Kingpins Amsterdam was back on April 20-21 as a blast of positive energy. The event disclosing novelties for f/w 2023/2024 gathered together the global denim community, finally for the first time after the pandemic, bringing with it incredulity, but also enthusiasm and excitation, after such a long time spent physically apart.




The show was very crowded with insiders happy to meet, greet and hug each other again, in most cases, without wearing masks.

Kingpins Amsterdam
Photo: Kingpins
Kingpins Amsterdam
Meeting for the first time in Sugar City also stirred emotions, as the new venue, a former sugar industry, is bigger, better lighted and providing more space for showing products and networking than the past location. 





Despite this change was important for the show’s development and interest in meeting the needs of an always larger community, some exhibitors and visitors expressed some discontent for its far-off position, despite well-connected via public transportation. Moreover, - as the show’s location occupied more levels - some felt it was not very inclusive, for instance, for people with mobility problems as there are no lifts and only steep stairs can be used.




Apart from small concerns and a still difficult international situation due to war, economic difficulties and low consumption, insiders were willing to start new projects and start collaborating together again.


A new market and a new consumer
In the last few years the consumer and the market have changed, and the industry is trying to meet their needs, too.



“Consumers habits have changed. Many of them continue to spend more time at home, wear comfier clothes, buy more via e-commerce…and many have also gained some more kilos,” Ebru Ozaydin, The Lycra Company said. As a consequence, fiber and fabric manufacturers are engaged in offering new materials for greater comfort, for multisize products, but also softer hand, less constrictive and higher-performance stretch denims.



Lycra Adaptiv, for instance, is a polymer that adapts its compressive force to deliver the right fit, shape and control and guarantees improved comfort in motion, inclusive sizing, second skin effect, better stay-in-place.

Jeans made with Lycra Adaptiv
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Jeans made with Lycra Adaptiv
Orta’s new own “Thunderbird” stretch is a denim that guarantees high-elasticity and comfort, but doesn’t compress the body.
Soorty's The Clothes You Live In collection
Photo: Soorty
Soorty's The Clothes You Live In collection
Soorty believes that the future is seasonless. For this int has launched “The Clothes You Live In” collection offering  trans-seasonal and responsible denim pieces meant to build an all year round wardrobe.
Sapphire x Cordura Nyco capsule collection
Photo: Cordura
Sapphire x Cordura Nyco capsule collection
Cordura started a collaboration with Sapphire Finishing, part of the Sapphire Group vertically integrated textile group from Pakistan. Their new fabric capsule collection, Cordura Nyco Fabrics, offers a broad range of canvases, twills and rip stops in different weights and finishes that combine the comfort of cotton, the durability of nylon 6.6 with stretch-recovery properties. Therefore, they can be used for different style products with flexible, comfortable, hard-wearing with long-lasting qualities.
Calik Denim
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Calik Denim
Calik has developed various stretch solutions like Rawtech, denim fabrics that remain dark when washed industrially and at home, keeping the same dark color, stretch qualities and low-shrinkage for long. Similarly, Evlox new Smoothic fabric is a soft touch, low shrinkage authentic denim.
Evlox Smoothic
Photo: Evlox
Evlox Smoothic
New alternative design and fiber solutions

Also, denim manufacturers have started studying new solutions that can help to avoid waste, while using alternative materials.

Cone Denim Nothing Goes to Waste concept
Photo: Cone Denim
Cone Denim Nothing Goes to Waste concept
Among them, US manufacturer Cone Denim, together with Endrime’s Mohsin Sahid, UK-based designer and consultant, developed the “Endrime x Cone Denim Nothing Goes To Waste”, a nine-piece collection designed in order to waste as little fabric as possible and meant to raise awareness toward a “zero waste” philosophy that can only be achieved through a collaboration among the partners of the value chain.




“Orta has started offering a selection of denim made with cotton grown from regenerative agriculture. This type of agriculture follows ecofriendly criteria, it helps the ground to rest and regenerate itself, and it avoids carbon dioxide to be dispersed in the atmosphere, but absorbed in the ground. Plus it’s a good alternative to organic cotton as there is more available, and it has also social benefits as it can help better growers’ conditions,” said Orta’s Oktay Okuroglu.

Orta
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Orta
Neela has developed its new Vegan Cashmere Denim, made with maximum 20% soy fiber and 80% cotton. The soy fiber it uses is spinnable, as soft as silk, has anti-UV properties and keeps warm. It is composed of soybean hulls, therefore is made by repurposing a waste product, it uses minimal toxic chemicals and is biodegradable. 





Naveena Denim Mills has showcased its new technology, Biotech denim. This fabric is made with natural fiber derived from hemp crop residue and refined into textile-grade fiber called Agraloop BioFibre, developed in collaboration with Circular Systems, a materials' science company.





“Crop residues are sometimes burned, left to rot, or used in low-value industrial applications. The Agraloop technology upgrades these residues into natural staple fiber ready to be blended and spun into yarns with other natural fiber like organic and recycled cotton. The end result is durable,  low impact fabrics with unique natural fiber aesthetics,” explained Aydan Tuzun, Naveena Denim Mills.

Bast Recast Tencel NDL Endrime collaboration
Photo: Nick Clements
Bast Recast Tencel NDL Endrime collaboration
Tencel, Lenzing's sustainable cellulosic fiber, celebrated its 30th anniversary, while presenting various innovative developments carried ahead in collaboration with various companies. Among them there was Bast Recast, a new hemp, cotton and Tencel denim by NDL developed with Endrime.



Saving resources
As costs for energy, chemicals and raw materials have grown significantly, everyone is looking for solutions that help to cut resources and costs and, as a consequence, can lower their impact in the environment. Officina 39 that has launched Aqualess Fade, a technology that recreates the bleaching effect of chlorine on fabrics, but uses no chlorine, no permanganate, less water and less energy.

Jeans treated with CHT agents
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Jeans treated with CHT agents
CHT chemical specialist has also developed Organiq Bleach and Organiq Seek, bio-based substances that recreate the same effects of chlorine but use no water, no permanganate, no chlorine and no pumice stones. Similarly, Garmon Chemicals has recently introduced Power Saving, an integrated approach to sustainability that combines processes and chemicals to save resources and reduce costs.





Color is back
Finding new alternatives to denim is key, and offering colorful products is a new trend for the market looking for fresh inspiration and optimism. Among various solutions offered, Jeanologia, is launching Colorbox, a new solution through which they can dye cotton, knitwear, wool and jersey pieces, while adding different aging effects through laser and ozone finishing but also saving dyeing substances, water and energy in order to cut costs and increase efficiency.




Within Amsterdam Denim Days Festival, Officina 39 has launched a new initiative focused on color, too. In collaboration with sustainability expert, Adriana Galijasevic’s Cocircular Lab, formerly working for G-Star, they developed the “Circular Explorations: Recipe for Change” project.

Officina39's Circular Explorations at Denim Days Festival
Photo: Officina39
Officina39's Circular Explorations at Denim Days Festival
They re-used several donated items, including overstock, second-grade production or damaged, unsold pieces, and updated them with newly developed applications made with Officina39’s Recycrom, a dyestuff range made from textile waste. The brands involved included Como, Lenzing, Tommy Jeans, C.P. Company and Asics.





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