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GREENSBORO – US denim brand Wrangler has signed an agreement for its denim fabric to be produced later this year with a new foam-dyeing process that claims to eliminate 99 per cent of the water typically used in the indigo-dyeing. Wrangler is the first brand to embrace the foam dyeing process which claims to radically slash water and energy use compared to traditional indigo dyeing. The process, owned by Indigo Mill Designs, has attracted early stage investment from VF Corp brands Wrangler and Lee, as well as the Walmart Foundation.

Tejidos Royo, a Spanish fabric mill, will be the first to integrate the foam-dye process, which it calls Dry Indigo. Royo is scheduled to receive the foam-dye equipment in October and expects to begin supplying Wrangler with denim before the end of the year.

“While we have been able to reduce three 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,” said Wrangler president, Tom Waldron. “Foam technology reduces water consumption and pollution further upstream, helping our fabric suppliers to dramatically minimize the impacts of making denim fabric blue.”

Wrangler and the Walmart Foundation provided Texas Tech University with early-stage funding for development of the foam-dying process. The denim brand helped introduce fabric mills to the latest technology and now will incorporate the first foam-dyed denim into a line of jeans launching in 2019.

“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.”

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