Interview with Anna-Karin Dahlberg

Face2Face
Anna-Karin Dahlberg
Anna-Karin Dahlberg
Production sustainability manager
Lindex
Lindex

We don't compromise with the look of the garment

In 2014, Lindex began its journey towards producing denim in a more sustainable way, and in fall 2015 the company launched its first Better Denim styles. In Spring 2016, this was scaled up. Cent per cent of Lindex denim is made from more sustainable cotton: recycled, organic or Better Cotton. Anna-Karin Dahlberg, production sustainability manager at Lindex, talks about sustainable choices in denim

You began your denim journey in 2014 with Better Denim styles. How has the journey been so far?

In 2014, together with our suppliers, we started out with screening our denim production to grade the environmental impact of our denim styles. The screening process was supported with expertise from Spanish denim consultants Jeanologia and the Environmental Impact Measuring (EIM) software. Through the EIM software, the production is scored as low, medium or high in environmental impact, and it is a tool that helps producers control water, energy and chemical consumption in production. Once we had screened our denim production, we started tweaking all parts of the processes to make it more sustainable. Washing recipes were optimised, some washings such as extra rinses were dropped and other washes were combined. Together, these changes gave significant results-in the production of our first Better Denim styles water consumption was reduced up to 45 per cent and energy usage up to 27 per cent. Less water usage also resulted in lower usage of chemicals. Of course, this work has required a very close cooperation with our few denim suppliers, and it couldn't have been done without the dedication and expertise of our production colleagues in Bangladesh and Pakistan. After our first Better Denim styles were launched in Fall 2015, we implemented the changes in our entire denim assortment and today all of our denim styles for women and kids are Better Denim.

Then again in 2016, you launched Even Better Denim styles. How was it different from the earlier one? Tell us how it all started.

In Spring 2016, we launched our Better Denim assortment which was made in cotton from more sustainable sources and the washing process had low impact on all our styles. But our Even Better Denim styles are a few styles that we use as learning styles and that we take one or two steps further in sustainability to scale the learnings and incorporate them into our entire Better Denim assortment. This is what it has looked like so far, Even Better Denim Spring 16-organic cotton styles, low impact wash with all sustainable trims. Even Better Denim Fall 16-recycled post-consumer waste, liquid indigo dye, low impact wash, all sustainable trims. We are now planning Even Better Denim styles for Fall 17.

Almost 90 per cent of your denims are dyed with the cleanest indigo dye. Please tell us about the dye.

DyStar Indigo Vat 40 per cent solution is more resource efficient since it uses less water, energy and chemicals. It has better fixation which means there is less need for additional chemicals. Working with this solution reduces the hydrosulphite usage by 60-70 per cent and the process is cleaner with less waste water and discharge. The process with DyStar Indigo Vat 40 per cent solution occurs in a closed system which significantly reduces the workers contact with chemicals and since the indigo dye is liquid, all dust in production is eliminated.
Published on: 14/03/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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