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Isko: elevating denim's sustainable credentials

As the denim ingredient behind people’s favourite jeans, Isko is a pioneer of responsible innovation and technology in the fashion industry.

Creativity, competence and citizenship are the cornerstones of its approach, designed to push the endless possibilities of denim.

Isko is a full-power denim force from the ground up, offering creative services, mentors, trend researchers, fabric engineers, laundry experts and designers – all working to create a complete network of excellence.

Its strategy is further shaped by exclusive “think tanks” dedicated to service innovation:

  • Isko R&D, which develops new concepts responsibly with a Product Development Unit of specialists; a Technology Development Unit of physics, chemistry, biology, 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.

Isko has a global presence with offices in 35 countries, and a production capacity of 300 million metres of fabric per year from 2,000 high-tech automated looms.

With more than 20 existing patents in different markets and 100-plus pending or in the pipeline, Isko’s commitment is focused on constant innovation and improvement.

All Isko products, from traditional denim fabrics to patented technologies, are the result of Isko Responsible Innovation approach, which consistently defines new industry standards.

Isko has obtained lifecycle sssessments (LCAs) for all of its 25,000-plus denim products, evaluating their total lifecycle from raw material to waste/recycling. To ensure the validity and replicability of these LCAs, Isko is the first denim manufacturer to get pre-certified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which 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 (PCR) to allow the assessment of the environmental performance of “woven, knitted and crocheted fabrics of naturals fibres (except silk) for [the] apparel sector”.

Isko Earth Fit is the company’s lowest-impact denim collection to date and the only one worldwide to have achieved both the European Union Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel. The collection uses innovative and responsible fibres, including organic cotton, recycled pre-consumer cotton and post-consumer recycled polyester from PET bottles. An environmental management system, certified to an international standard, ensures the environmental impacts are managed at its production facilities.

Isko is the first and only Turkish manufacturer to have become a signatory member of ZDHC Foundation, highlighting the company’s commitment not to use harmful substances as a core part of its holistic Responsible Innovation vision.

Aiming at raising awareness and standards of environment and business ethics, Isko 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. Further to this, Isko is part of the SLCP (Social Labour Converge Project) and supports the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in developing standards for employee rights.

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