Established in 1949 in Karachi, AGI Denim is one of Pakistan’s leading premium denim manufacturers. As a market leader, keeping abreast of the changing times, they produce quality denim in an innovative culture and are the first company to be B Corp certified in Pakistan ! . With the company joining the first edition of Denimsandjeans Show in Japan, we spoke to Ali Tekin – R&D Director – to get his insights into their latest focus and products.
1. Congratulations on becoming the first B-Corp certified company in Pakistan. What does it really mean to you and your customers
Receiving the B Corp certification was a moment of pride for us. We could not be more honoured that we are now part of this coveted coalition of companies working hard to bring about good change for the people and the planet.
It shows our customers that we are a credible organisation that has put purpose over profit, working to become increasingly transparent and honest with our stakeholders. Our vision matches other B Corps working to make the business a force for good through intelligent, impactful decisions.
2. What is your new Leed Certified Park project and how is it unique in its orientation?
Our LEED Certified Industrial Park comes with a state-of-the-art spinning and denim mill. This unit is the only one of its kind, equipped with the best-in-class tri-fuel Wartsila engines to help combat the current energy challenges, and 25% of the energy needs are fulfilled through solar power. This powerhouse of a facility gives a whole new meaning to Industry 4.0, producing 60,000 kilograms of yarn per day, which can make more than 88,000 pairs of jeans.
We’ve automated the process from the blow room to carding in the spinning mill. Among the automated solutions is Bobbin and Cone transport system (BTS/CTS), which transports bobbins and cones without material damage and contamination.
Making denim production more sustainable, we have also introduced an Industrial Recycled Waste System that takes spinning waste and turns it into feedstock for new yarn.
3 . Giving back to the community has been a strong aspect for AGI . How are you currently focusing in this arena?
AGI Denim always greatly focuses on community development, and we constantly find ways to give back to the community. In alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we’ve adopted two schools from The Citizen Foundation near our factories to provide quality education to children.
AGI Denim made substantial charitable donations in 2021. Our volunteers spent 500 hours in 2021 to raise community awareness on following SOPs during Covid 19. To keep the community healthy and safe, we planted 2000 mangroves that will help in carbon sequestration.
4. Japan being a very quality conscious market, what are the key products that you want to focus on during the Denimsandjeans Japan showhappening on November 1-2
The market is looking for denim with a more authentic aesthetic. We are inspired by the golden era of denim, the 60s and 70s, but we’re also trying to cover current consumer expectations. The best example of this is our Authentic Futures concept.
We are focusing on different kinds of sustainable fibers such as hemp, recycled cotton, Renewcell, and Ciclo and are also focusing on reducing water and chemical consumption. We have process routes such as Refresh / Double zero in our sustainable line to create concepts like Redefine that cater to these concerns.
During the pandemic, we understand that customer expectations have changed in the last two years. Consumers now need comfort and shaping technology simultaneously. Our State of Function concept considers these demands and delivers a worthy champion.
Because of the economic situation and how the world has been changing rapidly since the pandemic, all of our markets are now focused on efficiently created products. Because of that, we plan to launch a new concept, Heroes, which will consider market needs.
We all want clothes that last longer than they did before. Fast fashion is a thing of the past. A true embodiment of this is our Big Weft concept. It offers a clean destroy area, long-lasting performance and 3 Dimensional twills to the denim.
5. For SS24 , what are key product directions that you are looking at .
Authenticity is one important direction we’ll keep consistent. Authentic denim, inspired from mid-century to the 1970s, explores all the imperfections and characteristics inspired by the past.
Denim is becoming more dynamic as consumer needs change. It needs to be able to perform, and we’re proud to add Memory Denim as a worthy contender. It offers an innovative function for high-stretch jeans. Now, compression performance can also be comfortable. The yarn technology uses two levels of designed-modulus, translating to a jean that is not too tight but gives lift and holds in the areas you need.
Circularity and transparency fall within the same bracket and need to be addressed side by side. One of our core sustainable projects started in 2021 is Refresh 2.0. In the life cycle of a garment, 68% of water consumption comes from cotton agriculture; while we can’t control how much cotton we need, we can deeply analyse each step of production. As we developed Refresh denim, we ensured that it was created using 100% recycled water and that no fresh water was used during production. We do incorporate the use of sustainable fibers like hemp and Post Consumer Waste. These are recyclable organic alternatives that help us stay kind to the environment while putting out collections pushing circularity boundaries. A key example of this is our Circular 100 concept. It is equally comfortable to wear and great for the Earth.