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Stefan Krueger
Stefan Krueger
Stefan Krueger works in Global Business Development for ProTecht® Technologies alongside customers and partners to develop sustainable textile innovations for the American and European markets.

Sustainability: Not just a buzzword, but a driving force in the Indigo-colored world

Amsterdam recently hosted the Kingpins Show, a significant event in the world of denim and sustainable fashion. The well-established and deeply respected show serves as a platform for the denim industry to come together and for professionals to discuss critical issues and emerging trends with a strong focus on sustainability, innovation, and the global supply chain.

Sustainability remains a central theme at the Kingpins Show. The textile industry has faced growing scrutiny for its environmental impact, particularly regarding water usage, pollution, and waste. Kingpins’ proactive approach to seeking and promoting sustainable materials and technologies to help the industry turn the corner remained evident. The show emphasized the use of eco-friendly materials. Among these materials, Renewcell’s CIRCULOSE® pulp took the spotlight. CIRCULOSE® is a groundbreaking material made from upcycled cotton, and cotton-rich textiles, and aligns with the circular model. Brands and designers are increasingly seeking denim containing CIRCULOSE®.

Arvind Limited, an early adopter, showcased a masterful collection containing CIRCULOSE® material along with other collections promoting various sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques. It was a great sight to see, and the brands took notice.

In addition to sustainable materials, the show focused on the industry’s role in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). These goals cover a wide range of critical issues, including responsible consumption and climate action. The denim industry can significantly contribute to several of these goals and has the marketing chops to educate the consumer in kind. The show highlighted how aligning with the UN SDGs is not only environmentally responsible but also good for business. Lenzing epitomizes championing the UN SDGs with their dedication to responsible sourcing, processing, and climate initiatives. It was also present throughout the show that the quality and comfort that Lenzing products provide continue to shine and stand center-stage.

Sustainability not just a buzzword, but a driving force in the Indigo-colored worldInnovative Manufacturing Processes
Innovative manufacturing processes were another highlight of the Kingpins Show. Sustainability in the fashion industry extends beyond materials to include production methods like waterless dyeing. Innovative and sustainable manufacturing aims to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption, and lower the industry’s environmental impact. New manufacturing techniques, such as advanced dyeing processes and water-saving methods, were highlighted, reminding us of the exciting possibilities for environmentally conscious production.

Collaboration across the supply chain was a recurring theme at the show. Achieving sustainability in the industry requires cooperation between brands, manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers. Global supplier collaboration is essential for the industry to work collectively towards common sustainability goals. Transparency, traceability, and ethical practices throughout the supply chain were emphasized, ensuring that these practices are followed from raw material processing through the initial production stages to the final consumer product

Looking through the products and initiatives from various mills, Raymond UCO stood among the leaders. Their continued dedication to developing innovative products and showcasing exciting new materials that further propel the quality, sustainability, and functionality of their products was front and center. Additionally, their impactful sustainability initiatives and exciting new collaborations are a reminder to the global industry of the mindfulness and care that Indian-based companies provide in combination with producing high-quality goods.

Sustainability not just a buzzword, but a driving force in the Indigo-colored worldCombating Greenwashing
The pervasive issue of greenwashing was also addressed at the Kingpins Show, including the deceptive marketing of products and practices when they have minimal or no positive environmental impact.

To combat greenwashing, the show emphasized the need for authenticity and conversations about the importance of certifications were heard throughout. Brands and manufacturers were encouraged to be transparent about their environmental practices and materials, empowering consumers to make informed choices.

High Quality, Long Lasting Products
The denim industry is experiencing a shift towards products that are functional, durable, and sustainable. The LYCRA Company showcased its portfolio which includes their EcoMade fibers along with their continued dedication to innovation excellence that stands the test of time.

The industry is moving towards creating high-quality, long-lasting products that provide a combination of comfort and performance for journeys that take you anywhere and everywhere. This shift is not only an environmental responsibility but also a reflection of consumer preferences for well-made and enduring items. Hyosung showcased their regen bio-based ȃ bers which provide a great example of the importance of having a thoughtful product development process so that every detail is covered when it comes to sustainability.

Many other materials deserve mentioning, such as Nature Coating’s exciting BioBlack TX, a bio-based replacement for carbon black. Along with plant-based functional finishes and softeners that were on display, like the odor control technology ProTecht PAO from Sanitized USA along with the BIOPURE softeners from AGS Group. Ingredient players continue to be a crucial component in collaborations and in facilitating the industry’s ability to pivot and achieve consumer satisfaction.

Looking back, the Kingpins Show was yet another masterclass in showcasing the denim industry’s progress and commitments. It illustrated that sustainability is not merely a buzzword but a driving force in our indigo-colored world. Though the details may vary, the road ahead is clear: denim is in a good place and headed in the right direction.

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