Denim is on a sustainable journey that touches on every step from fiber and dyes, to finishes and trims. In 2019, mills turned their attention to developing indigo-dyed fabrics that consume less natural resources and use efficient finishing technology. The global denim jeans market is adopting organic cotton in a big way. Italian denim mill Berto introduced Sky, a new indigo cast that uses pre-reduced indigo, allowing brands to wash down to a lighter shade while using less water and chemicals. And Prosperity Textile was among the mills that dabbled in indigo-free denim with authentic wash-downs. The mill’s collection features a proprietary eco dyeing technology that is aniline-free, hydrosulfite-free and saves 60 per cent water.
Interest in non-traditional colors also widened the playing field for more sustainable dye techniques. Maritas Denim from Turkey showcased a product line made with clay-based pigments. The resulting earth-hued fabrics use 80 per cent less water, 35 per cent less energy and fewer chemicals than traditional dyeing systems. Tonello debuted a 100 per cent eco-sustainable dyeing system that uses only organic and compostable raw materials.