26/09/18 Wrangler’s Most Sustainable Jeans Yet

Want to hear something cool? Starting in 2019, Wrangler will offer a line of jeans created with 99 percent less wastewater than traditional denim manufacturing. That’s something to talk about.

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Last year, Wrangler, Lee and the Walmart Foundation invested in early-stage funding of foam-dyeing technology produced by the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech University. And, just two years later, Wrangler is set to launch its first line produced with the technology. Proving it shouldn’t take years and year to translate research work into industry practices.

 

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Tejidos Royo, a Spanish fabric mill, will produce the collection for Wrangler as it tests out the market reaction to sustainable denim. The mill assisted in the development of the IndigoZERO technology that made foam-dyeing possible and unveiled the technique in April of this year in Amsterdam. Proof of what can be achieved with industry-wide support and collaboration. The actual production of the foam-dyed denim for Wrangler will begin this October and the first batch is expected to be released by the end of the year.

“We’re excited Wrangler is dedicating an entire line of jeans to this innovation,” Tejidos Royo sales director, Jose Royo, said about the technology. “Our Dry Indigo process nearly erases the environmental impact of denim dyeing and represents the next generation of denim production.”

Let’s put this into context: standard rope dyeing processes consume 400 gallons of water per every 100 yards of fabric, but with foam-dyeing that number drops to just 3.5 gallons. They’re also a massive commercial benefit, too. Less water means smaller machines and lower production costs, which can help producers achieve a higher level of flexibility and efficiency.

 

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“While we have been able to reduce 3 billion litres of water in product finishing during the past 10 years, we know that more needs to be done across the entire supply chain,” Wrangler president Tom Waldron said in a statement. “Foam technology reduces water consumption and pollution further upstream, helping our fabric suppliers to dramatically minimise the impacts of making denim fabric blue.”

“We invested in the development of this innovation because we believe it can drastically change the denim industry for the better,” Waldron said. “We’re grateful to have an industry-leading partner in Royo, with whom we are taking this revolutionary step towards more sustainable denim.”

Wrangler recently has been involved in efforts to make cotton sourcing more sustainable and has made a commitment to reduce its water consumption by 5 billion litres by 2020. Surely, their foam-dyeing release will confirm they intend to stick to their pledge.