Supply Chain

Results & Resolutions

January, 2024

By Chelsea Dobrosielski
denim jeans hanging at retail
Industry leaders reflect on their 2023 wins and their aspirations for the year ahead

After three years of turbulent change, 2023 offered the denim industry its own unique mix of complications and challenges. Players across the supply chain, however, are investing in the future, whether that’s embracing artificial intelligence or prioritizing sustainability.

Leaders from textile manufacturers Sapphire Mills and Global Denim, chemistry experts Soko and Officina+39, and Asahi Kasei Corp.’s ROICA fiber division shared with Kingpins Quarterly some of the best decisions they made in 2023—and their No. 1 goals for the new year.

Ismael Abdullah, Director & owner, Sapphire Mills in Pakistan

Best Decision of 2023:

The best decision was to take the next step on our digitization journey, which began with implementing SAP S/4HANA. We formed a Digital Transformation Team. We have adopted DMIX, which revolutionizes the way suppliers and brands interact. We also use CLO for virtual, true-to-life garment visualization. We also got FastReact to maximize efficiencies and remove bottlenecks. These tools allow us to better manage our data to prepare us to effectively embrace artificial intelligence as a revolutionary phenomenon in the future.

2024 Goals:

In addition to filling our 65 million meters of woven fabric per year capacity and increasing our apparel manufacturing capacity. We have targeted that Sapphire Mills is to be almost 100% powered by renewable energy – biomass and solar – by the year 2027, and we want to make a significant stride in that direction in 2024. We have already initiated our solar and biomass projects and have made large investments in that direction. In addition, we are beginning our water recycling project in 2024.

Matteo Urbini, Managing director, Soko in Italy

Best Decision of 2023:

We created our Researching Division for external customers like buyers, brands, garments manufacturers, etc., dedicated to new targets and goals in garment washing and finishing, like new processing techniques to solve existing limits. It’s an independent division from the chemical division, operating on a project basis with the receiving partners and studied at 360°, including fabric, machineries and recipes.

2024 Goals:

It’s our aim for our Researching Division to collaborate with strategic partners and see where the new challenges will head to. Also, our Lab will be implemented with new equipment to cover most of the technical aspects and get ready for a new way of processing garments.

Takehiro Kamiyama, Senior executive manager, ROICA Division of Asahi Kasei Corp. in Japan

Best Decision of 2023:

Despite the market and world issues, we have kept investing in sustainable innovation. We published the first annual “ROICA Sustainability Fact.” That’s because, on top of key investments in highly innovative and responsible products such as ROICA V550 degradable, together with joint development with key partners such as Candiani, Prosperity and Artistic Milliners for denim, we want to complete the transparency and value picture about our company as well.

2024 Goals:

We have set the target of reducing the GHG emissions of the ROICA business by 60 percent or more (compared to fiscal 2013) by 2030. This year, we will contribute to our target and invest in launching new innovation.

Andrea Venier, Managing director, Officina+39 in Italy

Best Decision of 2023:

As in recent years, 2023 was also complicated and full of challenges. Officina39’s strength is not accepting the word “no” as an answer, always looking for new ways to deal with difficult situations. We worked hard to implement products and processes following the perspective of sustainability, with the aim of providing our clients with as many tools as possible to face the end consumer market.

2024 Goals:

To develop and research products and processes to satisfy the interest of our customers while maintaining our company philosophy of combining chemical creativity and sustainability. To allow brands to leverage these new technologies, both in terms of cost and the needs of the end consumer.

Anatt Finkler, Creative director, Global Denim in Mexico

Best Decision of 2023:

The most impactful decision we’ve made is investing in sustainability and transitioning our company mindset toward circularity. We’ve embraced ISO’s principles, revolutionizing our internal systems, improving management practices, and operational efficiency. This shift not only conserves resources but also serves as a catalyst for inspiring positive change.

2024 Goals:

Our primary business objective is to sustain and expand our success in the U.S. market, fostering substantial growth in this region. Simultaneously, we aim to venture into other international markets, with focus on areas such as Latin America. Our strategy involves staying at the forefront of industry trends and tailoring our offerings to meet the specific needs of each market.

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Summer 2024

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