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