North Carolina-based denim brand Wrangler has confirmed an agreement for denim fabric to be produced later this year with a new foam-dyeing process that will eliminate 99 percent of the water typically used in the indigo-dyeing. Wrangler is the first brand to embrace the innovative technology, which is expected to transform the denim industry.
“While we have been able to reduce 3 billion liters 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.”
Recognizing the potential of this breakthrough, Wrangler and the Walmart Foundation provided Texas Tech University with early-stage funding for development of the foam-dying process. The brand also 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.”
Tejidos Royo, a Spanish fabric mill with a reputation for prioritizing environmental performance, 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.
“We’re excited Wrangler is dedicating an entire line of jeans to this innovation,” said Tejidos Royo Sales Director, Jose Royo. “Our Dry Indigo process nearly erases the environmental impact of denim dyeing and represents the next generation of denim production.”
The first line of foam-dyed jeans will be Wrangler’s most recent action to minimize environmental impact and save precious resources. Among the brand’s demonstrated sustainability activities are the ongoing work in U.S. sustainable cotton and a commitment to reduce water usage by five billion liters by 2020. According to Royo, applying indigo dye to raw denim with foam instead of water will eliminate the need for the tens of millions of gallons of water typically consumed by conventional wet-dye systems.