Indigo dyeing denim fabric creates beautiful results, yet is a water- and energy-intensive practice.
Most denim producers dye their fabric with synthetic indigo on huge production lines that use a lot of water and energy. Indigo doesn’t adhere readily to denim, which makes the dyeing, rinsing and garment-washing process resource-intensive. We once used indigo to color our denim, but now we employ a coloring process called Advanced Denim that uses sulfur dyes that bond more easily to denim fabric.
Where We Are
Using Advanced Denim technology results in much shorter production lines that consume less water and less energy and emit less CO2 than conventional synthetic indigo denim dyeing.* Advanced Denim uses 84% less water, 30% less total energy, 50% less electricity and produces 25% less CO₂ emissions and 33% less steam .
*Resource savings are derived by comparing our new denim-dyeing process with that of conventional synthetic indigo denim.
Incorporating Advanced Denim dye technology into our manufacturing process has resulted in meaningful environmental impact reductions. We are continuously working to adopt dye technologies that have a lower impact on the environment for all of our materials, and we hope that these technologies will be adopted by the broader apparel industry.
Advanced Denim technology has been used by several small brands in Europe, but it has not yet been widely adopted, likely due to the added cost and low customer demand. By using this technology in our denim, we hope to inspire other brands to consider how it could fit into their lines. Fortunately, there are dozens of denim mills in a variety of regions that have the capability of running Advanced Denim technology, so the prospect of increased adoption is promising.