J Brand Parent Company Brings New Sustainable Wash Process to Denim

The Japanese parent company of Los Angeles­–based J Brand and Japanese brand Uniqlo has developed a new nanobubbles-and-ozone-based wash process for its denim brands that will reduce water consumption by up to 99 percent.

The Fast Retailing Group announced its most recent advancement in manufacturing was discovered by its research-and-development team, based at the FR Jeans Innovation Center facility in Los Angeles.

Expanding its ethical initiatives to include a better environment for workers, the Fast Retailing Group has also introduced lasers as a replacement for the hand-scraping process traditionally used to distress denim.

“We believe that jeans manufactured not only with a focus on design and comfort but also under conditions that are environmentally friendly and protect the rights of the workers involved in the production process are truly good products and that pursing such jeans production will lead to a brighter future,” said Masaaki Matsubara, director of the FR Jeans Innovation Center. “We will utilize the technical capabilities and economies of scale of the Fast Retailing Group to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.”

Used for the 2018 Fall/Winter J Brand sustainable capsule collection and Uniqlo’s regular-fit men’s jeans, the technology will be applied to approximately 33 percent of Fast Retailing’s annual production in 2019, which means 10 million pairs of jeans from Uniqloand J Brand will be produced with this method.

By 2020, the company would like to reduce its water consumption by 977.4 million gallons of water during its production of 40 million jeans, which will rely on the new technology. The company has also replaced the industry-standard pumice stone with an artificial alternative to reduce pollution.

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