Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kering’s New Partnership Brings Sustainable Ultrasound Tech to Denim Dyeing


Israeli firm Sonovia has joined forces with Italian denim developer PureDenim in a groundbreaking partnership with French luxury group Kering to integrate Sonovia’s innovative indigo yarn dyeing technology into its denim production lines.

Kering, which owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, among other luxury brands, announced in March that it is aiming to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2035.

“Kering and our Houses have made significant strides to reach our sustainability targets over the last years, and, in parallel, we have augmented our ambitions,” François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO at Kering, said in a statement at the time. “Now we are setting this new absolute target, spanning scopes 1, 2, and 3 of the greenhouse gas protocol, because, if we want to truly decarbonize our global businesses, we need to move from carbon intensity reductions to absolute reductions. I am convinced that impact reduction in absolute terms combined with value creation must be the next horizon for truly sustainable companies.”

materials, fabric, textiles
Courtesy Jingwen Yang | Pexels

The new partnership with Sonovia and PureDenim is expected to play a key role in helping Kering, and other leaders in the fashion world, meet those goals.

Traditional indigo yarn dyeing methods are some of the most water-intensive, requiring approximately 60,000 liters of water per process and relying on harmful chemicals such as hydrosulfite. In contrast, Sonovia’s D(y)ENIM indigo yarn dyeing ultrasound technology significantly cuts water usage in textile dyeing by up to 85 percent and is entirely hydrosulfite-free.

The collaboration with Kering to evaluate Sonovia’s technology for its denim production represents a transformative shift in denim production, moving away from the industry’s heavy water consumption, chemical waste, and energy expenditure.

Jeans, as one of the most universally worn clothing items globally, stand to benefit from Sonovia’s D(y)ENIM indigo yarn dyeing technology, which promises to dramatically impact the sustainability of one of the world’s most polluting industries by substantially reducing pollution in denim manufacturing. Sonovia and PureDenim have been collaborating since early 2022 to develop and scale up the D(y)ENIM technology.

Fred Segal Denim Bar
Courtesy Fred Segal

“Sonovia’s technology is the ultimate step towards near-zero-impact indigo dyeing,” Gigi Caccia, CEO and owner of PureDenim, said in a statement. “Having forward-looking partners like Sonovia and Kering gives us courage to take on challenges that until yesterday seemed unattainable.”

Roy Hirsch, Chief Business Officer (CBO) at Sonovia, says the agreement with Kering, “is confirmation that Sonovia’s indigo dyeing technology is the future technology for the textile industry. The agreement will revolutionize the textile industry and increase sustainability in the fashion world.”

Other industry leaders including Ralph Lauren and Levi’s have increased recent efforts to reduce water usage.

“Traditional color dyeing is one of the most polluting practices in our industry and as a global brand, we recognized the need to create a scalable solution,” Halide Alagöz, chief product and sustainability officer at Ralph Lauren told WWD in 2021. Alagöz said the label’s Color on Demand tech significantly reduces the environmental impact of dyeing cotton, “and as an added benefit, will enable us to better balance inventory and meet personalized consumer demands faster than ever before.”

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