Although physical trade shows cannot happen many hot topics and new practices can be disclosed via webinars and digital get-togethers. An example is the first edition of Denim Premiere Vision’s Digital Denim Week held from November 30 to December 4 (also see here).

Along with new fabric collections, trend forecasts and denim workshops, a selection of talks discussed hot topics that will characterize tomorrow’s visions of the denim and fashion industry. Some keywords of the digital event were sustainability, transparency, regenerative agriculture, blockchain and fiber coins. Discover more quotes from its participants.


PART 2 – Regenerative agriculture and blockchain


What is Regenerative Organic Agriculture?

Giusy Bettoni, owner and CEO, C.L.A.S.S., Italy:
“Regenerative Organic Agriculture is a past tradition in agriculture but it’s coming back and it’s about food and materials. But getting there is really advanced.”


Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director, Regenerative Organic Alliance:
“Regenerative Organic Farming (ROF) works in harmony with nature using no toxic chemicals, rebuilding soil and diverse ecosystems, and conserving water. These farming methods have a lot of potential as they can lower carbon emissions and combat climate change. Many regenerative methods are ancient. Today we are rediscovering their potential to heal people and the planet. Today industrial agriculture contributes more than 25% of the present carbon emissions and we are losing topsoil to the equivalent of 18 soccer fields every minute, by using such methods we degrade the quality of our food and the crop we get from that soil. Plus industrial agriculture uses toxic chemicals that pervade food, water and air. For this reason ROF comes to save this broken system. Through ROF certification we have created a whole framework around this. Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certification ROC is a certification based on organic and a program done through certifying auditors. You have never arrived and can always incorporate new techniques based upon three pillars-soil health, animal welfare and social fairness.”

“We already worked with fabric manufacturers like Pratibha and Arvind fabric, and brands such as Patagonia and Timberland. Inquiries include ROC cotton, linen, wool down, hemp leather and more.”

Giusy Bettoni, C.L.A.S.S., and Julian Lings, VF/The North Face
Photo: Screenshot Digital Denim Week
Giusy Bettoni, C.L.A.S.S., and Julian Lings, VF/The North Face
Julian Lings, sustainability manager, VF/The North Face:
“Regenerative farming at VF Group is really growing and important. Regenerative practices mimic nature and give it the chance to rest and heal as they can replicate the diversity found in nature. In our group we are very fond of this strategy.”

“The North Face has already started moving in this direction. In 2017, we started selecting wool from sheep raised according to regenerative agriculture methods and launched our first selection of beanies. That test was a real success as consumers really reacted up to it. Therefore, we expanded our offer adding a scarf and a jacket. Now we want to look into other areas and natural fibers like cotton and rubber. For f/w 2020 Timberland has launched its first boot model made by using regenerative made leather. For the future it also aims to work with partners in regenerative rubber, cotton, wool and sugar cane and by 2030 it aims to only use materials from regenerative agriculture.”


What is blockchain?

Giusy Bettoni, owner and CEO, C.L.A.S.S., Italy:
“Blockchain will transform the textile and apparel industry with transparency–from farming to finished garments. In a world full of smart technologies, every manufacturer, supplier, retailer, and even consumer demands transparency. Blockchain has increased transparency not only within the supply chain, as well as between a brand and its consumers.”

Amit Gautam, CEO and founder, Textile Genesis, India:
“Blockchain is a digital transparency platform we can look at through three levels. The first one is simply a way to store data, but once you write something in this data system you cannot modify it. Secondly blockchain is designed to track and connect transactions to each other, so it is an ideal technology if you want to look at supply chain transactions. And thirdly, it refers to tokenization as you can make a digital twin of the physical asset. We worked closely with brands like H&M and Armed Angels and with sustainable raw materials like Lenzing and Schneider’s, a wool and cashmere specialist. We are partners with different companies and are trying to build a network within the entire value chain while trying to accelerate traceability in the fashion industry.”

What are fiber coins?

Amit Gautam, CEO and founder, Textile Genesis, India:
“This expression has nothing to do with cryptocurrency, but aims to give the idea of the digitalization of physical quantities of fibers at the point of origin. For instance, when Lenzing ships a hundred of boxes of Tencel or Ecovero fibers, spinners can count on receiving a hundred of boxes. So as one cage of fiber stays for one fiber coin and that can be digitally represented in order to count the quantity of fiber that enters the supply chain.”

“Traceability is the next frontier in sustainability and each one has to be combined with the other.”


When can consumers experience blockchain?

Gianluca Tacchella, CEO, Carrera Jeans:
“Carrera Jeans was born in Italy in 1965. At the end of the ’80s we moved our whole production to Central Asia where we also started growing cotton and established our vertical production from cotton cultivation to the finished garment. Everything is made in Tajikistan through our two productive units that employ around 2,000 women.”

Gianluca Tacchella, Carrera Jeans
Photo: Screenshot Digital Denim Week
Gianluca Tacchella, Carrera Jeans
“As we are a fully vertical productive system we can be a perfect example for showing the consumer how products are made. For this, together with Padua-based company S Lab, we launched Made in Block, our own blockchain that certifies our whole productive chain–from the cotton field to the denim store.”

“From January 2021 we will sell our first jeans carrying a QR code through which all of our productive steps are traced. It's important that people know that we produce sustainably. We are sustainable from the handpicking of the cotton (done by people, therefore preserving their jobs) to behaving as a positive partner that handles relationships with the Tajikistan state. Through our blockchain we can show the consumer that we produce our jeans sustainably keeping water clean, treating workers fairly and documenting all of our productive steps.”

“From surveys we noticed that 95% of consumers don't know what a blockchain is, but 75% are interested about the transparency of the product. We are confident that in the future blockchain will have a positive impact. As we are a fashion company of course the product has to speak before the blockchain. Though blockchain will be an additional aspect we can provide the consumer.”

“The concept of sustainability is related to normality and if you want quality you have to be sustainable.”