By Maria Cristina Pavarini

Within the last edition of Texworld, the specialized textile trade show held in Paris from 15 to 18 February, denim expert and designer François Girbaud and Pakistani denim mill Naveena Denim Ltd (NDL) announced their new collaboration.

During the show's final press conference held on 18 February, Girbaud presented and criticized some of the major groundbreaking achievements of his career: “Denim was dead in the '70s,” he commented. “When we started with stone wash, sanforization and chemical treatments we only wanted one thing: to make denim big! But we had not considered that this would have been extremely harmful for the environment and for generations to come”.

He also pointed out how he discovered and promoted earth-friendly alternative approaches within the jeans industry: “I made a big mistake! I helped to destroy the planet! But we didn’t know any better back then. Today, we do.” In fact, since 1989, Girbaud started testing and developing various new sustainable technologies. For instance, he created the Wattwash laser method, using light instead of water and chemicals.

Referring to ozone treatments, a finishing technique already practiced in Pakistan long before than in Europe, he commented: “I cannot turn back the time but I want to dedicate my last active years to make the best of a bad job and with NDL Naveena I have found the perfect partner.”

NDL is renowned among global denim industry insiders. It exports its products globally and counts brands like Levi’s among its customers. This verticalized manufacturer recognizes the importance to pay great attention to R&D of environmentally friendly technologies. They also promote BCI Cotton and Repreve yarns. “The future is in our hands”, commented Masood Riaz, NDL’s owner and president. “We must invest in the future by educating our staff, by acquiring the best equipment, and by making an effective contribution to sustainable technologies and productive methods.”

Rashid Iqbal, executive director, NDL, also commented on the collaboration with Girbaud: “We share one vision,” he commented. “Together with François Girbaud we will re-invent denim and develop the most prestigious water, chemical free technologies and state-of-the-art fabrics to help save the planet.”