Michael Lam – CEO Advance Denim Talks With Denimsandjeans

Advance Denim was found in 1987 and has the distinction of being the oldest denim mill in China and today, with over 1,100 employees, supplies denim to renowned brands around the globe. We welcome them again in our 6th edition of Denimsandjeans show scheduled to be held on June 26-27 in Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam and spoke to the CEO Michael Lam to understand about the growth trajectory of the company.

Advance Denim is one of the oldest Chinese denim mills founded in 1987 and has production units in the south of China and Vietnam. What do you feel about your journey ? Please explain how your company grew over so many years.

Advance Denim believes in the limitless possibilities of denim innovation and this understanding has fueled its growth over the past 35 plus years . Advance Denim was started in the modern yet traditional city of Shunde in the Guangdong Provence of China and since its inception has dedicated its efforts around the core beliefs of innovation, sustainability, people and quality. Its is these core beliefs that drive our efforts to become a global leader in denim manufacturing. Its is also important to understand that focusing on these foundational principals has been the fuel for our growth . The key is continuous innovation in both product and process . In the past 35 plus years Advance Denim has invested in groundbreaking process innovations such as Bigbox Dyeing that has created a cleaner indigo using 94% less water yet still possessing the same vintage washdown at traditional rope dyed indigo .

Why do you believe in Vietnam and why do you think it has a great future, especially denim?

Vietnam not only has a great future in denim manufacturing but it also has a long history of indigo production. So one could say that there is a rebirth of Indigo shifting from ancient traditional tunics made of dyed hemp to innovative modern denim constructions . Advance Denim feels that it is important that its production should be closer garment partners and with the shift from China to Vietnam its was important to shift production as well. Advance Denim is committed to using the years of innovation and expertise to make Advance Sico the best it can be for the long term .

What are the latest innovative products from your stable which you feel proud about  ?

We would like to introduce 2 latest innovative products – LYCRA FitSense® and freeCross™.

We are proud to announce that Advance Denim got the exclusive of the LYCRA FitSense® denim technology which is a unique targeted shaping technology that enables designers to customize targeted stretch zones within each garment and focus on the overall comfort and performance of each style. LYCRA FitSense® denim technology is crafted for comfort and accommodates expansive stretch configurations for maximum shaping goals. This patented technology creates these targeting stretch zones without sacrificing the look and feel of vintage denim.

Another revolutionary breakthrough technology – freeCross™ by Advance Denim, it uses the latest patented high-tech weaving technology realizes an unique 360° elastic denim fabric with high levels of stretch, recovery and low shrinkage makes the size of garment more stable and solves the shortcomings of the conventional 4-way stretch fabric.
European governments are steadily coming out with regulations relating to sustainability. How do these regulations affect you – are you changing your technologies to be ready for the same?

We are more than ready for the European Green Deal and new EU regulations. Driven by our passion for innovation, sustainability, people, and quality, we continuously invested in the most advanced sustainable technologies to make our high innovative true to denim collections while minimizing the water, gas and electricity consumption and reducing the carbon footprint in all stages of the development and production process.

Advance Denim has subscribed to The United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and is certified for Blue Sign, Jeans Redesign (Ellen MacArthur Foundation), Clean Design, ISO 14001, ZDHC, Higg Index >88, GOTS, BCI, GRS, OCS, RCS, OEKOTEKS (100/green), ZDHC, … We are using over 90% of green fibres, have a state-of-the-art closed-loop water treatment system combining reverse osmosis with ultrafiltration and plan to fully run on renewable energy by 2030 (40% in 2025).

In our China mill we developed and indigo and colour (botanic dyes) dyeing technology called BigBox which is using 93% less water, 34% less chemicals and 40% less energy compared to traditional indigo dyeing.

Also in our denim mill in Vietnam, Advance Sico, we keep pushing the sustainable boundaries. Advance Sico is the first denim mill in Vietnam to certify with GRS, GOTS and OCS certificates.

Next to the eco-friendly manmade fibres (Tencel, Refibra, Naia Renew), natural fibres (Hemp), recycled nylon from fishing nets (InResST) and recycled cotton (Salvage collection), we are promoting regenerative cotton from Good Earth Cotton (Australia) which is backed by FibreTrace.

At Sico we only use liquid indigo, including aniline free and hydrosulfite-free indigo. To further reduce the energy use and carbon emissions we are planning to install a photovoltaic system (a system that converts the sun’s radiation, in the form of light, into usable electricity) for using green energy on the production line as much as possible and reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

What are the main products that you shall be showcasing in the Denimsandjeans Vietnam show in June?

Our collection name as follow:

— FreeCross

— 100% FIT

— EcoCool

— AirLock

Please visit their booth at Denimsandjeans Vietnam for more details on these products.

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