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The Sustainability Series: Prosperity Textiles and manufacturing sustainable denim

As consumer demand for sustainable, ethically-sourced products heightens, here at WGSN we’re dedicated to highlighting the opportunities this challenge presents across the board.

A shift towards sustainability comes not just from an environmental need, but a financial one too, as consumers begin to reject brands and businesses that aren’t on board. 

We’ll profile the brands who are leading by example, talk to expert industry insiders and bring you all the latest innovations, helping you to bring sustainability into the 21st century. 

For more insight and inspiration, head to the sustainability section on WGSN.

For the next installment in our Sustainability Series, we take a look at Prosperity Textiles, and their new innovations around sustainable denim production.

One of the largest denim mills in China, Prosperity has been taking measures to ensure the sustainability of it’s products. The company supplies denim to a huge range of global brands and has formed a series of partnerships to help reduce its environmental impact. Now a Bluesign-approved company, Prosperity wears the status of one of the cleanest denim mills in the world – a title warranted by its recent innovations to produce high-quality denim at a lower environmental cost. Given the vast scope of brands Prosperity Textile supplies, a move like this is a greatly significant step towards crafting a more sustainable fashion industry. Our editors  attended the Hong Kong event showcasing their latest initiatives.

 

Transparency

The first denim mill in China to be Bluesign approved, Prosperity’s partnership with the Bluesign system authorises its status as a more sustainable textile producer. Bluesign encourages companies to reduce use of harmful substances right from beginning of production. Lim Sing Bin, the company’s general manager in China, spoke about the emerging need for transparent supply chains. She pointed out consumers’ growing demands for more knowledge as well as NGO demands for transparency. Analysis of the supply chain is therefore essential, with increased transparency inciting brands to shoulder social and environmental responsibilities.

 

Technology makes a ‘green denim world’.

Prosperity revealed the launch of five new indigo shades, created in partnership with Archroma dyes. As one of Prosperity Denim’s chemical suppliers, Archroma has helped the brand improve their environmental impact by creating eco-friendlier alternatives to the popular indigo dye. Archroma has released Advanced Denim, a technology that reduces energy and water consumption by using a dye that can be applied using lasers. They have also launched Earth Colours, a range of dyes made from waste-based starting materials. The company offers full traceability, communicating to their customers which factory the product was made in and where raw material was sourced. In collaboration with Archroma, Prosperity has released three new shades of black that retain their colour even after twenty washes. The dyeing process also uses a decreased volume of water. These shades ensure the longevity of their products, discouraging consumers from frequent, repeated purchases.

Renewable and recyclable materials

Aside from colour innovation, Prosperity has also taken measures to change the material makeup of its denim. The brand has partnered with BCI, the Better Cotton Initiative, in sourcing cotton for its tri-blend fabrics. The BCI encourages cotton farmers to care for biodiversity and soil fertility, producing cotton in environmentally-friendly and worker-friendly conditions. As of last year it has already engaged 1.7 million farmers, covering nearly a fifth of global cotton production. They aim to increase this to 5 million by 2020, making up 30% of global cotton production. Better cotton is only one of Prosperity’s sustainable sources, with others including coffee charcoal, linen and hemp. Repreve and Sorona, both sourced from recycled or renewable materials, are also components of Prosperity’s fabrics.

Consumers can change everything

Prosperity’s recent innovations provide a hopeful outlook for the future of denim production. The range of areas they have improved upon, from the chemical makeup of dyes to the physical makeup of materials, proves that sustainability can no longer be excluded from a company’s responsibilities. Prosperity Textile and their partners are among the businesses driving the movement towards a more responsible global industry, and the example they set is one for others to follow suit. For more information about Prosperity, head here.

Read more on social responsibility in our latest Sustainable Denim Strategies report over on WGSN.

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