Why sustainable denim: Kassim Textiles
written by Charlotte Turner
We have had the pleasure of showcasing the forward-thinking Pakistan based mill Kassim Denim for several years now, and are delighted to welcome them back once again as sponsors of the 5th Future Fabrics Expo, taking place on the 29th-30th September 2015 at London Olympia Exhibition Centre, as part of Fashion SVP.
Kassim Denim have worked with some of the world’s best known fashion brands to create top quality materials, and are constantly working on innovations to reduce the negative impact of the textiles industry, and in particular denim production, which has been known to have large-scale impact on water contamination and supply.
We wanted to let Kassim share their thoughts on sustainability in the textiles industry, what they are doing to help improve it, and why it’s so important to them.
Read the full conversation below, and discover a range of Kassim Denim sustainable fabrics at www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.
TSA: Kassim Textiles have been supporters of the Future Fabrics Expo for many years, also generously sponsoring the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, our online showcase of sustainable materials, since its inception. Can you tell us why you think it’s important for Kassim to work with organizations like ours, and projects like the Future Fabrics Expo and Future Fabrics Virtual Expo?
Kassim: Organizations like The Sustainable Angle with initiatives such as the Future Fabrics Expo are truly the organizations needed to help people move towards a greener world, and Kassim sincerely believes in making a green and pollution free world for generations to come.
TSA: The Future Fabrics Expo is based in London, and you also exhibit at trade fairs elsewhere in Europe and Asia. Have you noticed a significant difference in these markets when it comes to knowledge of sustainability and demand for sustainable materials, and (how) does this influence Kassim’s development of more sustainable materials?
Kassim: Generally most people are becoming more and more aware of sustainability, regardless of which region they are in. This helps us to maintain our research on the matter and seek developments to augment the supply of these buyers’ needs for sustainable denim fabrics.
TSA: Kassim Denim produces a huge amount of denim for the global market. Can you tell us about the types of materials you produce that have a reduced environmental impact, and are there any sustainable fibres of processes you are working with that you think could be good alternatives to standard cotton denim?
Kassim: “Sustainable, environmentally responsible, green management” are the key factors to Kassim Denim’s endeavors to produce the best denim fabrics possible, whilst maintaining the true essentials of being environmentally friendly, to match up with the drive of consumers to buy sustainable products.
Each of these three perspectives are integral parts of our commitment for integration of an environmental and social lens into core operational and financial management — from material sourcing through product design, manufacturing, distribution, delivery and end-of-life management.
And on this we seek out the best possible alternatives, for example the use of recycled PET yarns or Tencel® to achieve a similar cotton hand feel.
TSA: How do you think we can increase the use of sustainable materials in the fashion industry?
Kassim: To do this we need to create sustainable materials that are both high quality and fashionable. So these will be made using sustainable fibers/yarns, eco-friendly processes, and less harmful chemicals, but will really appeal to customers through looking good and performing well.
TSA: Last year, Kassim Denim were sponsors of a student project on the MA Fashion and the Environment course at the London College of Fashion. Why do you feel it’s important for you and other textiles mills to engage with students, and do you think we could create more positive change by getting fashion students involved in the textiles industry earlier?
Kassim: Upcoming and young designers are those who will soon bring the world the true essence of a sustainable fashionable culture. So we believe we all need to support these rising designers in their efforts, as they will shape the industry of the future.
TSA: You have said before that textiles manufacturers need to cater to the demands of consumers – is there anything you think we should be doing to help increase consumers’ demand for more sustainable materials?
Kassim: The best recourse in this matter is that organizations like yours keep communicating about these new innovations, and launch awareness campaigns to help educate the end user about the facts and pros of sustainability.
They can also be visited twice a year at several global trade fairs: Texworld, Munich Fabric Start, Premier Vision China, Premier Vision Istanbul, and Bangladesh Show (Dhaka).