Lenzing AG, the world’s top sustainable manmade fiber manufacturing firm, has been serving textile and Denim industry with its remarkable sustainable footprint. As a producer of pulp and fibers, Lenzing work with the customers and partners to develop solutions that add more value to their products. By working with the fashion brands, they are also moving closer to consumers and are increasingly positioning themselves as a consumer brand. TENCEL ™; LENZING ™ ECOVERO ™; VEOCEL ™ ; LENZING ™ are their core brands.
Recently Michael Kininmonth, Global Business Development & Project Manager at Lenzing AG talked with Denim Focus Coordinator Pranta Biswas, He shared Lenzing’s Business status, innovation and sustainable development insights. The conversation is drafted below.
Pranta Biswas: How are you observing global Denim Business during the pandemic?
Michael Kininmonth: There has definitely been a significant hit to the denim business, all the way from fiber to finished garment. TENCELTM Lyocell, which is our main fiber offering to the denim industry, has had its most challenging year in its 29-year history. In the fashion history books, the 2020 pandemic will probably have a whole chapter on how quickly wardrobes were transformed to suit the new way of working. The market saw a rapid shift to loungewear and away from other categories including denim. Loungewear is statistically unlikely to be temporary. As of today it is unclear what market share loungewear will hang onto, but as it is more likely that we will spend more time in our homes going forwards then it is bound to have an effect.
Pranta Biswas: What is the recent sustainable development of Lenzing?
Michael Kininmonth: I somehow doubt that anything is ‘sustainable’ in the true sense of the word, especially as the human global population continues to grow, as does the affluent middle classes who have enough income to add to over-consumption. If everyone defaults to the same language, words get overused and lose their meaning. Sustainable or Sustainability are such words.
At Lenzing, we have a “Naturally Positive” strategy, which is based around responsibly produced products. Recent examples of such products are TENCEL™ Modal with Indigo Color Technology and carbon-zero TENCEL™. The first development deals with the environmental issues related to indigo warp dyeing. The later deals with the imminent need of every company to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.
Pranta Biswas: How can we increase sustainable denim production?
Michael Kininmonth: The denim supply chain is active in many areas of responsible production. There are many positive collaborations taking place between fiber suppliers, fabric mils, laundries, machinery suppliers and chemical companies. Brands, Retailers and especially consumers have to take up this opportunity that the supply chain is delivering on. However, there is much yet to do.
Pranta Biswas: Any special message you want to convey to global Textile/Denim Industry?
Michael Kininmonth: Reward the supply chain companies who are investing heavily in R&D and I.P., which addresses the urgent need to bring more environmentally responsible products to the market. The way to reward them is to give them your business.