Arvind rewrites its sustainability with ZERO

Sustainability affects all points of the supply chain and Arvind is the latest denim leader to pursue more environmentally responsible alternatives to cotton, the leading material used to make jeans.

The global fabric supplier is introducing “ZERO”, a collection of denim produced with no cotton fibers. Each pair of ZERO denim is woven with sustainable fibers, including TENCEL™ Lyocell, kapok, wool and recycled polyester. According to Arvind, cotton production consumes roughly 20,000 liters of water per kilogram and can have an adverse impact on the Earth.

By providing consumers with the option to buy more eco-conscious denim, Arvind is taking its sustainability a step further and doing its part to fuel the circular economy.

Denim’s environmental makeover is not based on a sole product or initiative, though. Arvind urges denim makers to take a more corporate social responsibility approach to their actions in order to address roadblocks and make necessary improvements from sourcing to finished product.

Carved in Blue caught up with Stefano Aldighieri, Creative Director, from Arvind to discuss the company’s environmental roots, its new “ZERO” fabric marketing and why addressing denim sustainability starts with material sourcing.

Carved in Blue: What are the key sustainability initiatives of your company?

Stefano: I think talking about ‘sustainable’ initiatives or single products is no longer relevant nowadays; we really must think differently and embrace a Corporate Social Responsibility approach that covers all the areas that we affect, positively and negatively, in business. Arvind has been conscious about this since its beginnings back in the 1930s, and that is why there are too many initiatives to list! Our CSR report is available online for all to read.

Carved in Blue: What do you call your “no cotton” fabric/ marketing?

Stefano: The concept is called ZERO, 0% Cotton, 100% Denim.

Carved in Blue: Why did you develop a denim fabric with no cotton?

Stefano: It is becoming obvious that, as much as we love cotton, we must reduce our dependence from it; growing agricultural demands for food and a need to reassess the use of water in farming makes it a necessity to seek alternatives.

Carved in Blue: Why did you use TENCEL™ Lyocell? What other fibers are you using to achieve?

Stefano: The key objective when replacing cotton with other fibers is to REDUCE the environmental footprint of the fiber, not to increase it (the easy solution would be to go all synthetic, but we know that it would not be an improvement); we selected for our initial launch TENCEL™ Lyocell, for both its properties and its eco-friendliness, but also wool, kapok, bamboo, biodegradable and recyclable polyester…I think we are just at the beginning.  This is a line that will expand over time. My ultimate goal is to use low impact fibers and create fabrics that can be easily recycled.

Carved in Blue: What has brands’ reaction to the new concept been?

Stefano: I think the overall response was very positive; like I said, this is still a concept and the initial range must and will be further expanded. As long as the fabrics look, feel and react like denim, I do not expect much push back.

Read more about TENCEL™ Denim in our Carved in Blue blog!