Kassim Denim interview: Reducing the impact of denim

written by Charlotte Turner

Kassim Denim is a pioneering vertically integrated denim mill from Pakistan, and long time supporter of the Future Fabrics Expo and The Sustainable Angle. Kassim Denim develop, innovate, and produce an extensive range of denims, many made with organic cotton and cellulosic fibres, finished using low impact processes.

Kassim Denim have worked with some of the world’s leading denim brands, so we has a conversation with Sohail Ahmed, Kassim Denim’s market developer, to find out the latest news on what the company is doing to reduce it’s environmental impact, and instead create positive change for the company and the environment that hosts it.

Read the full conversation below, and discover a range of Kassim Denim sustainable fabrics at www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.

TSA: Can you tell us what your role is, and how you are involved in improving sustainability within your company, and in the textiles industry?
KD: As a market developer it’s my task to keep our administration updated on matters of sustainability, whether it be sustainable processing, or sustainable raw materials like yarns, dyes and chemicals.

TSA: What first inspired Kassim Denim to start working on improving sustainability in the textiles industry?
KD: Our motivation… “Sustainable, environmentally responsible, green management”  are the key factors to Kassim Denim’s endeavors to produce the best denim fabrics while maintaining the true essentials of being eco-friendly, to match up with the drive to consumer product sustainability. 

Each of these three perspectives is an integral part of our commitment for integration of an environmental and social lens into core operational and financial management — from material sourcing through product design, manufacturing, distribution, delivery and end-of-life management.

We travail to implement sustainability-focused initiatives along our entire supply chain, both upstream and downstream.

Kassim-Denim-Future-Fabrics-Virtual-Expo

Kassim Denim at the Future Fabrics Expo, 2013

TSA: Can you tell us a bit about what Kassim Denim is doing to be more sustainable?
KD: We keep a stringent vigilance to environmental, health and safety-driven issues, and always take immediate initiative on new regulations like restricting toxic chemicals, innovations in toxic disposal etc. We have committed ourselves to minimize our carbon footprint, in addition to other major concerns such as energy use, material and water resource use, and waste management.

TSA: What do you hope your initiatives and products will change and improve?
KD:

  1. Protecting the environment and the health and safety of employees and others
  2. Seeking innovative technologies and cost-effective ways to further improve our manufacturing processes
  3. Strategizing to increase energy efficiency and reduction of emissions of solid waste, air and water pollutants.
  4. Increasing competitiveness of products and technologies to meet the needs of our clientele.
  5. Innovative and eco-beneficial productions

TSA: What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges in the industry currently?
KD: We look at the impact textile production has on global climate change. We equate climate change with our own lives and base this on studies of just how the changes will impact us directly, that wet regions will be wetter, causing flash flooding; dry regions will get drier, resulting in drought. And  …  a heat wave that used to occur once every 100 years now happens every five years. Most of the current focus on the carbon footprint revolves around transportation and heating issues, and the modest little fabric all around seems to be unseen. But we at Kassim Textiles see it as a gigantic carbon footprint. The textile industry is the 3rd largest contributor to CO2 emissions in Pakistan, after primary metals and nonmetallic products and their exhausts.

TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
KD: The biggest obstacle to sustainability is greed. The race to make more and more money with minimum expenses. And to top it all the total lack of respect of the nature and turning a blind eye to the future of this planet.

TSA: What positive developments have you seen in the industry over the years?
KD: In the years I have been working here at Kassim and also observing industrial changes, though very slow paced, there is a definite awaking to the realities of the dangers to the environment. The bodies working for environmental protection have gained the voice to bring their point to the consumers, who in turn are now demanding eco-friendly and sustainable products from the producers.

TSA: In your opinion, will it be the consumer who will facilitate the change in the supply chain, or will it be the design and manufacturing industry?
KD: Designing and manufacturing is always dependent on the consumers wants and demands, hence it’s the consumer who will initiate the want, and the manufacturer shall have to cater to these demands.

Kassim-Denim-Future-Fabrics-Virtual-Expo

Kassim Denim develop, innovate, and produce an extensive range of denims, many made with organic cotton and cellulosic fibres, finished using low impact processes.

Kassim Denim can be seen at the Future Fabrics Expo on 28th – 30th September, London, and all year round on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.

They can also be visited twice a year at several global trade fairs: Texworld, Munich Fabric Start, Premier Vision China, Premier Vision Istanbul, and Bangladesh Show (Dhaka).

Kassim Denim are generous sponsors of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, and the Future Fabrics Expo, 28th – 30th September, London.

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