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