Gap Inc. announced an initiative to produce denim using a waterless, indigo foam-dyeing technique, starting with a partnership between Banana Republic and Spanish denim mill, Tejidos Royo. The innovative new process, called Dry Indigo®,
The apparel industry is one of the largest and most intensive users of water, and producing denim, in particular, is a resource-intensive process that apparel companies have been attempting to improve in recent years. Now, Gap Inc. is producing denim using a waterless, indigo foam-dyeing technique that can reduce water usage by up to 99% while also using 89% less chemicals and reducing energy usage by 65%, and eliminating water discharge when compared to the traditional slasher indigo (or sheet dyeing) process. As the company announced.
Leveraging this revolutionary new dyeing process directly supports Gap Inc.s manufacturing goal to conserve 10 billion liters of water by the end of 2020, as well as Banana Republics recently unveiled sustainability goals to produce eco-friendly denim, reduce water impact and promote cleaner chemistry, said Gap Inc.s EVP of Global Sourcing, Christophe Roussel. Tejidos Royo is a trusted partner and true pioneer in sustainable innovation. “We are thrilled to work with them on this exciting new venture and have no doubt that this will change the future of denim manufacturing.”
Utilizing a foam dye that adheres to yarn, the transformative Dry Indigo technique produces a denim fabric that is comparable in hand-feel, aesthetic, performance, and washability to traditionally dyed denim. The Banana Republic denim with Dry Indigo will be available through a special collection for both men and women in Spring 2020.
The new dyeing process, Dry Indigo, was developed over ten years of research from Gaston Foam Systems and Indigo Mills Designs. The foam-dyeing technique occurs in a space of less than 65 feet — compared to the hundreds of feet that is typically necessary for a traditional dyeing machine — thereby significantly reducing energy needs, Gap says. The fabric that is produced is comparable to traditionally dyed denim in terms of feel, performance and washability, according to the company.
Gap is working with supply chain partners to implement numerous water-saving initiatives. In 2016, the Gap brand introduced Washwell, a smart denim wash program that has enabled the company to save over 229 million liters of water when compared to conventional wash methods. The company recently announced it has saved 5.7 billion liters of water through combined efforts so far.
Earlier this month, Gap Inc. announced that it will derive 100% of its cotton – across all brands – from sustainable sources by 2025. The initiative will include sourcing cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that is organic, recycled, and verified as American or Australian grown. In addition, Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck recently announced that Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic are launching denim with 5% post-consumer mechanically-recycled cotton content. Gap and Old Navy will launch their recycled cotton denim in Holiday 2019, while Banana Republic will launch in Spring 2020.