If you’ve been hearing me talk about them non-stop lately and assume I’ve got a “crush” on Phong Phu International, the biggest denim garment manufacturer in Vietnam then you are correct!
Here’s why I’m so smitten with these guys…
They’re running their business stunningly effectively and they’re not just innovative, these guys are serious about their technical excellence and sustainability actions.
On top of that, they’re enthusiastic about their work and eager to share it with anyone who wants to take a shot at repeating the success they’re having.
What’s not to like?
In today’s post, PPJ opens up even more about what goes into this new technology and what it does for the industry as a whole, brands & retailers, consumers – yes for all of us on this planet.
We have to talk about this!
You may be surprised to hear the answers.
Take a minute and soak this one in.
You’ll be glad you did.
Approximately 2 billion pairs of jeans are made every year around the world.
You already know that the denim laundry industry which started in the eighties has been polluting the environment and using too much water for decades.
1 pair of jeans needs approx. 70-80 liters for wet processing. This means we consume – 80 x 2 billion = 160 billion liters of water.
Now Phong Phu International just started a cooperation with Wiser Wash Technology
Which dramatically reduces water waste and chemical output in denim factories which would pave the way for sustainable denim washing in Vietnam.
Wiser Global was awarded the Green Apple award for sustainability and is the pioneer of “Wiser Wash “ patented technology.
Consumption for a jean is 80 liters of water and if a provider can wash with half a cup of water we are looking at 98% water saving.
Watch snippets of the signing ceremony
1: Consul - general of the Netherlands in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Carel Richter, 2: Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group – VINATEX. Mr. Le Tien, Truong – CEO and President, 3: Mr. FUAT GOZACAN – Chairman & CEO of Wiser Global, 4: Dr. Dang Vu Hung – Chairman & CEO OF PPJ as well as special guests from retail side ESPRIT, H&M, Target
What is Wiser Wash?
Wiser Wash is a patented wash technology that decolorizes indigo in a way using the lowest amount of water and chemicals for a unique finished effect.
What was PPJ motivation factor number ONE to go this way with Wiser? And what was needed to get there?
PPJ is building a sustainable road map. And wash plays a crucial role in this. They are working on all stages of processing yarn, fabric, and washing for a truly sustainable road map.
How are both companies involved after signing the contract? What happens next?
PPJ team will be in Turkey to get trained and at the same instance, the machinery and layout are being prepared. This will be up and running in March 2020.
What does this PPJ-Wiser cooperation look like? How does it play out in real life?
When Wiser Global - who was awarded the Green Apple award of sustainability - meets a powerhouse of denim garment production it’s an almanac of creativity that will change the processing industry.
You might wonder what was the investment for PPJ to install the new Wiser Wash technology?
Phase one for trial start will be $1 million and a full scale at 200 K will be $4 million. The investment will be based on how this will scale up.
What is really changing in the production process? New factory, new machines, new people....?
This facility is being planned at PPJ Danang as this zone is called a supply chain city with verticality of mill, factory and laundry having the whole gambit of process in one roof.
Unfortunate the process route and technology is confidential.
Do the worker's conditions change? Compared to the traditional denim production process?
For the workers, the exposure to harmful chemicals or work environment will change 360 degrees as the process is most worker-friendly.
What does this contract mean for the environment?
The Dutch Consulate General said that the Netherlands supports and promotes companies who walk the sustainable processing. This message was clear that the governments are also promoting clean processing, water, and safe chemicals to help to maintain the biological balance.
How about pricing? Will the new technology lower or increase the denim fob prices?
There will not be a significant price reduction but other aspects of water, chemical, and handling are greatly reduced.
Does it affect ETD's? Will denim production take longer or shorter?
It all depends on the actual wash and look. In short, it’s a lesser time.
Can people tell only by the looks of denim produced if it's produced with Wiser Wash technology or without?
That is not easy as only a person with a wash knowledge can actually make out a difference. What you can tell is that it looks high-end.
What do this cooperation and the new Wiser Wash technology actually mean for the retailers and brands? How will this benefit the brands?
This gives the retailers a platform to showcase sustainability, spread awareness and improve the brand image.
A sustainability story is very important in today’s scenario. This is the most important selling point for retail. A single jean uses 7000 liters of water when you calculate from cotton cultivation, the wash process itself uses 800 liters.
But with Wiser Wash it's 50 ml and as the saying goes “every drop counts “.
Which brand is using this already?
PEPE is the forefront, PPJ has many USA and Europe brands already at test stage.
Will the brands and retailers get a certificate, a logo or how can they document that they sell a product which used the Wiser Wash technology?
The jeans will be able to use a Wiser Wash code in any way either on a tag, a label, or wash care. Based on how they want to exhibit.
How can PPJ together with brands and retailers bring the awareness of the Wiser Wash technology to the end-consumer?
This is exactly why the processing was set in Vietnam. As this is a fast developing country and with the huge traffic of buyers. They are on the right track which is evident from the interest shown.
What does this contract actually mean for the end consumer?
This is an option for a consumer to show that he or she cares for the environment buying a sustainable product. A chance to feel good and to go for a green footprint.
Will all production change to Wiser Wash technology for all PPJ products or will they just have it as a separate option for retailers and brands?
They said they wish they had the front-end power to change the retail. But sooner or later the largest selling point will be sustainability as consumers today are more aware.
For now they'll support brands who are walking this path and slowly and effectively scale this up.
What does PPJ think about the future of denim production- will this Wiser Wash technology become the new standard?
They say Wiser Wash is a pioneer and would be an inspiration for others to walk this path.
Again, True or False: use half a cup of water to produce a jean?
To get in touch with Mr Deepak Thirumalai, branch director of Phong Phu International: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Mr Deepak told with a smile that they’re so happy to join hands with like-minded institution who share and believe in their dream to make a better world.
Between you and me: "dream?!"
To me it sounds like a plan.
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