Here is a round-up of the latest in fabrics and fibers – from denim and wool to technical materials and chemicals.
The denim overview
Denim-focused trend consultancy Denim Dudes, launched The Denim Directory, a report that summarizes denim fabric trends for s/s 2022.
The 50-page report features the key trends of the season including a recap on sustainability to help denim brands achieve greener goals and continue their progress towards smarter design. It also includes fabric technology trends, new weaves and emerging fibers collected from across the global supply chain.
Guess my size and save the world
Soorty, a Pakistani vertically integrated denim company, has recently launched its new Re-Sync denim. This new jeans selection is characterized by a one-size-fits-all technology aimed to support size inclusivity while avoiding an overproduction of waste from the fashion industry. These adaptive jeans provide ultimate support to the wearer, sculpting the body with a 360° stretch comfort, enabling the garments to perform well two sizes up or down.
Plunkett Research has also estimated that 68% of women in US wear sizes 14 and above, and they seem to have had enough of not getting their fashion needs met while shopping. Despite this, the size-inclusive market is worth $165.2 billion and offering correctly fitting jeans and could help satisfy this consumer group while avoiding that huge amounts of wrong size pieces are thrown away.
G-Star is launching The Deck, a new Cradle Certified Gold status ultra-high wide leg jean. This high-cut waist model is part of a new collection inspired by sailor clothing of the 18th century. The new style is 100% recyclable and uses Kir Denim O 2.0, a fabric by Artistic Milliners made with organic cotton and biodegradable stretch material. During the production of the fabric the mill used a special indigo dyeing process that saves 15% indigo, 70% chemicals and uses no salt.
Tollegno 1900 bets on merino mixes
Tollegno 1900, Italian fine-yarn manufacturer from the Biella district, is pushing its commitment toward sustainability forward. Its s/s 2022 collection is focused on merino wool combinations and two new eco-friendly yarns–Flaxwool, a mix of linen and extrafine merino wool, and Woolcot Bio, a conscious core product that combines RWS certified extrafine merino wool and organic cotton.
Increasingly, more designer brands are focused on taking a sustainable path, including Missoni. For f/w 2021 the Italian brand has started offering a selection of items using recycled materials such as a knit bomber carrying recycled nylon-yarn injections that help create a padded effect.
Plant-based neoprene is the new must
Plant-based foam rubber and stretch functional materials are a new essential in swimwear and sportswear. Yulex launched its portfolio of sustainable high-performance natural rubber products in 2017. Most of these materials are based on Hevea Brasiliensis, commonly known as the rubber tree. Unlike synthetic rubber, which is a petroleum product, natural rubber is a renewable resource and comes from plantations primarily in South and Southeast Asia as well as Central America.
Among the first brands to adopt this very soft touch, highly stretchable and warm-keeping material was Patagonia for its sustainable wetsuits for surfers, along with other specialists in wetsuits and swimsuits including Ansea, Kiwi Woman and Slo Active.
How Gore Fabrics heads for carbon neutrality
Gore Fabric Division has issued its 2020 sustainability report. Founded in 1986, it was among the pioneers in developing solvent-free adhesives for manufacturing garment laminates. Since then, it has continued taking sustainable steps, and now it aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050. It also wants to eliminate PFCEC from all its consumer laminates by 2023 and to continue to further reduce or eliminate PFCEC from its technical oriented products.
It reached its goals of 100% Oeko-Tex certified and 85% Bluesign approved consumer garments.
Archroma’s next goals
Archroma has recently issued its 2019 Sustainability Report. Among its latest achievements it has launched 27 new sustainable solutions.
The group’s key goals (all aimed for by 2023) include becoming carbon-neutral, lowering its water abstraction in water-stressed areas by 40%, pouring no hazardous waste into landfills and only selling products compliant to the Archroma MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List).
Toward a PP-free indigo world
Furthermore, Archroma has started a partnership with CleanKore, a technology innovator. Through this agreement Archroma’s dyes and specialty chemicals are used together with CleanKore’s patented process of dyeing yarns without using any potassium permanganate (PP) spray and laser booster to achieve abrasion effects in garment finishing.
No new equipment or capital expenses are needed to implement the CleanKore technology, which works on all denim fabric, including dark indigo, sulfur top/bottom and sulfur black.
CleanKore estimates that the technology allows saving up to 15 liters of water per garment, or the equivalent to the drinking needs of five people per day, and up to 0.51 kWh of energy per garment, or the equivalent of five 100-watt light bulbs on for one hour. The CleanKore technology also leads to a 10%-20% increase in production throughput, as a result of a faster garment wash-down and the elimination of PP spray.
Kemin bets on self-produced enzymes
Kemin Industries, a global chemical manufacturer, has launched Kemzymes, a new range of self-produced enzymes developed specifically for garment washing. The first two lines available– Kemzymes KS and Kemzymes K–are to be used for stonewashing.
Kemzymes KS are a concentrated version of neutral cellulase enzymes, are designed to work at room temperature and included in the ZDHC Gateway, while offering the possibility to eliminate the use of pumice stones to generate stonewashed effects.
Kemzymes K, also included in the ZDHC Gateway, are strong powder enzymes that deliver a combination of abrasion power, sustainable characteristics and a profitable price-quality ratio value. They can be used as denim stonewashing enzymes by all types of industrial laundries.