Sustainable solutions at Igatex

Valued Monforts customer Artistic Milliners is the denim manufacturer behind the G-Star Elwood RFTPi jeans which are being launched by Dutch brand G-Star RAW for the Spring/Summer 2018 season.

In a first for the sector, these are Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Gold level certified.
As one of the world’s largest, vertically-integrated denim fabric and garment manufacturers with a capacity of 1.8 million finished garments per month, Karachi, Pakistan-based Artisitic Milliners has been in business for over 40 years. It is now equipped with a complete low energy and water-saving denim finishing line from Monforts, as well as an additional Monforts sanforizing unit.

Monforts is looking forward to meeting its new and existing denim customers at the forthcoming Igatex show, which takes place in Lahore, Pakistan, from April 26-29, for discussions on how to get the most sustainable results from its advanced finishing technologies.


G-Star RAW’s latest denims were developed by analyzing each part of the denim design process and exploring how to reduce the environmental impact at every step.

Together with chemicals leader Dystar, G-Star RAW and Artistic Milliners formulated the cleanest indigo technology to date, employing an organic fixing agent to result in 70% fewer chemicals, no salts and producing no salt by-products during the reduction and dyeing process, consequently saving water and leaving clean and recyclable water effluent.

Brilliant shades

The process creates brilliant indigo shades with enhanced sheen, and is applicable to both indigo and sulphur dyeing.

In conventional systems, Artistic Milliners reports that indigo dyestuff is stored after the dyeing process and only around 20% can be reused due to salt formation. The company’s Crystal Clear formulation involves pre-reduced liquid indigo that requires no additional water or salt and allows indigo recovery up to 100%. Additionally, there’s no need for heating in the indigo fixation process, which means less energy consumption.

G-Star also worked with long-standing partner Saitex to make and wash the garments. By employing sustainable technologies, good chemistry and renewable energies, 98% of the water will be recycled and re-used and the other 2% will be evaporated, leaving no water to be wasted or discharged into the local environment.

Only 100% organic cotton was used and all other components not conducive to easy recycling were removed – rivets and zippers have been replaced with eco-finished metal buttons and all labelling and carton packaging is responsibly sourced.

G-Star is now working with Artistic Milliners to provide open-source access to fabric development processes through Cradle to Cradle certification.

“Our new denim fabric and its revolutionary indigo process will become an open source for the rest of the industry to use,” said Frouke Bruinsma, Corporate Responsibility Director at G-Star RAW. “We would like to invite others to join us towards cleaner and more ethical denim production globally.”

Wider adoption

“We are really proud to have collaborated with our partners in developing the most sustainable denim fabric ever made at Artistic Milliners,” added Artistic Milliners Director Omer Ahmed. “Together we have pioneered a radical new dyeing method which is water and salt-free and which we call Crystal Clear. This is perhaps the most radical change to the indigo dyeing process since its industrialisation. Even though this formula is in its infancy we are hopeful that in due time it will be adopted by the denim industry at large as there is an unprecedented environmental/water saving potential in using this method.”

As one of the world’s largest, vertically-integrated denim fabric and garment manufacturers, the company has been in business for over 40 years and is equipped with a complete denim finishing line from Monforts, as well as an additional Monforts sanforizing unit.