Worldwide denim mills and related manufacturers continued to stress fabrics and solutions that are – first and foremost – environmentally friendly when they shared their spring 2021 offerings at the Kingpins show in New York last week. Some had already unveiled their new collections at Kingpins Amsterdam in October but there was still plenty of freshness to be seen in New York.
Once again, the show was held at Pier 36 and featured 60 exhibitors plus an onsite vintage market, shopping area and a special trend area that showcased key themes such as Eco Wanderer (think modern hippie) and Gentle Blues (a neutral palette).
Here are some highlights from some of the exhibitors who attended…
Artistic Denim Mills
“It’s still all about stretch with a vintage look,” noted ADM’s Daniella Rolla about what her clients wanted fashion-wise for the season. This mill, which does full garment production, is also offering more environmentally friendly items such as denims blended with hemp or recycled scraps from onsite. “We’re checking off all the [environmental] boxes in the process,” she added.
New at this Pakistan-based mill is Circular Blue that employs recycled materials and zero dyeing. Other highlights include the Workwear Re-Imagined group of broken twills with a brushed back. Buttery Soft and Stealth that are super soft and Bio-Vision uses biodegradable fibers that mimic the performance of polyester. The company is also using new washes that are alternatives to bleach and stones with sustainable options derived from plants.
Another company from Pakistan, Crescent Bahuman is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It too is using hemp as well as Pima cotton to create a lot of blends for the spring.
Cone too is offering better and more natural solutions, including Ciclo, which uses a poly yarn that degrades like a natural fiber, and a group made with natural indigo that’s grown in Tennessee. It’s dark Future Navy fabric uses Modal and recycled polyester with no cotton at all. And its Community group takes on social matters. The Think Pink pink selvedge (and accompanying pink jacket) is used to promote breast cancer awareness while the rainbow Pride selvedge can be used for LBGQT Pride themed pieces.
Corduroy’s specialty continues to be stretch, especially superstretch for the South American market. Its reps explained that this Mexican company was pushing its non-denims (including animal prints) for the US market along with its twills and rayon blends.
As usual, there is a lot happening at Global Denim from Mexico. According to creative director Annat Finkler, it is enhancing its collection and making it bigger. New additions include fire retardant denim that is great for workers, Cleandigo, a salt-free dye and colored fabrics with a candy-colored palette that is meant to be genderless. Stretch continues to be important there, too. “Now I want what I’ve been doing for years but now with 1% stretch,” she says traditional brands now say. The company has also recently opened a 14,000-sq.-meter area to recycle scraps and fibers from the factory floor. It’s also offering some velvet-like denims for spring and a lot of gray tones.
This 60-year-old company from Pakistan is another one that is stressing sustainability. Its hangtags can be scanned to trace the fabric’s production. It recycles water, uses ozone finishing and eco washes, among other initiatives.
The world’s most famous zipper manufacturer pushed its acroplating finishing technology that has far less of an environmental impact than traditional electroplating. And other new snap and button finishes no longer use toxic chemicals.