Denim Premiere Vision made its London debut this week. Here’s what we learnt.
The international denim market descended upon Shoreditch this week as the two-day denim trade show was held outside Paris for the first time in 11 years. The overarching sustainability narrative of the exhibition was the Circular Economy, which was showcased by exhibitors and talks, approached through products, services and initiatives.
Key sustainability trends that were evident included ‘responsible denim’, circularity, Cradle to Cradle certification, recycled denim, saving and treating water, low impact trims, laser finishing and customisation.
Here are our top five takeaways from the event
- Increased engagement in sustainability
A day of Smart Creation talks reflected an increase in engagement around sustainability topics, from fibres to components, finishing methods, and circular design systems. The Smart Creation zone also highlighted a range of ideas for lower impact denim and trims, as well as designer case studies addressing fibre choice, design concept, and end of life challenges – again with a focus on the Circular Economy, as well as organic materials and low water solutions.
- Water is a key focus
As well as circularity, water was a major focus – from reducing the amount used in fibre cultivation and fabric finishing, to reported water savings made through using recycled fibres. There were several statistics on show about water, though it was not clear how these figures had been reached – it’s always recommended that evidence is requested to back up any claims.
- Post consumer recycled cotton denim gains traction
Post consumer recycled cotton denim (PCRD) was another key focus, continuing to gain traction following the last Denim Premiere Vision in Paris. To achieve scalability of this material option however, it is essential that sorting and recycling systems and infrastructure are further invested in and developed. This material offers the potential for localised supply chains from collecting to sorting and processing. An ongoing challenge is that currently recycled cotton must be blended with virgin cotton or other fibres for strength and durability, so there are not yet 100% PCRD materials available on the market.
- Lower impact trims showcased
Trims including zips, buttons, rivets, labels and patches were displayed in a number of lower impact options including:
- Recycled materials
- Organic materials
- Low chemical finishes
- Chrome and heavy metal free finishes
- Water saving solutions
- Many companies still not addressing sustainability
Sustainability messaging was displayed at several exhibitor stands, focusing on the topics of circularity, recycling, and water, although this messaging was not always backed up with evidence. However, there were still a majority of companies not visibly addressing sustainability, with several trends on show that do not fit with sustainability best practice principles, so there are still many improvements to be made in this sector.
Want to know more about denim? Read our guide to ethical denim brands.