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The first Jean écolo au vin

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ITV Denim known for its commitment to innovation has partnered with INVISTA and ACOYAA to produce a new range of denim fabrics made from wine and its derivatives! This is fitting because in its latest report "The toxic underwear of fashion"Greenpeace denounces the unattractive ingredients found in the clothes of some twenty famous ready-to-wear brands.

This innovation was presented at the 11th edition of the "Denim by PV" trade fair on 28 and 29 November in Paris at the Halle Freyssinet. 

The textile industry, often described as polluting, is using unexpected but "green" technologies to make tomorrow's jeans. Too much water, too much electricity, too many toxic products: jeans pollute too much, according to ecologists who are calling for more recycling. Dozens of companies, especially high-end companies, have taken up the subject for ethical and economic reasons. The techniques have evolved with the advent of lasers for washing or imprinting jeans, replacing pumice or sand, which are water-intensive and harmful to the health of textile workers.

jeanauvinHere, the new process replaces the traditional synthetic indigo dyeing and offers a wide range of colours, from blue to black, purple and brown - with a colour stability often superior to classic denim - for the dyeing of yarns and fabrics used in particular for the manufacture of jeans. ITV Denim has obtained an exclusive worldwide licence for this patent from the Korean brand ECOYAA, registered under the name Wine-TEX.

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The US Cone Denim company, which supplies Levi's, is playing the recycling card. Here, the labels read "soda pop green" or "beer bottle brown" because some of the thread comes from recycling beer and soda bottles. But the production represents only 10% of the collections. The Spanish Tavex has made indigo more water-efficient, whereas this dye, chemical or natural, requires several baths to set. With its chemical fixing technique, "we save 300,000 litres of water per day, or 12 litres per pair of jeans," says the marketing manager for Europe. David Bardin shows a bottle full of dark water - the traditional bath - and another almost clear one from "Acquasave".

Technical advances that must also be fashionable

Denim consumption is "a huge business", valued at around 100 billion dollars, including 80% just for jeans, says the president of the jeans fair, Philippe Pasquet. Even if many display "eco-friendly" slogans, we should not yet expect "a great evening of ecology". If only because cotton, a major consumer of water and pesticides, is still dominant in the manufacture of fabric. Other materials have already been integrated into the fabric, such as Tencell, made from eucalyptus pulp, which provides a stretch effect sought after by women. For Mr. Pasquet, "progress on sustainable development will be made if it is not made at the expense of fashion". In other words, if the products are desirable.

Home made or the art of personalization

The idea of recovery or new life is also gaining ground. For consultant and denim specialist Philippe Friedmann, the trend is precisely "home made, customisation, made-to-measure in this eternal quest for the Holy Grail to have the perfect denim". At the Denim by Première Vision trade fair, the brands - which were presenting the spring-summer 2014 - showed products that are increasingly personalised and customisable. Raw denim is becoming a creative medium that blends vintage and modernity, future and past, while remaining in the present.

(Source: Article Corinne Jeammet (with AFP) Culture Box - 4 Dec 2012)

Read the Greenpeace report "Toxic Underwear in Fashion". 

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