look and feel of traditional denim while offering advanced stretch, recovery and durability in an eco-friendly fabric that is increasingly more important to consumers today.
S Gene with Repreve denim utilises as many as three post-consumer plastic bottles in one pair of jeans. They are designed to offer the next level of sustainable superior stretch to the market and open a wide range of opportunities to denim brands to offer and promote the advanced performance of both S Gene technologies and Unifi Inc.’s Repreve recycled fibers, giving both brands expanded market reach.
Collaborations upping the game
Nicholas points out, collaborations are important for the supply chain. They create products with varied attributes. In continuation, Cone just developed an S Gene style with Thread International, which uses discarded bottles materials to make its Ground to Good fabric. Similarly, Lenzing, Cone and Repreve have also teamed up for True Tone Cone Denim. The collection features Cone’s Future Black+ made with Lenzing Modal Black and Repeve recycled polyester fibers, culminating in a 50-60 per cent lower environmental impact than conventional dyed fabric, fewer chemical energy use and 64 per cent less water use in the dye process.
Jean Hegedus, Global Segment Director for denim, Invista, said Lycra brand is previewing a new T400 that’s sustainable. T400 is two different polymers and in this case, one of them is made from recycled material, and the other is partially made from plant-based materials. At least 65 per cent of the fibre is made from either a recycled or renewable source. A lot of brands and retailers today are looking to tell a sustainable story, and they have lots of options, between BCI cotton, organic cotton or Tencel, but the stretch component was always difficult to make sustainable.
Jack Matthews, Director-sales & marketing, Artistic Denim Mills, opines there is a strong upcycle for denim in all areas of distribution for them. This is led by styling built around performance and fit, and general newness in fabrics. According to him, denim was negatively affected by the athleisure trend until the market took a cue from it and brought in elements related to comfort.
Today, sourcing denim is all about speed. By upgrading operations and taking positions on piece goods, Artistic has been able to reduce the cycle from design conception to final shipment to 120 days. More companies are also utilising air freight as part of their overall sourcing plan to being goods to market faster, which brings savings in the long run by having on-trend merchandise in stores and selling more at full price. Scott Gress, President-Denim Marketing, Naveena Denim Mills, said his company has developed Dendrite, a new lightweight synthetic fibre with strong tensile strength and is quick drying, thereby saving on water usage. Naveena is also doing a nylon blended with Dyneema fibre that combines softness with strength in a novelty group.