‘Sus­tain­abil­ity’ in the denim in­dus­try: The jour­ney con­tin­ues…

The jour­ney con­tin­ues

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Denim is one of the most in­te­gral parts of the In­dian tex­tile in­dus­try and sus­tain­abil­ity is at the fore­front in the denim seg­ment today.

Com­pa­nies across the globe are in­volved in the sus­tain­able move­ment, be it yarn or fab­ric in­dus­tries, chem­i­cal or dye man­u­fac­tur­ers, wash­ing com­pa­nies or the jean man­u­fac­tur­ers. In fact their mu­tual sup­port and col­lec­tive ef­forts are giv­ing pos­i­tive results; some com­pa­nies are even go­ing one step for­ward. Jeanolo­gia, a re­spected name in the denim in­dus­try for its laser and eco-tech­nolo­gies for fab­ric and gar­ment fin­ish­ing, which are help­ing to be ahead in the sus­tain­abil­ity arena since day one, claims that its ‘disruptive tech­nolo­gies’ are con­tribut­ing to at­tain an eth­i­cal, sus­tain­able and eco-ef­fi­cient tex­tile in­dus­try. Jordi Juani, Asia Divi­sion Di­rec­tor of the com­pany is of the view: “As now ev­ery­body is aware about sus­tain­abil­ity as a con­cept and try­ing to im­prove, so for us sus­tain­abil­ity is no more a cat­e­gory. We need not talk more about it as a con­cept as it is an im­por­tant part of our man­u­fac­tur­ing process and must be taken as given.” He fur­ther adds that for Jeanolo­gia, sus­tain­abil­ity means that prod­ucts are more ef­fec­tive, cost-ef­fi­cient and the in­dus­try is us­ing the same with­out dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. “For us sus­tain­abil­ity is in-built. We are fo­cus­ing on dig­i­tal gar­ments, mean­ing us­ing max­i­mum tech­nol­ogy in or­der to be com­pe­tent, more ef­fi­cient and sus­tain­able,” he added.

Arvind, In­dia’s most ad­mired denim com­pany has done a lot in sus­tain­abil­ity too. Ab­hishek Bansal, Head of Sus­tain­abil­ity, Arvind Lim­ited and Board Mem­ber, ZDHC shared that right from in­creased use of re­cy­cled cot­ton to elim­i­nated use of haz­ardous chem­i­cals from tex­tile pro­duc­tion to us­ing re­new­able en­ergy, re­plac­ing 50 per cent of the coal us­age by biomass, set­ting up a rooftop so­lar power…, there are many more ini­tia­tives which are be­ing taken by the com­pany. “We are mov­ing from lin­ear to cir­cu­lar econ­omy, and in­dus­try should look at the con­cept from this per­spec­tive,” he added.

Sim­i­larly, other denim mills are also ag­gres­sively work­ing in this di­rec­tion and for some of them, fo­cus is on yarn or even a stage prior to this, and KG Denim Ltd., Coim­bat­ore is one of them. The com­pany has re­cently come up with ‘re­fib­era’ (ten­cel mix­ing wood pulp fi­bre) which is very soft. Nor­mal ten­cel is not as sus­tain­able as this

one, which is just 15 per cent costlier from nor­mal ten­cel base. Be­ing made from re­use of ten­cel fi­bre, it is quite sus­tain­able. Ram Srini­vasan, Head – Ap­parel Fab­ric Sales of the com­pany said, “Ev­ery­body claims about sus­tain­abil­ity but mak­ing good prod­uct with dedicated sus­tain­able ap­proach is by few only. Ear­lier it was like a catch­word but now it has be­come a se­ri­ous busi­ness and that too from an or­gan­ised sec­tor.”

Though ev­ery stake­holder may be do­ing his/her best for sus­tain­abil­ity, there are opin­ions that it will still take time and in fact there is a long way to go…, es­pe­cially from the cus­tomer’s per­spec­tive as still the ‘fi­nal user’ of the jeans is not much aware and re­quires more and more in­for­ma­tion. San­deep Agar­wal, Founder, Den­im­sand­jeans.com, sees it from a cus­tomer’s per­spec­tive, and said, “Yes, some of the com­pa­nies are do­ing bet­ter but as our in­dus­try is very old, as a whole, the in­dus­try is nowhere into sus­tain­abil­ity on a larger plat­form. It will still take at least 5 years, and I feel that real

Arvind Ltd.’s fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity and ef­forts to cre­ate aware­ness about the same

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