The Denim Industry: Fluent in Accountability, Responsibility, and Sustainability

Being able to create a sustainable textile supply chain successfully has become the holy grail for the denim industry. Driven by the fact that the denim supply chain uses over 20,000 liters of water to produce one pair of jeans, many more denim businesses are trying to solve the problems by integrating transparency to create a cleaner and safer supply chain. On a path of redemption, the denim industry recently introduced ISKO’s sustainability report. Centered on EPD’s (Environmental Product Declarations), the report looks at how the denim industry, as a whole, can achieve bluesign approved accreditation by the end of 2020.

The Report

With a focus on accountability, responsibility, and sustainability, ISKO’s Sustainability Impact report vocalizes not only consumers’ demands of transparency, but it also refers to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The report explores every aspect of the denim supply chain, making it the perfect tool for brands and designers to implement responsible innovation into their overall business supply chain.

With the ability to serve as a tool for denim businesses, the report states that it provides “quantifiable impact evaluations, from water use to carbon footprint and air pollution from the cotton fields to the customer.” On their efforts, Ebru Ozkucuk Guler, senior sustainability and CSR executive at ISKO, said in a press release: “As the leader of this industry, we feel it is our responsibility to be and act as a force for good. We have always prioritised transparency and accountability, highly valuing every improvement that can be achieved by sharing values and goals through partnerships. This one makes us particularly proud, as it raises the bar of our efforts and challenges us to maintain our improvement efforts.” 

Targeting labor rights, the use of raw materials, and the oversight of supply chain processes, ISKO’s Sustainability Impact report provides a clear and easy way to understand the vision of the negative influence that choices made by brands have when designing. The report demonstrates ISKO’s commitment to creating and designing denim apparel that pays attention to people and the environment. On what responsible innovation means to them, Guler wrapped it up in one sentence: “Never settle, [but] always strive for improvement.” 

“ISKO, as the soul of jeans, has a vision for denim that is creative in design and innovative in the use of technologies. These distinct qualities, in combination with a determined commitment to a sustainable supply chain, makes ISKO a true leader in the textile industry. We look forward to the next impactful steps we will take together,” added Jill Dumain, CEO, bluesign technologies in a press release.

Committing To A Positive Connection with the Planet 

There is no denying that the denim apparel industry is making a statement. It is a conversation that is bringing change globally. Most recently, there was the DENIM THINK TANK organized by Carved In Blue. The webinar included game-changers like Andrew Olah, Founder, Kingpins Show, Guglielmo Olearo, International Director and Executive Board Member, Denim Première Vision, Mostafiz Uddin, Owner & Managing Director, Denim Expo, Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textile and Textile Technologies and Sebastian Klinder, Managing Director, MUNICH FABRIC START / BlueZone. 

No longer all talk, some brands are doing, like Nudie, one of the first denim brands to focus on sustainability. Not only are they creating collections responsibly, but they are also supporting improvement across the board. Founded in Gothenburg in 2001, Nudie has invested in research and innovation that allows the Swedish denim company to take a prominent role in the denim industry’s sustainable journey. Collaboration has also been key to change. We have seen partnerships sprouting all over the globe, like the one between Denim-E x Jeanologia. They came together to improve denim businesses with innovations like laser machines and washing machines with water sprinkler technology. In the end, there is no denying that it is a journey, one that has been devised to ensure that sustainability can be embedded into the core of every denim business philosophy.

Learn how the Suuchi GRID can help build a sustainable supply chain

Written by Muchaneta Kapfunde

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