The Most Sustainable Products of S/S 2021

In response to buyers and brands seeking guidance on sustainable resources at Kingpins Shows, we’ve launched Kingpins’ Most Sustainable Products – a new initiative that objectively vets and identifies the top sustainable offerings on the show floor and acts as a guide for buyers and brands searching for valuable, reliable information regarding sustainable products.

To compile the list, a textile expert shops the Kingpins Amsterdam show floor each season and selects the 10 Most Sustainable Products (MSPs, if you will). 

For the Spring/Summer 2021 season, the best environmentally-sensitive denim innovations on the Kingpins Amsterdam show floor fell into three general categories:

+ Fibers – Mills almost unanimously adopted organic and recycled cottons in new articles displayed at the show. Tencel remains important and is used in combination with recycled cotton for performance reasons. Hemp made appearances in various products. Finally, while there was a focus on recycled polyester from some mills, there are various mills following the strategy to move completely away from polyester.

+ Application Processes – Mills have sought to reduce water, chemical and energy usage with a variety of dyeing and application processes. One method that is gaining traction relies on treating warp yarns with a cationic agent prior to weaving, followed by impregnation of warp and weft yarns with a pre-reduced indigo bath. This process calls for fewer indigo dye boxes needed to achieve a dark tone and requires no washing off, resulting in less water, dye and chemicals used. a final fixation with the same cationic agent is required for improved colorfastness.
Additionally, many Kingpins exhibitors are looking into more-superficial dye processes that result in quick wash down, allowing for savings in time, chemicals and energy, and is particularly suitable for laser finishing.

+ New Concepts – Mills are approaching sustainability and impact from a variety of angles – ranging from establishing zero-impact goals for new fabrics, to moving away from indigo, and even reducing the environmental impact of fabrics beyond mills and into the laundry.

“Innovation, sustainability and transparency are the critical elements of our show today. MSP is our solution to bring actionable and reliable information to brands and designers looking for the most sustainable and impactful resources at their disposal,” said Andrew Olah, founder of Kingpins Show and the Transformers Foundation. “Weeks before Kingpins Amsterdam, the MSP team looks at our entire show roster and pre-selects MSP candidates. Then we discuss their products with them before the show and again during the show – and in this way are able to make a selection. We do this for each Amsterdam show. Our research is continual and we are open to hearing from any and all mills anytime – 24/7, 365 days a year – for new, sustainable products.”

Spring/Summer 2021 MSPs:

MILL: Artistic Milliners
PRODUCT: Bio-Vision platform
A new platform built upon research into the opportunities to find the best (and evolving) options for biodegradable/compostable ingredients, which align with the zero-waste design idea. The value proposition of Bio-vision innovation is to eliminate poly in stretch constructions for jeans while maintaining the performance derived from poly blends. Bio-vision fabrics are Ellen MacArthur Jeans Redesign compliant.

MILL: Bossa
PRODUCT: Org Deolinda SavesWorldShield
Features a combination of sustainable fibers and dyeing techniques. SavesWorldShield denim is made of 54% Refibra; 20% recycled cotton; 20% organic cotton; 5% recycled polyester and 1% elastane. The denim has an authentic look and claims of water savings (due to Saveblue dyeing technique) are independently verified.

MILL: Calik Denim
PRODUCT: Denethic Denim
A collection of fabrics produced with rinse, rinse + enzyme and bleach wash effects that boast water savings at both mill and laundry levels (ranging from 13% to 44%), as well as time savings of 18% to 45% at the laundry. Denethic fabrics create significant resource saving values for both fabric production and garment washing steps.

MILL: Candiani Denim
PRODUCT: Re-Gen (SK 6256 K-Old Pure)
A blend of 31% recycled pre-consumer cotton, 2% recycled pre-consumer elastan, 55% lyocell and 12% cotton that is OCS, GRS certified. Old Recycled features a combination of best-so-far materials and technologies at each step of the manufacturing process, including the dyeing process, which helps to save 15% water, 33% chemicals, and 25% energy compared to conventional dyeing processes.

MILL: Kilim Denim
PRODUCT: Morris Middark Cactus PCRD ST (D5329)
A well-made fabric with a combination of high-level construction, visuals and composition, Morris uses 100% organic cotton in the warp, 47.5% recycled cotton, 47.5% recycled polyester and 5% elastane on the weft. The Cactus Project uses a newly developed chemical that improves the fixation of indigo on the warp yarn – resulting in less water being used to remove unfixed dyestuff. Kilim estimates water used for this process will be decreased 93%.

MILL: Naveena Denim
PRODUCT: Blue Hemp concept
Naveena is going deep into hemp with their Blue Hemp concept, which is a collection of hemp-blend denim fabrics that include a combination of cottonized hemp (up to 50%), Tencel and recycled polyester by UNIFI. Blue Hemp fabrics are finished with ozone by Jeanologia.

MILL: Neela Blue
PRODUCT: Green by NB
Made with 77% organic cotton and 22% post-consumer waste cotton, Green features a different technique of yarn spinning to create a new look and the use of post-consumer dyed waste means Green does not involve any dyeing at all – resulting in chemical and water savings as well as elimination of the discharge of polluted water. Green is certified by GRS, OCS and GOTS.

MILL: Orta Anadolu
PRODUCT: Immortalist collection
A clever combination of organic cotton and functional, responsible fibers, Immortalist fabrics represent a deep investment in fibers and dyeing processes. A key Immortalist fabric features 79% organic cotton with an organic cotton warp, 15% Tencel x Refibra, 4% Ecomade T400 and 2% elastane. The weft is Elastane + Ecomade T400 with organic cotton and Refibra. Life cycle analysis studies give additional value to the concept.

MILL: Prosperity Textile
PRODUCT: Revelation Blue (RA3713V)
An indigo-free blue denim with authentic wash-downs. Revelation Blue features a new proprietary eco dyeing technology that is aniline-free, hydrosulfite-free and offers 60% water savings.

MILL: Vicunha
Lightweight denim fabric made without the use of virgin cotton. A continuation of the project initiated with Adriano Goldschmied, Twig fabric is produced with GRS-certified recycled cotton and no additional dye processes – resulting in the use of 90% less dye and 95% less water.

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