Founder’s Letter: A Simple, Sustainable Idea Brought to Life

Years ago, I had dinner with a VP of design from a reputable large American jeans retailer who asked me the simplest sounding question about our Kingpins Show:

“Can’t you just have one wall with the most sustainable fabrics sewn up into jeans using the most sustainable washes so that buyers who come to the show don’t need to sift through the thousands of fabrics displayed and can focus? Can’t you show the best-in-class sustainable products?”

That question, while simple and seriously practical, stumped us. If we were to do that, we needed help. But who could we get to do this? Who was qualified or had the credibility to decide what are the most sustainable fabrics? And who could we get to select beautiful, on-trend sustainable washes?

We gave a lot of thought to the question because the idea was so good. We knew we had to do it but we were unable to get the job done until Kingpins was fortunate enough to bring on Miguel Sanchez as our Technological Leader. He took on the challenge. He would talk to all the mills. He would vet their claims. He would determine Kingpins’ MSP’s (most sustainable products).

And then Piero Turk agreed to help us on the wash side. With the two of these tall foreheads, we were able to launch our initiative. A huge thank you goes out to Tonello as well for actually creating and performing all the washing of these garments.

As luck would have it, we planned to release the first group of Most Sustainable Products at the Kingpins Show in April 2020 — which, of course, was cancelled due to the pandemic. I have to laugh at our bad timing after so much thought and work had already been invested. We finally showed that first MSP collection at our April 2022 Kingpins show in Amsterdam but by then, the fabrics and washes were already out in the market. Nevertheless, we were determined to continue the initiative and release the sophomore collection in late 2022.

In the meantime, PVH Europe found the project interesting and agreed to sponsor MSP, which means they are collaborating and making all the garments in their Amsterdam atelier — which is so exciting on many levels.

Next month — assuming no fire, flood, drought, pestilence or pandemic interrupts our show — we will give our visitors a first look at a new collection of MSP, which should both inspire and educate fabric researchers, buyers and press. Each product will have a small tag explaining why it has been selected and our website will also describe each product in detail with proper photography.

We have limited space, resources and time so, naturally, some very solid products will be left out. But we have done our best to represent the best-in-class. We hope you like it! And to those whose fabrics are not selected, please speak to us! There is always another season and another show.

We hope you love MSP as much as we do. Once upon a time, there were “green rooms” at shows. Now the whole show is green and we’re selecting the greenest. We’ve come a long way.

See you in Amsterdam!

– Andrew Olah

You can read more about the MSPs and our collaboration with PVH Europe here.

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