Sustainability has become a buzzword in the world of fashion, which has unfortunately led to ‘green washing’, a term used to call out brands that spend more time, effort and money into appearing eco-friendly than taking actual steps to minimise environmental impact. ISKO has branched out from the mass of pseudo-sustainability, by creating its own guidelines and testing all sorts of chemicals and production methods in house, in an effort to create as little waste and create as much of a non-hazardous environment as possible.
While all its denim is manufactured in Turkey, ISKO’s Creative Room Services is a one of a kind denim laundry located in London, where everything from washing to finishings takes place. Innovation meets sustainability in this place of expertise, where denim production is looked under a lens of “streamlined and simplified solutions”.
ISKO’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, with industry members tapping into its facilities and knowledge for their own collections that have made it onto the Fashion Week runway. One noteworthy example is Chet Lo, with his recent FW23 collection, who visited ISKO’s Creative Room to create his black denim looks. The list is lengthy though, with emerging designers such as Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders and Matty Bovan, just as many other established high fashion brands and high street retailers like Urban Outfitters.
The technologies used by ISKO vary from station to station, depending on what the denim requires. One that instantly felt revolutionary yet so simple at the same time was the use of its Jeanologia water repurposing machine. As is well known already, the production of denim requires a lot of water – over 3,700 litres of water is needed from cotton production to store delivery, according to the UN. By conducting thorough research and investing in the right machinery, ISKO is not only able to decrease that number significantly, it also recycles all the water used for any pair through a filtration system, something that seems so apparent to implement but is actually quite rare in the denim industry.
Another way in which ISKO is taking further steps to limit its waste is through its latest initiative Ctrl+Z. Referencing the computer command to undo, Ctrl+Z focuses on regenerating fabrics only using recycled fibres, from cotton to polyester. Not only does this meet all the right sorts of certification requirements and minimise a ton of waste, Ctrl+Z’s fabrics are actually more durable and offer its finished products a longer life cycle than traditional denim pieces found on the current market.
This is only scratching the surface on how ISKO is transforming the landscape of denim production, with technologies and production methods that keep in mind its sustainable end goal throughout each step. Though when it comes to the topic of environmentally friendly clothing, it is clear that experts and scientists must be involved in the conversation, considering its extremely technical nature, which ISKO of course involves.
While scientists may be the ones to turn to, that is no reason to gatekeep the information from members of the fashion industry. On top of being a leader in sustainability, ISKO’s dedication to education is yet another marker of its genuine efforts. Transparency is the key issue when it comes to sustainability – if a brand labels something as ‘green’ but fails to provide a step-by-step explanation of its production and sourcing, can we really trust it? Not really. Not only does ISKO welcome those who enquire to visit its laundry and discover all its technologies, it is host to ongoing discussions and work with the design students from universities, such as Central Saint Martins, who are essentially the future of fashion.
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