06 Basic Guidelines for Denim Jeans Manufacturing

06 Basic Guidelines for Denim Jeans Manufacturing

The history of denim jeans started in 19th century at America. The Levi Strauss and Jacob Devis were the main key persons and founder of denim jeans pant. The Levi Strauss came from Germany to US in 1853 where he joined his brother’s dry goods business. He was dealing in different items in which cotton fabric was also included. Whereas, the Jacob W. Davis (a tailor of different items like tents, horse blankets, and wagon covers) was one of his customer of cotton fabric. One day, Jacob Devis customer ordered him a stardy pant that could bear hard work. So, he bought denim-jeans fabric from Levi Strauss and made stardy pant with copper-rivets at different parts of the pant.

After making the first successful development in jeans, the Jacob decided to do continue this line with some more advancement. So, he contacted the Levi Strauss and asked him to join him for this project. The Levi Strauss agreed to support him for this development and then they started work on denim jeans garments. So, this is how the first jeans pant was invented in 1873 with the joint efforts of Jacob Devis and Levi Strauss. And after that their jeans factory introduced and changed the main concept of jeans pant. And it’s the tireless efforts of both experts which introduced the denim jeans from workwear to fashion wear.

History of Denim Jeans Fabric:

As we all know that the jeans are made from denim. The word denim is derived from sturdy fabric called “Serge de Nîmes” in French language. The weavers of Nîmes in Italy were trying to reproduce the cotton corduroy fabric but due to some error they developed a sturdy twill fabric known as denim. And this twill fabric’s weft passes through two or three warp threads. Initially, the warp thread was indigo blue dyed whereas the weft threads remained in white color. So, the facing part of the fabric was blue whereas the reverse side of the denim fabric was in white color.

Although with the passage of time, there are too much enhancements in the characteristics and look of the denim fabric. But, the regular denim jeans fabric still has the same look (reverse side white and front side blue indigo). The blue indigo is a dye which was initially made from trees. But with the passage of time, it is now making with synthetic chemicals with some advance look and features. There are mainly four types of denim fabrics which are usually extensively use in denim jeans fashion industry. The main denim jeans fabrics are cotton/stretch, poly cotton stretch, 100% cotton and poly cotton. Although there are some other types too in denim yet they are not as hot selling items as above said qualities.

Denim Jeans Garment Making Process:

After having a basic information about denim jeans history, making and types of denim. Let’s have a look on below step by step detail of denim jeans pant making process. And for this we will start the same from development process from fabric development to garment finishing step:

Spinning & Weaving:

The cotton denim jeans fabric is developed by cotton thread which is made from cotton crop. The field workers picked the crop from fields and send it to spinning mills for yarn development. The spinning mills follow the sequence of processes that convert raw cotton fibres into yarn. And by following these numbers of spinning processes, they get clean, strong, uniform yarns required for weaving process. After going through rope dyeing and sizing process, the yarn sized beams are ready for weaving. This yarn is used both in warp and weft thread of the denim to develop a stable and long lasting fabric. After weaving process, the fabric is moved to finishing department for final finish/look.

Cutting:

At cutting, first of all, the required garment (top/bottom) patterns are made before cutting start. And these patterns are drawn on cutting layers on denim fabric. Cutting layers length and thickness (05/200 layers per cutting table) are decided according to the requirement of order. Once the layers are done, the plotter machine drawn the paper pattern which is laid on the denim layers for cutting. The sharp cutters are used to cut these layers according to the drawings.

Stitching:

The cut parts of denim fabrics layers are then move to stitching department for stitching purposes. In some garments, the embroidery or printing is required. So, these parts normally move to embroidery or printing department before stitching process. The stitching of normal pant is done by polyester/cotton thread (top thread: 30-40 count, inner thread: 50-100 count). And normally the stitching process is done in chain production system (garment stitching operations divided into number of operators). Once, the stitching is done then raw top/bottom moved to washing process.

Washing:

The washing process is divided into two steps, the first one is dry process and the other one is wet process. In dry process, all the before wash effects like distressing, sand blasting, tie & dye, pintuck effects etc. are done before the washing process. After completing the dry process the garment steps into enzyme/stone wash process. During this process, the shade and grain effects are matching through different enzymes and bleaching chemicals. The white used effect at front and back is normally made with KMNO4 (Potassium permanganate) chemical. If the wrinkles are required on garment then the garment wrinkles are cure into oven after washing process.

Finishing:

After washing, the garments are landed on finishing department. Here, all pre-finishing (cropping, buttoning, mending etc.) and finishing (pressing, quality, tagging & packing etc) processes are done. Once quality is done then garments are packed into cartons according to the required client’s ratio for final dispatch.

Some Ending But Important Points:  

The above fabric and garments making process is a conventional process. Although there are so many enhancements are already made in the above process but the basic procedure is still same. If someone wants to closely understand the denim jeans making process then he/she must go through the above steps first. After having a complete know how about the conventional method. Then he/she should review the other modern steps which are mostly related to environment sustainability in garment manufacturing process.

As it’s really necessary to know these sustainable technologies enhancement too. Because the old or conventional manufacturing process is not eco-friendly. Although the manufacturing steps remain same in new method yet the techniques which we adopt in these steps will be changed. For example, the crop cultivation method and spinning method has improved now. As in old cultivation method, we were consuming too much water and chemicals in our fields. Whereas now, the consumptions of water and chemicals are now too much controlled in both cultivation and spinning process.

Same is the case with garments manufacturing. After knowing the above steps, you should know about the lean manufacturing process. As it considers as best manufacturing approach which guides you how to enhance manufacturing with zero waste. The traditional or old washing process was the more water and hazardous chemical consuming process. So, now there are some enhancements in washing process too which  considers as eco-friendly. There are so many technologies which are working perfectly and saving too much water and chemicals. And more importantly, it is saving our land from the toxic chemicals of washing and finishing process of garments.

The Importance of Clothes Recycling Towards Green World

Clothes Recycling

The clothes recycling practices is no doubt a healthy and positive activity towards eco-friendly goal. The apparel and textile industry is no doubt one the biggest polluting industry after oil and gas industry. From spinning to final product finishing, each and every step is consuming too much water and synthetic harmonized chemicals. And these chemicals are not only contaminated our water but also affecting our natural environment as well. It is estimated that 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for the purpose of dyeing of denim jeans. Initially, this indigo dye was made from plants but now it is synthetically made. By the passage of time, this problem is getting sever and more intensive. So, today beside water and chemical issue, we are also facing a problem of wasted clothes. Which is a gift to our environment from the followers of fast fashion trends?

As per the research, approximately 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in US every year. And the study proved that a single American owns “07” pairs of blue jeans. Whereas, other research study revealed that an Americans spend approximately $2000 on apparels or wearing products every year. But the Manhattan people buying was double from other Americans which is $400 per person per month. As far as UK people are concern, they spend nearly $70 billion per year on clothing and footwear. The UK, Italy, Germany and Europe spend around $782 per year on clothing. On the other hand, China is big exporter of textile and garments with a world-wide market share of 54%. It produces and exports 60 million cotton garments and 90 million yards cotton fabric all over the world. And this figure is on upward trend on every passing year.

Clothes Recycling Concept:

Keeping in view the above situation, where the water, chemicals and dyes consumption are already uncontrollable. And now the sheer burden of wasted-clothes is also a big challenge for the environment. The only solution for all these uncontrollable issues is clothes recycling. Through clothes recycling, we can save water, avoid pollutions of chemicals and wasted clothes as well. Although clothes recycling concept is not new for us yet even today we are not practicing it on a mass level. Accordingly to U.S. EPA 2016 report, around 16.2m tons of textile waste was generated in 2014 and out of which 2.62m tons were recycled. And most of the portion (10.46m tons) of waste was sent to landfill. As per recent research study, the single US person generates 82 pounds of textile waste per year. And out of this 82 pounds waste, only 15% is donated/recycled whereas 85% is sent to landfill.

Similarly, we heard about a lot about recycled fibre fabric. But the fact is that only 0.1% of recycled fiber took back into program and recycled into new fibre. If we analyze the annual environmental affect of houshold’s wasted clothes. Then it would be equal to 1000 water bath tubs and carbon emissions from driving of a car for 6000 miles. In UK, a research study was commissioned by Sainsbury and according to that around 235m items ended up on landfill in last spring. As people were planning to refill their wardrobes for summer’s clothes collections. Although in UK, the percentage of clothing throwing to landfill is 14% less than the previous year. As it is 3,00,000 tons instead of 3,50,000 tons. Even then there are lots of things which we need to do to enhance the practices for recycling in an ordinary consumer.

Clothes Recycling Efforts:   

As per the above study results, the major portion of the wasted clothes went to landfill. And every cloth has different fabric composition and construction. So, its decomposition time is different due to its inner ingredients. So, dumping a different composition/construction of garments isn’t a good idea. Because, there are some synthetic materials which take more than 400 years for decomposing.  So, as we discussed earlier, the best and ideal way is clothes recycling. And we can promote this approach by following way:

  • First of all check your local council or charity organization which accepts textile or clothes for recycling. If you find the same then it’s a good source to give away your useless clothes to them. Because these are the right people who can reuse these rejected clothes in a better way.
  • Always try to find out your nearest clothes bank in supermarkets, car parking. As these are nearest and convenient way through which, you can drop your useless garments for clothes recycling or reuse.
  • There are so many places where you can even sale your old clothes and get cash. I think this option is a best from other above alternatives. As you can not only do something for your planet along with that you can also earn something for your new clothes too : ). You can even sell the useless clothes through online retailers like Ebay, Kijiji etc.
  • There are number of charities or community group of people who earn money through recycling goods selling. And this money they invest into another community welfare projects. So, the recycling business is also taking a healthy contribution into the welfare of mankind.

Textile & Clothes Recycling Potential:

In some products, if a clothes recycling is not possible then that product can be recycled into fabric, wiping cloths, auto insulation, carpet pads, etc. In short, the awareness of the clothes recycling is increasing due to eco-friendly approach and landfill pressure. So, we have to take this thing very seriously that how we could educate our surroundings about clothes recycling benefits. There are only 500 – 550 recycling companies in US which are owned and operated by small family businesses. Although, the United States textile recycling industry is also recycling fewer quantity (approximate 2.5 billion pounds) of textile waste. But this quantity is just a drop in an ocean. And the similar insufficient situation we are also experiencing in UK market as well. As the research study says that almost 100% textiles and clothes recycling are possible.

Closing Thoughts:

So, in order to have a sustainable lifestyle, everyone from us should take part in recycling practices process. In our other environmental issues due to apparel fashion and textile, we blamed manufacturers, importers and sellers. Whereas, this problem has direct relation with consumer and mostly the consumers are the main culprits for this massive issue. Because, if they realize their responsibilities then the half of the issues can control in an effective way. For the rest issue, we need to emphasize on the clothes recycling industries both in Government and private level.

As per the above analysis, there is an immense need of such industry in almost all countries. As the supply of useless clothes is too much, whereas the clothes recycling units are just like a drop in an ocean.  This is why most of the quantity of this waste has to send for landfill. As a dumpling clothes is not an intelligent solution, on the other hand it should be consider as environmental crime. Because we are burying poison in shape of synthetic fabric clothing. The percentage of clothes recycling should be enhanced so that we could fulfill our dream of green world.                     

 

How Jeans Industry can be Sustainable through Technology

How Jeans Industry can be Sustainable through Technology

The denim jeans industry is considered as one the most polluting industry of the world especially in terms of water and chemical. The production and washing of one pair denim jeans consumes over 900 gallons of water. It is estimated that almost five billion pairs of jeans are currently produced in every year. And for the production of this, almost 420 million gallons of water is consumed. Moreover, 900,000 tons of chemicals are used in different washing and finishing processes. The water which is used in the manufacturing processes, get contaminated and this polluted water sent back to our rivers, lakes and oceans. As per the World Bank estimation, almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the textile and Jeans Industry. In China, the textile industry pumps-out 2.5 billion tons of polluted water every year.

Jeans Industry Efforts Towards Sustainability:

The Global women’s wear industry reached worth nearly $621 billion. Whereas, the global men’s wear industry reached worth nearly $400 billion and children’s wear industry is worth $186 billion. This abnormal increase is also ruining our nature and its resources during dyeing and production.  And due to fast fashion trend, soon it turned as sheer burden on environment in the shape of waste clothes. Keeping in the view the whole scenario, the jeans industry people started working on the substantial changes in production processes. So that they could satisfy their consumer’s fashion lust without damaging the nature. Thanks to the technology people who strived a lot to give us multiple sustainable manufacturing options to the jeans industry.

Jeanolgia Technology:

Currently, there are so many organizations which researched a lot on the conventional way of jeans industry production process. Till-to-date, fortunately, we have multiple options through which we can meet the current fashion trends without damaging our natural resources. Jeanolgia is also one of those who contributed a lot to make this world more sustainable through eco-friendly production processes. For jeans industry, they focused on two factors which we already discussed above i.e. water and chemical consumption. As per the company, their goal is to reduce the pollution upto 50% which is caused by jeans industry. And for this, they have introduced different technologies like G2 ozone and  eFlow nanobubbles technology. By the help of which you can reduce an average 20 litres of water, 05 grams chemical and 01 kw/h energy.

Not only this, their awesome technology named “One Glass One Garment” is a tremendous achievement towards environment sustainalbity. Yes, it’s possible now that you can develop garment by using only one glass of water. No doubt, it’s milestone in a garment production process as you can safe million gallons of water through this technology. This is why, currently 20% of the global jeans industry is using Jeanolgia technology. All the big and famous brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s, Diesel, Polo Jeans, Replay, Pepe Jeans, Hilfiger Denim, CK, Jack & Jones, Lee, Edwin Japan and other big retailers like GAP, H & M, Uniqlo and M & S are currently using their technology extensively. Not only this, if we look at the world then their technology is using in 05 continents and specifically in 60 countries. The main countries include United States, Pakistan, Japan, Russia, Bangladesh, Turkey, India, and Vietnam.

Alliance for Responsible Denim:

Alliance for Responsible Denim is an initiative which was started a year ago. And it was launched by the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, House of Denim, Circle Economy and Made-By. The famous International brands G-Star, Mud Jeans, Nudie Jeans with join hands some small but famous denim labels like Kings of Indigo, Kuyichi, Cool Cat, Just Brands and Imps & Elfs are the first brands to join this initiative. Along with that, the leading denim mills named Bossa, Kilim Denim, Orta Anadolu, Tavex and Tejidos Royo as well as 02 yarn mills were also in first movers list.

The main aim of this collaboration was to make jeans industry smarter, cleaner along with sustainable production processes. As per the alliance members, they are looking for the ways that how they can improve the denim finish in a more sustainable way. Secondly, they are collaborating with the mills to develop such recycled fabric which would come-up with the demands of end-users. And last-but-not-least, they are also encouraging brands to use these recycled fabrics for their upcoming collections. Uptill now, this collaboration developed 40 different fabrics with different percentage of recycled fabric varying from 10% -25%. Now they are trying to stimulate brands to use these fabrics into their collection so that they can mutually contribute towards green environment.

Some Closing Lines:

There are so many other techniques and group of people who are striving to save the nature and natural resources. Some are offering products or methods so that processes or final products can be enhanced towards sustainability. And other are supporting from every aspect to those people who are working for better environment. Sustainability is a name of continues efforts and can’t be stopped at any stage. Every day and every moment we need something new or more refine so that we could influence less to green natural environment from man-made chemicals and other products.

05 Ethical and Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Guideline

05 Ethical and Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Guideline

Most of the denim jeans brands are now emphasizing on eco-friendly product attributes in their offered range. As we all know this thing that even an ordinary consumer who don’t have any know how about the textile industry. Even he is demanding for ethical and sustainable product. The reason behind this awareness is a voice of “whistle blower” which finally reached to our ears. And this warning at last, awaked both consumers as well as the manufacturing concerns. Now the consumer of the current era is not only conscious about the ethics and sustainability matters. But they are also really curious about the buying decision of any cloth. As they also know that their every new purchase can put a burden on planet in shape of clothes waste. It doesn’t matter whether that particular buying is ethical or non ethical.

Keeping in view the current scenario, where the information level of everybody is up to the mark. And every individual is striving to take our planet towards its original green shape. Even today, the textile industry is still the 3rd most polluting industry of the world. Not only this, it’s the second largest consumer of water (fabric dyeing and garment washing process). And as per research, a normal single pair of jeans consumes 10,000 litres water in its different garment making process. Moreover, the chemicals which normally use for dying and washing process are also polluting our environment and land water. Keeping aside the environment issues, this labor-intensive industry is also facing several health hazards and other human rights issues in many places. And these include force labor, child labor, paying less than minimum wages slack, no medical or social security benefits.

Eco Friendly Jeans Brands Analysis:

Although we appreciate the jeans brands productive efforts towards green environment.  And their other legendry steps towards labor-rights which ensure this thing that all labors are treated as per standardize law. But here, we need to specify this thing too that at what level they should drag themselves towards sustainability. In other words, we can say that how much ethical is actually ethical for our society and environment. So, while analyzing a sustainable brand, we would consider all the factors which we are highlighting above. And in case of missing or less participation on any category by the brand, wouldn’t be consider as eco-friendly brand.

Below we choose some best practicing ethical and eco-friendly jeans brands. And after reviewing their environmental friendly efforts, we could have an idea that no issue is big. If you have a positive attitude and dedication then you can easily overcome the big issues with no trouble. The below famous brand’s sustainable practices are contributing a lot for our environment as well as for our society. It is also a benchmark or guideline for other medium or small size brands whose production lines are still unethical.

Reformation:

A Los Angles based brand, created in 2009 with an aim to refine the denim industry through eco friendly and sustainable practices. And for this, they made revolutionary changes in their sourcing and manufacturing processes. In order to firmly follow their strict standards and paractices, most of their production is running in their own Los Angles factory. Not only this, the small bulk part which is producing abroad is also gone through all their strict compliance parameters.

More than 50% of their garment range is made in Tencel, Viscose and recycled material. Along with that the 15% of fabric used in their garments are vintage or from dead stock. The energy resources are met from wind energy in their factory. And all the hourly workers are paid more than minimum wages. So, we can say that they are not only saving the natural resources by choosing ethical supplies. Along with that they are also playing a dynamic role in recycling the useless clothes into new one.

Everlane:

It was found in year 2010 as an online retailer. Since its inception, the company gained a huge number of subscribers (around 60,000) in its initial months. After a successful online start, they jumped into conventional business and started their first NY based pop-up shop in 2012. And in September 2017, they have launched their first sustainable denim collections. The main distinguish thing of their products from other brands is offering sustainable product in an affordable and transparent cost. Their radical transparency reveals the true cost (material, labor & transportation) of every product.  Along with its cost transparency, their material and vendor’s transparency practices are also appreciable. As their audit compliance standards are really strict regarding wages and reasonable working and residential environments.

This brand clears this perception that sustainable or ethical products are not cost effective. As they make this thing possible to offer its sustainable products almost every segment of the market.

Source Jeans:

Source Jeans is no doubt comes under the best ethical men’s jeans brands. As the company claims, their jeans pant uses less natural resources and other chemicals as compare to other jeans brands. It consumes 60% less water, 50% less chemical and 40% less energy in comparison to other jeans brands. You wouldn’t find any brand label on their jeans but find two white stitches line on the back pockets. And in order to save extra material, the care instructions are also printed on pocket bags. Their partners are closely working with “Greenpeace” to develop less resource intensive product. That’s why they dyed denim with natural and biodegradable polymer which replaces harmful chemicals. They have already skipped sizing and mercerizing process in their denim weaving process. It means that they are saving plenty amount of water, energy as well as the chemicals.

Kuyichi:

The said ethical brand was founded in 2000 when the founders “NGO Solidaridad” were exploring cotton industry in Peru. They were shocked to see the pollution and labor poverty level of this industry. So, they have decided to launch their own sustainable and ethical brand which has less carbon footprint on planet. At that time cotton products are really hot so they decided to start their organic cotton garment line. As this line gives toxic free products with better earning source to labor and farmers.

Other than organic production, their products are also made of with recycled denim and plastic bottles. Along with that their “Underwater project” was also productive step towards green foot. As this was related to create awareness about the plastic usage in our daily life. And how it impacts our whole environment, due to its high dissolution (400years to 1000years).

AG Jeans:

Founded in year 2000 by Yul Ku, with an aim to offer premium denim range to its clients. Although they offered many successful denim ranges till year 2008. Yet in 2008, Samuel Ku (Son of Yul Ku) joined the company as creative director. It added one element into their brand which is “care”, care for the environment. They have integrated units where their state of the art styles are cutting, sewing, washing and finishing. Since everything is under their full control so that they can control the production processes in a more sustainable way. That’s why; they have already reduced their 50% water consumption in washing process and used sustainable fibers in denim fabric.