Hong Kong based Epic Group, a leading garment manufacturer for global brands, announced in July 2022 a new strategic partnership with CleanKore, a denim innovation and patent licensing company. This partnership aims at scaling the CleanKore patented yarn dyeing technology that provides numerous economic and sustainability benefits for both the denim mill and garment manufacturer.
CleanKore patented technology changes the chemistry and process used to dye yarns at the denim mill. This results in yarn with a large, circular bright white core with a small ring of indigo dye. This technology significantly reduces water, chemicals and process time in the denim garment finishing stage.
Denim garment finishing often involves onerous manual processes such as hand sanding and hand whiskering, spraying of hazardous Potassium Permanganate (done by heavily protective equipment donned personnel), and multiple washing cycles. CleanKore technology coupled with lasers enable elimination of PP spray as a process, significantly improving the health and wellbeing of apparel workers, as well as reducing emissions of toxic chemicals. Manual processes are eliminated in most styles and significantly reduced in others.
CleanKore technology also enables the reduction of wash cycles – reducing water, chemical use and process time, adding to the sustainability credentials of the end products. The products currently tested by Epic Group and CleanKore demonstrate up to 44% of water savings and up to 23% of chemical savings in medium and light washes.
Through their partnership, Epic Group and CleanKore are planning to rapidly scale the adoption in partnership with Epic’s customer base. In the first year, the partnership plans to reach over 4 million pairs of denim and working towards a scale of 15-20 million pairs of denim per annum in the next 3 years, converting a large portion of Epic’s denim production to CleanKore technology.
Speaking on the partnership Mr. Darryl Costin Jr, President and CEO of CleanKore emphasized that, “as a company committed to sustainability we could not have asked for a better partner to scale our ground-breaking technology. Epic has a phenomenal team from top to bottom and are completely aligned with our goals. Unlike other technologies, we are thrilled to offer a much more sustainable product to consumers that is cost neutral. With Epic Group we are moving to make elimination of toxic Potassium Permanganate spray a norm in the manufacturing industry”.
“CleanKore technology coupled with lasers enable elimination of PP spray as a process, significantly improving the health and wellbeing of apparel workers, as well as reducing emissions of toxic chemicals”
Mr. Ranjan Mahtani, Chairman of Epic Group said: “As a leading global denim manufacturer committed to improve sustainability in product and process, we work with breakthrough technologies that reduce negative impacts to the planet and the people to the market. CleanKore technology offers a fantastic value proposition of significant sustainability benefits to our associates and the environment, without increases in cost. Sustainable products should be scalable – not niche, and we will rapidly scale the adoption of this technology. CleanKore coupled with Epic’s advanced technologies such as laser and low-liquor ratio washing machines will create a new benchmark for sustainably manufactured denim.”
For decades, Epic Group has been a key player in the apparel industry, first as a major textiles trading house, then as a leader in sourcing quality fabrics, and since 2005 as a state-of-the-art manufacturing company with facilities worldwide. Epic has a global footprint across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the UK & United States. Epic has evolved to become a leading manufacturer and trusted supplier to its valued global clients, focusing on innovation, state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge design. Through a passionate and driven team of people, Epic enables its global retailers to deliver on their consumer expectations. Epic, employs 30,000 associates and is a highly driven organization that focuses on excellence in execution, quality and passion; using modern technologies, insights, and trends to provide a partnership approach to their relationships. Sustainability is at the heart of what Epic does, from the head office to the manufacturing plants.
CleanKore’s patented technology is an exciting and novel approach to dyeing yarns at the denim mill. This technique goes against the grain when compared to conventional dyeing. The result is a large and circular bright white core with a small ring of indigo dye. CleanKore is proven to significantly reduce costs throughout the supply chain while improving sustainability, including the elimination of Potassium Permanganate spray.