A new washing process for jeans
Fast Retailing Group has come out with a new washing process for jeans that reduces water usage by up to 99 per cent, with an average of over 90 per cent. The process originated at the FR Jeans Innovation Centre, the group’s facility for jeans research and development in Los Angeles. During 2020 the group plans to manufacture 40 million jeans with it.
The technology has been adopted from the 2018 Fall/Winter season UNIQLO Men’s Regular Fit Jeans and J BRAND Sustainable Capsule Collection.
In 2019 a total of 10 million pairs of jeans from the two brands, the equivalent of almost one-third of FR’s annual production quantity, will be manufactured with this process. By 2020 the new technology will be used for all jeans made and sold by the group.
The latest innovation combines advanced washing equipment utilising nanobubbles and ozone with the skills of expert jeans designers, to greatly reduce the amount of water in the washing process compared to conventional production methods, while still ensuring high quality and design. By incorporating this technique, UNIQLO successfully reduced the amount of water used in the washing process of its Men’s Regular Fit Jeans by up to 99 per cent, with an average of more than 90 per cent.
During 2020 the group plans to manufacture 40 million jeans with the new washing process, expecting to reduce approximately 3.7 billion litres of water, an amount large enough to fill around 1,500 international regulation swimming pools.
In addition, the pumice typically used in the washing process has been replaced with artificial stone that can be used semi-permanently, helping to reduce water pollution. The burden on workers has also been lightened with the introduction of lasers to replace the labour-intensive scraping process that has traditionally been done by hand.
Masaaki Matsubara, director of the Jeans Innovation Centre, said, “We believe that jeans manufactured not only with a focus on design and comfort, but 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. We will utilise the technical capabilities and economies of scale of the Fast Retailing Group to contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society.” (SV)