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ISKO: creativity and responsible innovation

As one of the world’s leading denim suppliers, ISKO puts “Responsible Innovation” and pioneering technology at the heart of its business. 

Creativity, competence and citizenship are the cornerstones of ISKO’s approach, designed to push the endless possibilities of denim. Its strategy is further shaped by exclusive “thinktanks” dedicated to service innovation:

  • ISKO’s R&D, which develops new responsible concepts responsibly with a product development unit of specialists; a technology development unit of specialists in physics, chemistry, biology and nanotechnology specialists; and an advanced testing laboratory
  • ISKOTECA, a specialist resource for treatments, washings, finishings and a complete denim library housing more than 25,000 different denims and their “recipes”
  • Creative Room, which focuses on design and research, supporting brands as well as designers looking for new inspiration.

The company has a global presence, with offices in 35 countries, and a production capacity of 300 million meters of fabric per year across its 2,000 high-tech automated looms.

With more than 20 existing patents in different markets, more than 100 trademarks and more than 100 patents either pending or in the pipeline, ISKO is committed to constant innovation and improvement. All ISKO products, from traditional denim fabrics to patented technologies, are the result of the company’s Responsible Innovation approach, which consistently defines new industry standards. 

ISKO has obtained life-cycle assessments (LCAs) for all of its 25,000-plus denim products, evaluating their total life cycle from raw material to waste/recycling. To ensure the validity and replicability of these LCAs, it was the first denim manufacturer to obtain certified environmental product declarations (EPDs) that provide the water usage and carbon footprint of 1 square metre of fabric. This effort led the way to the creation of the first product category rules for future denim industry EPDs.

ISKO Earth Fit is ISKO’s its lowest-impact denim collection to date and the first worldwide to have achieved both Nordic Swan and EU Ecolabels. The collection uses innovative and responsible fibres including organic cotton, pre-consumer recycled cotton, and post-consumer recycled polyester from PET bottles. The R-TWO platform was launched only recently: it includes textile concepts made with a mix or blend of re-used cotton, obtained from production loss with Content Claim Standard certification, and recycled polyester made from PET bottles, certified to Recycled Claim Standard.

ISKO’s environmental management system, certified to an international standard, ensures that environmental impacts are managed at its production facilities. Under this system it manages energy, water, waste, chemicals, and emissions. Additionally, it has a full verified Higg Index facility environment module to demonstrate its environmental performance.

In 2018, ISKO became a signatory member of ZDHC Foundation, which aims to encourage the safer use of chemicals worldwide – this highlights its commitment not to use harmful substances. It also recently joined Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organisation that focuses on minimising the impacts of the textile industry. Aiming at raising awareness and standards of environment and business ethics, the company is member of Sedex, a supply chain platform that allows brands and retailers to see how their suppliers are meeting their social and ethical responsibilities, and of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Further to this, the company supports the Social Labor Convergence Program, contributing to the improvement of workers’ labour and social conditions.

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