The Denim Industry, At The Intersection Of People, Planet And Purpose

As the denim industry enters the era of change, we look at denim labels taking a sustainable approach with their brand to ensure that jeans matter for the next-generation.

Muchaneta Kapfunde
Founding Editor in Chief at | editor@fashnerd.com

Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She also contributes to other digital news sites like Wareable.

When I attended MUNICH FABRIC START, I was introduced to the BLUEZONE by Panos Sofianos. The BLUEZONE is an independent concept that brings together the most influential international denim community. The BLUEZONE’s unique portfolio includes around 100 international companies exhibiting denim products. Some of the exhibitors showcased some exciting products. I am not talking about the ability to find the perfect blue, I am referring to their use of technology to uphold a sustainable approach to denim.

Denim

When it comes to the history of denim, it has been generally acknowledged as having derived from Serge de Nîmes. Originally made from wool and silk in the 16th Century, it was some time later, thanks to Levi Strauss, that denim became what we now know as jeans. Fast forward to 2017 and brands are adopting certain technology innovations and achieving wonderful changes in the denim industry. Some of those changes are coming from brands that showcased at international fabric trade show MUNICH FABRIC START. Here are some of the brands that caught my eye.

Jeanologia, Introducing A New Era

Producing denim seems to be part of Jeanologia‘s DNA. In the industry they are known for wearing two hats, one is as a producer of denim collections and and the other as expert technology partner for top international brands in denim that want to produce in a sustainable and efficient way.

Denim

Combining science and fashion, Jeanologia’s 5 collections combine several eco processes through Laser, Ozone G2 and e-Flow technology to achieve outstanding results. A great example is their PURE ECO collection. It is all about low-impact processes – one glass of water , one garment. The result is a vintage look with natural effects.

On being expert technology partner, Carmen Silla, Marketing Manager at Jeanologia explains, “Our role as a technology partner is to ensure sustainable production of jeans, which is the second most sold garment in the world after t-shirts. This way of producing must become part of the DNA of the garment and be its added-value for the consumer”.

Orta Anadolu, Harnessing Sustainable Denim

The Orta Anadolu approach is all about collaborating and harnessing sustainable, biological technologies emerging in leading labs around the globe. They believe that by innovating with transformational biology and technology they are able to promote more aesthetics and ethics among other things. They have been doing this by always developing new denim fabric innovations that are outstanding and unique in the industry.

Bluezone

Orta Anadolu’s latest denim development is Biocharge, a muscle wellness denim fabric. Infused with an innovative combination of minerals designed and medically proven to refresh muscles with the energy, Biocharge’s key elements include optimization of body balance, energizing of tired muscles, relief of muscle tensions and pains, improvement in muscle recovery and maximization of relaxation during sleep.

Shoeller, High Functionality Denim

Schoeller Textil AG is a company that specializes in the sustainable development and production of innovative textiles and textile technologies. They have been successfully combining high functionality with maximum comfort for a number of years now. Their high-tech fabrics are all manufactured responsibly and in compliance with the bluesign® system.

Sustainable

When it comes to creating the high-tech textiles of the future Schoeller has a wide variety of fabrics like schoeller®-shape fabrics. It is a combination of both fashion and functional aspects, natural fibres and hightech yarns.The innovative fabric is constructed using a modern coating and finishing technologies.

Denim
Alchemy Equipment 3X Dry Denim Jean made from Schoeller’s® unique 3XDRY

Shoeller textiles can be seen in action in a pair of Thunderbolt original jeans (Mark II) made from Schoeller® Dryskin soft shell with NanoSphere® DWR created to repel water and dirt. Then there is Alchemy Equipment 3X Dry Denim Jean made from Schoeller’s® unique 3XDRY® moisture management treatment designed to keep the wearer comfortable and dry whatever the conditions may throw at you.

Kassim Denim, Heritage Meets New Technology

Combining manufacturing techniques and fabrications, Kassim is making denim desirable again. Since 1991, they have been painstakingly engineering and meticulously researching sustainable fibres in order to produce high quality organic denim

Also Read: Kassim Denim x Neue Labs: The World’s First Connected Jeans

Besides their commitment to sustainable denim, Kassim are also leaders in the connected denim revolution. A great example of their work are the Kassim jeans that clean the environment. Called the Invisible Jeans, they contain photocatalytic nanocom that is able to eliminate pollution by using just natural sunlight. The denim is currently being mass produced.

Sustainable

Other work include their collaboration with the young Belgian company Bainisha. Together they have introduced the concept of sensor-containing, body-monitoring Smart Jeans. On their partnership, Bainisha’s co-owner Kaat van de Vyver told Innovation in Textiles“The health of a lot of people, especially the elderly, can be improved by accurately capturing motion and analyzing posture and gait on a medical data level – outside of the lab during day-to-day life. We are using our partnership with Kassim jeans as a way of telling our story.”

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