Kingpins24 Hosts Virtual Global Event for Denim Community
During the Oct. 19–21 edition of Kingpins24, the global denim-community fixture Kingpins sought to again connect the industry through a virtual platform. This installment focused on three pillars—Inspiration, Innovation & Technology, and Earth Day—with one serving as the focus for each day.
“They are the elements that everyone in our business has to look at every season,” explained Kingpins founder Andrew Olah. “We have to create collections based on what’s new, we have to be inspired by something—whether it’s art or a political situation or something—and we have to think about how to do it in a way that is the least harmful to the planet.”
Lead sponsors for the event included Lenzing and The Lycra Company. Major sponsors included Coats and Diamond Denim, with BCT Denim Division sponsoring Inspiration Day. The program for Kingpins24 included informative panels such as “The Future of Fibers,” “Preview—Denim Trends S/S 2023” with Denim Dudes’ Amy Leverton and “Uzbekistan: The Future Starts Now!”
“We want to create a platform where people can witness the newest innovations and technologies, understand how companies uphold sustainable development, and see what brings passion and joy to the business,” explained Kingpins’ Managing Director and Global Sales Manager Vivian Wang. “Our goal is for each individual attendee to implement at least one goal or idea from our event. At the end of the day, everyone is working towards a better future—no one in the denim industry walks alone.”
Educating the denim community regarding more-responsible, sustainable practices also included affording opportunities for hands-on experiences at a virtual show. Named the Indigo Museum Collaboration Projects, these additions were introduced throughout the show with collaborations including Naveena Denim Mills X Better Than Jam, Cone Denim X MN Dye Studio, Naveena Denim [NDL] X Muur NYC, Advance Denim X Marvin Ruby and Artistic Milliners X Nece Gene. With each project announcement, viewers were given insight into the work between these brands and organizations, and were invited to order kits to be used during future workshops hosted by the companies.
On the first day, where the focus was on “Inspiration,” Olah and Wang welcomed Denise Sakuma of The LYCRA Company and Tricia Carey of Lenzing. Carey shared an exciting announcement from the fiber maker regarding a new matte Tencel lyocell.
“When we started our Tencel lyocell in the early 1990s, designers were trying to figure out how to use the fiber the best way, experimenting with a lot of fabrics. They came up with a fabric that really optimized the beauty of Tencel,” Carey said. “The one thing designers kept saying to us was, ‘Can we reduce the shine somehow?’”
Dedicated to the theme of “Innovation & Technology,” the second day saw Rudolf Hub 1922 introducing its new OFFUEL product range. The line includes finishing agents for denim garments based on formulations of renewable raw materials. The launch took place during an information session in which Rudolf’s head of marketing and fashion, Alberto de Conti, was interviewed by denim expert and Cocircular founder Adriana Galijasevic.
“The OFFUEL product series is an extremely progressive array of chemical auxiliaries consisting of at least 90 percent alternatives to crude oil and/or components based on recycled materials,” de Conti explained. “It’s very urgent for all of us—all the players in the textile supply chain—to start thinking of alternative, renewable raw materials. From this perspective, chemical companies that are often perceived as a problem are in fact a big part of a possible solution.”
Day three’s “Earth Day” concentration began with Olah and Wang speaking with Diamond Denim’s Maurizio Baldi and Jayesh Mandalia regarding the intersection of sustainable initiatives, buyer demand and trends.
“Innovation and sustainability are a must,” Mandalia said. “Right now, I am finding more that people are starting with—from the cotton, manufacturing and washing and also the recycling part as well—what to do with the garments after.”
At Diamond, a primary area of concentration on sustainability is found within the internal shift of the company’s practices. As it evolves, Diamond is aiming to gain greater understanding of its carbon footprint.
“Over the past two years, we have developed procedures to focus more on company projects than on a single fabric or a single category of fabrics,” Baldi explained. “We are planning to produce 40 percent of our energy with solar panels.”
This most recent edition of Kingpins24 was hosted on the heels of a launch connected to the brand. Through Kingpins’ sibling organization, the Transformers Foundation—which works as a representative for the denim industry—a report named “Cotton: A Case Study in Misinformation” was released Oct. 5 to identify errors in reporting on sustainability in the denim industry. In its report, Transformers revealed that the widespread belief of fashion being the second-most-pollutive industry, which has been spread by industry insiders and reported by media outlets over a number of years, was found to have no traceable origin, nor did any concrete evidence of this detail, which had been accepted as fact, exist. In its quest for promoting responsible denim practices, the Transformers Foundation requested that the industry’s leaders, media and denimheads take a closer look at their information sources to ensure that accurate information be shared.