The demand for sustainable denim is being met by a new breed of mills that are being built from the ground up to meet the highest possible environmental standards.
Anubha Industries, a specialist in denim and piece dyed fabric, is part of this new generation that is unburdened by legacy equipment and processes. The mill was established in 2013 and from beginning has made sure that their entire production is sustainable.
“All of our inputs are sustainable and managed through an input stream management system. All the raw materials are from certified sustainable suppliers,” said Akshat Chaudhary, Director.
The mill, based in Gujarat, India, develops systems in-house to enable them to be more sustainable and efficient.
For example, the company has developed counter flow systems in their processing machines to reuse the process water. Also in their caustic recovery system, they are able to recover about 90 percent of caustic and the water separated from caustic is reused back in the process.
In addition, Anubha has invested in state-of-the-art equipment. Six months ago, they installed an ultra-sonic technology in their finishing process that has helped to reduce chemical and water consumption by about 20 % percent. The heat recovery system on their stenter machine reuses the heat recovered and lowering their dependency on thermal energy.
In three years Anubha has saved an impressive 25 million liters of water, 32 KwH of electricity, and 27.5 million kg of coal.
Anubha’s products are completely sustainable and the company stands behind this by providing buyers with total traceability.
“We can trace our raw materials to the original source,” said Mr. Chaudhary. All vendors provide us certified traceable reports of their materials that the company uses. “We are able to provide buyers with a complete report tracking everything from the yarn to the finished product.”
Investing in Sustainable Yarn & Fibers
On the fiber side, Anubha uses eco-friendly yarn made from certified organic cotton, Fair-trade, BCI cotton, Tencel, and Refibra . Yarns are sourced domestically, which helps to shorten lead times.
On the chemical side, we are making a smooth transition towards using only bluesign® approved chemicals ensuring that the chemistry is completely clean.
Using SAP as an ERP system, Anubha can provide complete tracking of their orders right from sourcing yarn to the finished product.
The savings in water, auxiliaries and energy is offsetting the investment in more sustainable practices and cleaner chemicals and materials.
A typical 10 oz 100% cotton denim fabric cost between US2.75-3.00/yard – not much more than one made with non-sustainable materials and processes.
To keep their collection both sustainable and innovative, Anubha has partnered with Aizome and Archroma to create an earth color range that uses dyes made from non-edible agricultural waste.
“Sustainability is important, but also recognize that we need to have products that are fashionable and innovative,” said Mr. Chaudhary.