HERE ARE THE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS DISCUSSION:
The most important achievement was the creation of a more sustainable denim for the future that uses water-saving technologies, nanotech, laser technology and ozone washes. But improved conditions for workers were also put in place. Innovation was driven by textile makers, wash houses and technology companies. The key areas where innovation took place were design, fabric and fit, with a focus on improved stretch and comfort. Legging jeans and more comfortable denim for men were among the key developments.
The increased use of organic cotton as well as of technological fibers, such as Tencel and hemp, defines the last 15 years. It is key for the entire denim industry to keep pushing the boundaries of fabric research and innovation and, most importantly, in environmentally friendly practices. This is what the consumer is expecting of us.
Going forward, true sustainability is the focus. Circularity will be all important for companies throughout the industry. For brands, this means organic and recycled cotton, waterless washes and finishes. New comfort levels will be reached, together with more innovations. Storytelling will be even bigger, as will customization options. However, e-commerce and physical delivery of customized denims must be compatible. New state-of-the-art materials will become more important and with them, the need to explain what they are, what they can do and why they are needed.
Creativity is paramount. Denim must be supplied in a level of comfort suitable for work, leisure, travel and sports. The consumer must be heard. This next generation also wants authenticity and new comfort levels. Communication has to happen throughout the supply chain, and the retailer must take the lead in sharing information about new innovations in denim. Wash, fabric and fit are key but will only be successful in conjunction with retailer education. Denim must continue to improve its quality as well as its social and environmental consciousness. Designs need to improve, together with intellectual property protection for fashion design.