Original article: Sourcing Journal
Creating a product that is both sustainable and provides comfort can sometimes be challenging. However, one denim manufacturer that strikes the right balance is Twin Dragon Marketing Inc. (TDMI).
Here, Stephanie Poon, director of marketing and merchandising at TDMI, tells Rivet how the company is providing environmentally safe alternatives for the denim industry that require less water, energy and hazardous chemical discharge while keeping comfort top of mind.
Rivet: Earlier this year, Twin Dragon debuted its latest inventive product, AtmoS Denim. What is the new line made from? What innovative technology aspect does it feature?
Stephanie Poon: AtmoS Denim is made with Japanese and sustainable fiber—hollow fiber—using the most advanced innovative technology with approximately 30 percent hollowness (the highest in the industry) combined with cotton and lyocell fiber to create a soft feel and a more durable denim. The hollow fiber has a unique structure with built-in air spaces that allow for high thermal insulation—leading to temperature regulation. The mixture of all these components yields an amazing development that keeps you airy in the summer and cozy in the winter.
How is Twin Dragon taking its sustainable offerings to the next level?
S.P.: With our latest release of the AtmoS collection, we further our commitment to creating a premium multifunctional performance fabric that meets the demand for 24/7 comfort, softness and breathability made with 100 percent recycled polyester from post-consumer plastic bottles.
Through 2022, we diverted 23.9 million plastic bottles from landfills. Additionally, we saved enough water to provide 2,788 people with daily drinking water for one year. Today, 80 percent of our items incorporate a sustainable element, and we are working toward making that statistic 100 percent.
How will Twin Dragon reduce the use of chemicals, water and energy in textile production?
S.P.: TDMI has implemented many sustainable measures to reduce the use of chemicals, water and energy under three foundational pillars: planet-friendly fibers, eco-finishing and eco-washing.
We started with sustainable raw and recycled materials curated as the base of our design. By utilizing lyocell/Tencel, hemp, Ciclo-enhanced degradable polyester, Repreve and recycled cotton—combined with U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (USCTP) certified cotton—we forge a sustainable groundwork. We then pair it with climate-friendly processes and chemicals like Cradle 2 Cradle certified pre-reduced liquid indigo—which reduces water usage by 70 percent compared to traditional indigo dye.
Utilizing liquid indigo has assisted in significantly reducing hazardous discharge into our environment. With the application of eco-finishing—a process that cleans the impurities off the surface of the fabric to bring out the highs and lows of a wash—we’ve helped our customers reduce water usage by eliminating the need for a rinse and de-size step in garment manufacturing.
In addition, many of our finishing procedures have converted from gas-burning machines to electric power, which decreased the release of carbon into the air. Using eco fibers and finishing doesn’t end the sustainability work for us. We want to further contribute to the circular economy by educating our customers on the significance of responsible garment washes. We achieve this by providing options on how to successfully achieve eco washes in the most environmentally safe manner.
We are also developing collections that are water conscious in the fibers that we use. A line we are continuing to build upon, Decottonize Denim, reduces the use of cotton by inserting eco-friendly fibers like lyocell and recycled polyester to offset the increased consumption of water in farming cotton.
How will Twin Dragon continue to work on easily accessible traceability for its products to ensure peace of mind for clients and the end consumer?
S.P.: We know traceability is important for our customers to help end consumers make conscious buying choices. We can easily provide traceability and certifications of our claims whenever customers inquire.
What is driving Twin Dragon’s vision toward premium denim?
S.P.: TDMI’s vision toward premium denim is driven by producing the best quality using planet-friendly fibers combined with responsible manufacturing processes. Offering sustainable products that are accessible on both sides of the hemisphere benefit our customers through efficiency in logistics and manufacturing. It also helps that quality and sustainable denim is on trend, further inspiring us develop and create more.