Sustainability is a crucial issue in the denim industry; and in the wake of increasing environmental awareness among consumers, the blue fabric has been subjected to tremendous innovation in the recent years. In an exclusive feature, Aamir Akhtar, CEO, Lifestyle Fabrics – Denim, Arvind Limited shares about the denim behemoth’s new innovation and unflinching commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Tell us about the fabric/ingredient categories and blends that you offer. Which are your best sellers?
Denim is traditionally a cotton-led category. However, keeping in mind the evolving consumer needs toward performance, aesthetics, functionality and sustainability, we, at Arvind, have created a multitude of blend options going upto Penta and Hexa blends.
Some of the most successful platforms are built around Tencel, linen hemp and wool on the premium side of the business while with stretch fabrics prevailing in mass volumes in polyester, nylon, etc., are becoming more relevant for stretch performance. We have also made tremendous progress in sustainable fibers and yarns with our latest range of recycled and biodegradable polyester offerings.
What are your key innovations in fabrics?
Innovation is a key driver of our business. Arvind takes pride in constantly working with an evolvedeco-system of internal resources and external technology partners to innovate from the range of continuous to disruptive product categories.
We take pride in disrupting the way indigo has been dyed for the last 150 years. We did this by collaborating with a US innovator to develop a completely new method of indigo dyeing that is dramatically more sustainable. Similarly,we are collaborating with an Italian company to use Graphene in denims for enhanced thermos-regulation and comfort. You also have already experienced Arvind’s path braking concepts such as Neo Cord, Azurite, Ikat, Jelt, Hybrid Chinos and many more.
Throw some light on your design and product capabilities and how they work closely in giving innovations at the manufacturing stage?
Working backwards from each key customers’ brand filters and building upon their consumer insights, at Arvind Denim Lab we have created an enabling eco-system for co-development and co-creation along with our key customers.
Technology is becoming the biggest enforcer today, how well do you use this at your production stage?
Over the years, Arvind has evolved as an end to end solutions provider to its key customers. We clearly see technology as a great differentiator to build value for our customers. As denim evolves from being a fashion to lifestyle product, embedded technology for performance and functionality is a must.
Our premium range of high stretch fabrics like Boomerang™ 2.0, Boomerang™ Bounce, Boomerang™ 360 and Boomerang™ Zero are the most relevant success story is to support this approach. Other initiatives such as Casted Coats is a great value driver for agility and last mile innovation/differentiator.
What are the smart product categories that your brand is working on?
Arvind has recently announced collaboration with the Italian company DirectaPlus, one of the largest producers and suppliers of graphene-based products in the world to co-develop Graphene based jeans wear providing dramatically better thermoregulation and Bacteriostatic characteristic. have collaborated with Levis and to support them on their very successful Levi’s® commuter jeans series, a its kind wearable technology.
Tell us about your clients – both domestic and international.
In the domestic market, we are partners with almost all the big national brand including Wrangler, Lee, Benetton, Jealous 21, Spykar and many more. In Tier -II and -III cities, we work prefer to work through our channel partners.
How are Arvind’s product ideas linked to sustainability?
For us, sustainability goes beyond the usage of environment friendly products and processes. It is a lifestyle where all our day to day steps contribute to a sustainable society.
Arvind considers environmental, social and economical sustainability major pillars of its business model and is fully focused on adhering to it in all our endeavours. Our practices and processes are geared not only to optimize utilization of the resources, but also nurture their roots and bring out the best of our innovation and design.
Honestly, there is a lot that goes behind the scenes in making denims more sustainable and this is a way of life at Arvind. From farming of crops to finished garments, we are innovating in all aspects to create more synergies and value drivers for your business and making our pair of jeans as sustainable as possible.
Internationally, customers who lean towards sustainability work with us because Arvind is considered to be an innovator of sustainability. Sustainability has become way of doing business for Arvind and is not merely a unique selling proposition and we are happy to showcase our leadership in transforming the industry.
Decode your future of working on product development and the new initiatives being taken by your brand.
We want to take the lead with our core principles of design, innovation, and sustainability, and the entire focus, as I said, is on augmenting capabilities. These ideologies provide a foundation for a wide range of activities promoting leadership in creativity, denim trends, manufacturing processing, technical and product development. We are now trying to move very quickly on an innovation pipeline.