While closing another successful and super busy edition held on October 25-26, 2017, Kingpins Amsterdam has announced that it will further concentrate on sustainability in the future.

Its organizer and founder Andrew Olah commented: “We are happy for this edition’s results even if we didn’t do anything different from the past ones. Our future aims are to make Kingpins Shows expand throughout China, Europe and USA, and enlarge their commitment to sustainable jeanswear on all fronts.”

“The next edition of Transformers, to work as a driving agent of change for all of our shows, will take place in April 2018 and will be about transparency. We will direct the subject from fiber tracking through garment production and include chemicals assessments, among others,” continued Olah. “We all need to get transparent and our event will make that both clear and possible.”

Among some of the newest initiatives debuting at Kingpins Amsterdam, starting from April 2018 there will be the Transformatorhuis, a new huge location adjacent Westergasfabriek. The vintage industrial area was inaugurated for this October edition and hosted the exhibition organized by Calik for its 30th anniversary. “Starting from 2018 this area will house the companies that Kingpins believes follow the best sustainable practices in their factories,” continued Olah. “We will study this and reward the companies by them having their own ‘home’ within the Kingpins Show. Let’s say Transformatorhuis will be our Transformer House. We also want to display sustainable products in our show so that visitors will be able to see and touch physical examples.”

A new series of initiatives will debut from the Transformers edition in New York for Spring 2018 – to be named “The Transparency edition”–and will further grow in 2019. They will be made possible thanks to a newly signed agreement between Kingpins Transformers and ZDHC’s Roadmap-to-Zero - (ZDHC) Programme, a collaboration meant to drive more sustainable chemistry and accelerate environmental performance for the denim industry. Two partners involved in the initiative are Garmon Chemicals and Archroma.


The best from Kingpins Amsterdam 

The recently closed edition held on October 25-26 appeared to be the busiest of all previous editions. The first day was very crowded and lively, while the second one slightly slower, though always busy.

In keeping with its future evolution most companies presented products and projects focused on sustainable practices and eco-friendliness.

Refibra debuts in denim

Lenzing’s new sustainble fiber Refibra based upon a circular economy pattern debuted at the show. Refibra launched a new special collaboration collection–the Refibra Denim Capsule Designed by Adriano Goldschmied. It includes different indigo fabrics and jerseys as well as denims employing different mixes of Refibra with other recycled or sustainable fibers, but also made with 100% Refibra. During the show many companies offered their own interpretation of Refibra fiber for jeanswear and casualwear. Among them there are Advance, Artistic Milliners, Blue Diamond, Candiani Denim, Orta, Prosperity, Santanderina and Tejidos Royo.

Refibra by Adriano Goldschmied
Photo: Refibra
Refibra by Adriano Goldschmied

Sustainability is the new must

Many other companies have committed themselves in supporting the sustainable issue even if many doubt that such an amount of so-called green and ecofriendly products need to be seriously screened and analyzed in order to be recognized as truly so.

Cone Denim has launched Trutone by Cone, a new black denim made from Future Black+, a material employing Lenzing Modal and Repreve, a traceable and certified fiber obtained by recycling PET bottles. A pair of jeans made from this material has a very soft hand, maintains its color and stretch properties and contains the amount of fibers obtained by recycling 17 PET bottles.

Berto is launching a new line of denims made with Recover, special fibers produced by the Spanish company Hilaturas Ferre, obtained by upcycling different pre- and post-consumer textiles waste resources.

Tejidos Royo group is strongly committed to becoming a sustainable partner within the fashion industry. Thus it is working intensively and investing resources in its Protocol Conductor of Sustainability 360º and Innovation for the next years. The protocol’s principles follow directions set by the Spanish government and principles defined by the United Nations according to, for instance, the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016 for a saving water policy. It also wants to guarantee that through its own Josè & Ana Royo Foundation it collaborates with nonprofit organizations, with aids for its workers facing difficult situations and improving working conditions as regards to prevention of labor risks.

Orta has relaunched its own Orta Blu sustainable approach platform founded in 2012 and has applied it to all of its products from now on. It developed its own LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), a tool used to measure the environmental performance of each product taking its complete lifecycle into account (from raw material production to final disposal) according to ISO 14040/44 standards.

Tavex is betting on offering a highly certified total eco-friendly approach. It guarantees that its products are manufactured by employing eco-friendly certified materials according to BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OCS (Organic Content Standard) and GRS (Global Recycled Standard). It also employs recycled PET fibers and sustainable finishings and dyeing technologies, and guarantees the controlled emissions of CO2, water, energy and chemicals.

The hype on stretch goes on

Looking cool and feeling comfy remains key for the denim industry. Invista presented the final results of a study done in five countries (Germany, Spain, US, China and Brazil) in 2016 among women wearing stretch jeans. The main issue resulting is that consumers feel most uneasy when they realize their stretch jeans lose their shape. To better advise consumers in choosing the best jeans Invista teamed up with an online publication (What What Wear) and curated a shop hosting jeans from 19 brands (mostly sold in the US) collaborating with them. Thanks to this collab consumers can learn most about these jeans added with Lycra Dual FX, a high-tech stretch technology. During Kingpins Invista also shared the results of the study with brands and retailers informing them about how to choose the best bi-stretch for their needs per each trouser’s silhouette.

DualFX technology by Invista
Photo: Invista
DualFX technology by Invista

Invista also presented special collaborations with Calik Denim, for a series of plain color fabrics that have a very smart aspect, though are high-performance denims perfect for being worn when playing sports. U.S. Denim presented new denims using Lycra Dual FX in both warp and weft for highly comfortable selvedge denims. Advance Denim employed Invista’s patented technology that uses two parallel warps to create its Free Cross collection of Lycra Xfit bi-stretch fabrics that combine high recovery and low growth.

Bossa collaborated with Creora, a stretch manufacturing specialist, and developed a new series of bi-stretch denims that help enhance the silhouette.

New optics for denim

Among key aspects for s/s 2019 there is a return to fabrics that look like those most popular in the ’80s though are higher quality, lighterweight and stretch.

Greater attention returns to surface effects. Orta, for instance, has developed a new selection of fabrics, Exoart, that recreates the same effects of ikat traditional weaving technique, by employing resist-tinting yarns that, once they are woven, create a pattern on the fabric. Orta has also offered new vintage optic denims carrying evident crosshatch effects.

Denim Expert Ltd, garment manufacturer and washing expert from Bangladesh and organizer of the Denim Expo show in Dhaka, has developed a series of new and highly inspiring motifs. Some of its prints and applications recreate Walt Disney characters. Decorating its pieces are studs often covered with aged paint effects and Swarovski applications hidden in the weave of the fabric. It also presented new variants of basic models like cropped moto jeans and different knee-effect padding design.

Garments by Denim Expert
Photo: SI Team
Garments by Denim Expert

Portuguese laundry and finishing company Pizzarro has developed a new digital printing technique that creates special effects on denim’s surfaces such as patterns, art motifs and small elements. La Panamà label manufacturer presented huge woven jacquard labels to be applied onto the back of garments.

New digital printing technique by Pizzarro
Photo: SI Team
New digital printing technique by Pizzarro

Green is the new black

A shade many started to develop new ideas and products is green. Berto offered various yarn-dyed denims in new shades of green–from military to olive and sage.

Artistic Milliners has developed a new family of denims that take their inspiration from Matcha green tea leaves and range from emerald green hues to dark and bright blue-green to grey, and black-green shades.

Celebrating is cool

Kingpins Amsterdam has also hosted some significant celebrations.

Calik Denim has celebrated its 30th anniversary by presenting the final results of the #CalikDenim30 - #DenimLovesArt initiative. It involved various international fashion and art schools and asked them to create art pieces that could show how different and versatile denim interpretations can be. It selected the best 30 pieces and presented them at Kingpins Amsterdam in the context of an art-meets-fashion multimedia exhibition. The same exhibition was previously shown in Istanbul on October 11 and will also presented in Los Angeles on December 6.

Lenzing’s Tencel has also celebrated its 25th anniversary of collaborations with the denim industry offering its visitors a toast.

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