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Special Feature | May 2016

Stretch Denim: Arvind innovation pays

Aamir Akhtar, CEO – Denim Fabrics Division at Arvind Ltd

Denim is nothing new in the Arvind’s stable! But now the Arvind Group’s Denim Division is stretching its imagination beyond the blue to tap the full potential of the Stretch Denim, which is powered by none other than the renowned Lycra. Arvind with its belief in design, innovation and sustainability has delivered many firsts in denim, enabling brands to bring differentiated products for their respective discerning customers. “The Stretch Denim has grown and evolved. Initially, the stretch denim was with polyester. Then, it moved to cotton stretches. The segment has evolved with the growth of fashion industry. Globally too the stretch denim segment has grown, but in India, it has captured a 90 per cent share,” said Aamir Akhtar, CEO – Denim Fabrics Division at Arvind Ltd, while speaking to Samuel Joseph, Editor of The ITJ.

Said Akhtar: “For the Indian market the Arvind Group has an 85 per cent of denim in stretch segment. The total production capacity for all denim at Arvind – top and bottom weights of indigo blue – is about 140 million metres per annum.” Denim of yesterday is history. The heavy weighted denim was used more as workwear, but today the same denim has undergone a sea-change. It has come under the limelight of fashion. With men and women going for body-hugging looks, stretch denim has started playing a pivotal role in deciding the fashion. “Even in the export markets, the trend has shifted to refined denim. The thick, heavy-weighted denim’s fortunes have faded, and the market for stretch denim is highly evolved today,” said Akhtar.

Arvind has a strategic alliance with Invista. “Arvind has an exclusive tie-up with Invista for its range of products. Lycra is used, and Invista has other excellent products like Coolmax, Thermolite, etc., which also have very good potential to combine with other materials to make innovative products. Arvind stands for innovation, which distinguished us from other companies. Invista with its new concepts has helped us to innovate new products.”

Arvind has been working with Invista for the last 6 to 7 years. “But last year, Arvind Group formalised the tie-up and announced it. Now we have a channel concept, which has introduced a brand identity to the products.” Talking about the stretch quality in the products, Akhtar said that in menswear, the stretch reaches about 35 per cent while in the womenswear, the stretch reaches even to 80 per cent. The stretch denim product range stretches to cover many aspects – like body shaping, tougher denims with stretch, moisture controlled stretch denim for sportswear, etc.

Innovation seems to have reached a zenith at Arvind Denim. Said Akhtar: “Apart from knitted denims, there is also denim corduroys. Then, Arvind has come out with a revolutionary denim, which shows new patterns as the washing progresses. New blends are created.” Talking about denim consumption, Akhtar said: “The ratio is skewed in favour of men in the consumption pattern. If it men: women is 60:40 globally, in India, it is the other way. Womenswear is in some categories around 20 per cent, which shows that there is immense scope to boost the denim consumption in India. More working women means more need for modern dress and denim dictates fashion.” Denim is a high priority area for Arvind Group. Said Akhtar: “Every year, we are investing in denim, value addition, which starts from spinning itself. Last year we spent Rs 70 crore in spinning facilities. Another Rs 30 crore was spent in processing. The year before last, we invested about Rs 40 crore in a new form of dyeing.”

What are the three mantras that keep Arvind ahead of competition? Akhtar did not hesitate to reply: “Innovation. Design. Sustainability.”

Arvind recently showcased its Stretch Denim Powered by LYCRA in an exclusive event at The Lalit, Mumbai for Festive 2016 for the Indian market. The festive 2016 denim collection has latest in denim innovations from Arvind with inventive concepts of mutant denim, denim structures, neo denim, neo cord, neo bubble and boomerang denim. All the concepts have stretches powered by LYCRA fibre. The denim products in each of these concepts are styled thematically and washed in best of laundries across the world. These products are displayed category wise and showcased in an exclusive runway show choreographed by Prasad Bidapa.

During this event Arvind continues with the brand promise to its trade partners through the “Arvind Stretch Denim powered by LYCRA” hangtag. This is provided proportionately with all Arvind denim fabrics. The brand and the garment manufacturer are already using these on each of their denim garments made by Arvind Stretch Denim powered by LYCRA. This enables to communicate the brand essence to end consumers making it stand apart in the crowd providing a heartfelt assurance to the end consumer. At Arvind, business units span across the entire textile and apparel value chain - from growing organic cotton through spinning, weaving, processing and finally manufacturing and retailing its own repertoire of diverse brands. Arvind is recognized for maintaining global standard in eco-friendly manufacturing at every stage across the entire lifecycle of its products. The late 1980’s saw Arvind pioneer the manufacturing of denim in India. Today, with an installed capacity of over 110 million meters per annum, Arvind is one of the largest producers of denim worldwide. Design, Innovation and Sustainability have been the core competency of Arvind and have played a key role in its success. The use of sophisticated ultramodern technology under the guidance of world-renowned designers has enabled Arvind to deliver many firsts in the global market. Products are designed and modeled on the expert design inputs from its designer’s of India, Japan, Italy and the US. All Arvind denim products come with the hallmark of distinctiveness, quality and sustainability.

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