Held yet again at Olympia exhibition center in west London, UK sourcing and manufacturing expo Fashion SVP (25-26 June) wrapped its June ’10 edition last Thursday. Its resident denim section, on which we focused our attention, served up denim suppliers including Pioneer Denim, Kilim Group, Tusa Denim and Marjomotex.
Traffic was rather low on day one but activity picked up on the second day. Jess Yang of Jugu revealed that the company’s booth had attracted quality buyers from indie retailers and brands from Japan and the UK. It was easy to see why visitors were drawn to Jugu’s wares – this artisanal textile and clothing manufacturer specializes in Asian-style, indigo-dyed fabrics handcrafted by local women in the Eastern Himalayas. There were plenty of shibori-technique textiles on show, and since Jugu was sharing a booth with fellow indigo-artisan Bluehanded – which centers on the 800-year-old art of resist printing – more craft-based product was added to the mix.
As for news on the denim front, the Dhaka-based, Leed Platinum certified mill Pioneer Denim brought a number of sustainable innovations to the show, including aniline-free indigo-dyed denim in every shade of blue. Circular Denim made from discarded fiber was another new product on offer. Said Gioielli Massimiliano, Pioneer Denim’s Head of RND: “Textiles created from consumer waste are often described as ‘circular’ but it’s not our definition of the word, at least not in the sustainable sense; by the time consumer waste has been collected, destroyed and made into new textiles – so much energy and water has been used that it’s hardly a green option. Our Circular Denim is made using fibers that would have otherwise been discarded.”
Over at Portuguese garments manufacturer Marjomotex’s stand, we touched on trends – both in terms of mindsets and aesthetics. Green thinking is at the forefront of the company’s clients’ minds: “Everyone wants sustainable options now, and since we work with smaller quantities – we offer minimums of 100 pieces – we’re able to provide high quality and secure the most sustainable solutions for our clients, even smaller labels for which it is important to maintain environmentally friendly standards,” said Monica Afonso, Marjomotex’s CEO.
In terms of aesthetics, Marjomotex has seen an increasing demand for personalized effects. One such example, spotted in the company’s booth – on hangers and staff shoulders alike – was a Jackson Pollock-style paint splash, featuring both multicolor paint and metallic shades (such as the bronze version pictured). “Since this effect is applied by hand, each piece of denim will look unique, and this is something that really appeals to our clients at the moment,” said Afonso.
We also caught up with Istanbul-based mill Tusa Denim, whose booth was studded with denim in faded pastels as well as jumbo stripes and graphic digital prints in size XXL – all current hits with its clients. The mill has upped its sustainable offer, and the striped jeans pictured are crafted from organic cotton denim.
Sustainability was also the central topic across the show’s sourcing seminar program. Two denim-specific talks were given this season. On day one, Zennure Danışman, Orta Anadolu’s marketing and washing manager, looked at how “the sustainability narrative can shift from scarcity to abundance”. Day two saw
Clare Lissaman of Common Objective; Tim Browne, director of Ministry of Denim; and Oya Barlas Bingul of Lenzing Fibers discuss how tech development and innovation can “contribute to finding concrete solutions to sustainability in denim”. All agreed that the sustainable alternatives that have surfaced in the past few years – including waterless technologies and zero-cotton alternatives – are steering the industry in the right way. But the issue that needs tackling above all is the sheer volume of denim product, and clothing in general, being produced. “We’re all guilty of making bad choices when shopping, and we’re not doing enough to change our ways. This has to change to make any real difference. Listen to Vivienne Westwood: ‘buy less, choose well, make it last.’”