Absolute Denim takes lead on sustainable production

brett mathews | 6th December 2018

REINACH – The global denim industry continues to act as a lightning rod for sustainability in apparel production. In a welcome development, it has just been announced that Thailand-based Absolute Denim will be the first denim mill in the world to switch 100 per cent of its production to aniline-free indigo dyeing developed by Swiss textile chemicals specialist, Archroma.

Absolute Denim is a Thailand-based denim manufacturer producing high quality denim with a focus on eco-friendlier materials and processes. The company produces up to two million metres of denim per month for customers that include some of the biggest brands and retailers in the world.

Archroma’s Denisol Pure Indigo 30 liquid dye was first launched in May 2018 as a non-toxic way to produce the traditional, iconic indigo blue that consumers associate with denim and jeans.

During production, some of the aniline stays locked into the indigo pigment and is difficult to wash off the fabric. The remainder of the aniline impurity, approximately 300 metric tons annually, is discharged during dyeing. This can be an issue as aniline is toxic to aquatic life. In addition, exposure levels to factory workers can be high.

The new Denisol Pure Indigo 30 liq was therefore developed as an aniline-free indigo solution for designers, manufacturers and brand owners.

James Carnahan, head of sustainability at Archroma, said: “At Archroma we continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable – but we cannot do it alone. Without forward-thinking manufacturers such as Absolute Denim to consciously adopt these eco-advanced innovations in their daily production, like our aniline-free Denisol Pure Indigo, we will not be able to move this industry forward on our resource-constrained world we live in. As consumers are increasingly aware of, and concerned about, climate change and ecological threats, this is not only the right thing to do – it is also good for business.”

“Deep down inside most of us want the world to be a better place for our loved ones and for future generations,” added Vichai Phromvanich, board member, Absolute Denim, “starting with how we live, what we eat, what we wear, still trying to be cool, fashionable, still trying to be environmentally conscious. Archroma’s aniline free indigo project is therefore something we as a new generation manufacturer have supported from the beginning, by opening our doors for tests in the project phase, and now by sending out our articles to many of our customers.”