Denim Expert was one of the exhibitors at this years Kingpins show

Denim Expert was one of the exhibitors at this year's Kingpins show

The Kingpins sourcing show kicked off in Amsterdam this week, with some of the world's most innovative denim mills, trim providers, wash houses and manufacturers taking part in two days of exhibitions, workshops and seminars.

In parallel with The Transformers conference, many of the exhibitors focused on innovative and eco-friendly developments. Here we detail some of the highlights.

Italian accessories and finishings manufacturer Metalbottoni has developed new product ranges for autumn/winter 2019/20. The Monster collection of jeans buttons, rivets, small parts, badges and buckles is restyled using eco-compatible materials and processes. Also new is the relaunched leather accessories line, including tags and rear waistbands made of leather, eco-leather and Gummix, a special patented system that combines silicone with other materials for high quality with sustainability. The company has also developed 'no impact' finish, which involves 100% mechanical processing without any use of chemical agents. Galvanic treatments are eliminated and water consumption in the process is close to zero, thanks to new technologies.

"The challenge is making sure the ongoing research and development effort by our style office allows us to expand our offer, customer services and personalisation possibilities," explains Maria Teresa Ricciardo, creative director at Metalbottoni, "not just for the button sector, but for the whole accessory industry, keeping our focus on product and process eco-innovation."

Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing has used Kingpins Amsterdam to launch its latest Sustainable Denim Wardrobe (SDW) capsule collection, which introduces new Tencel denim pieces with Latin-influenced designs, as well as new men's styles. The collection showcases new, fresh colour in conjunction with the latest laundry application techniques, while also staying true to denim's indigo roots. Jeanologia collaborated with Lenzing on the Blues & Hues collection. "The denim becomes a reinterpreted basic, thanks to the Reactive Flow overdyeing that gives us a retro aesthetic made in a modern way," says Carme Santacruz of Jeanologia.

Denim Expert
Bangladesh denim manufacturer Denim Expert has developed its first sustainable men's jeans collection with a focus on saving water, which premiered at this week's Kingpins Amsterdam show. Company founder Mostafiz Uddin has become an advocate for sustainability in production and for adequate working conditions as he tries to broaden the views of textile producers, buyers and brands. "Bangladesh today is a modern high-tech production location," he says. "Many textile factories are already working sustainably and with state-of-the-art technology, with many others following."

Rudolf Group
German chemical company Rudolf Group has developed a selection of chemical auxiliaries for fashion as well as function. The range selection targets garment finishing with functionalities that take denim to the next level in terms of both performance and enhanced quality. The company has also launched a new project called HUB 1922, a one-stop shop to provide brands and retailers with "disruptive innovations." New handfeels, a finish for much reduced domestic washing, and a "denim Botox" that prevents denim from sagging and bagging are among the innovations.

Elleti Group
Italian denim services group Elleti returns to Kingpins with Projects Green Replicants – a capsule collection to celebrate the sustainable essence of denim. Five historic denim pieces have been reproduced, including four Levi's 501 XX, dated between 1900 and 1930, and one Boss dating to 1910. Each piece gathered in the capsule has two different versions: one produced using traditional techniques of denim production, and one using the best eco-solutions available. "Both copies provide interesting results in terms of look similarities, but the green ones highlight how astounding quality products can be achieved without causing harm to the planet and the workers," Elleti says.

Invista & Artistic Milliners
This year's Kingpins show saw the debut of the latest collaborative innovation from Invista's Cordura brand, Tencel, and Artistic Milliners. The new 'SuperCharged Noir' collection by Artistic Milliners is a black performance denim portfolio using Tencel fibre technologies. Tencel Modal fibres with Eco Color technology make up 60% of the collection's fabric composition and are produced using Eco Soft technology for comfort. The collection is also the first denim application for the patent-pending Invista T420HT staple fibre technology for extreme strength. With more than four times the abrasion resistance of equivalent weight 100% cotton denim, Invista says the collection offers robust functionality, while still delivering on authentic look and feel.

"Our mission was to create a powerful, dense dark denim with excellent colour-fastness and long-lasting vibrancy without sacrificing the durable DNA that defines the Cordura brand," says Cindy McNaull, global Cordura brand and marketing director. "By integrating our latest state-of-the art Invista nylon 6,6 Black SDN fibre technology we're able to bring a new dimension in stay true colour and enhanced strength and abrasion resistance to the collection, while Tencel fibres and Artistic Milliners complement those attributes with added colour fastness, softness, sustainability and stretch."

Invista also launched a new version of its Lycra T400 fibre with enhanced sustainability. Made from a combination of recycled materials, such as PET bottles diverted from landfills, and renewable plant-based materials, Invista hopes the innovation will appeal to brands and manufacturers interested in developing more sustainable denim and wovens collections.

Garmon Chemicals
Strengthened by its recent acquisition by Kemin Industries, Garmon has developed what it says is a "cutting-edge" Stretch Care green collection. The company is focusing on three main pillars – sustainability, constant innovation and a stronger relationship with its customers – and the new collection consists of all eco-sustainable and GreenScreen certified products. Characteristics of the treatments include minimal loss of elasticity for superior shape retention and recovery performance; protection of fabrics and accessories from damage; a softer touch to garments; and an eco-sustainable and significantly optimised production process.