The journey to finding a sustainable denim producer took ELK some time, though we found the perfect match in 2019 when we began working with SAITEX, a denim factory in Vietnam that goes over and above the call of duty. Cleaning up the denim industry by embracing innovation, SAITEX is on a mission to change the way the fashion industry approaches traditional production. From recycling water to repurposing waste, reducing energy consumption and embracing renewable resources, find out how this certified B-Corporation is leading the way.
SAITEX recycles 98% of its water so that it is clean enough to drink. This means one pair of SAITEX denim jeans uses 1.5L of water after recycling versus the 80L traditional denim Jeans would require in a standard process. Thanks to their closed water system, each year they save 430 million litres of water - equal to the annual water consumption of 432,000 people.
SAITEX is building a sustainable legacy brick by brick. All denim production creates a byproduct called sludge, this byproduct is mixed with concrete to create bricks which are then used to build affordable housing. Ten homes have been built so far.
CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
SAITEX are committed to conserving energy and have reduced their usage by 13 million kilowatt-hours per year, in addition to this they have reduced carbon emissions by nearly 80%, here is how they have done it:
Denim jeans are 85% air-dried, unlike traditional denim that is dried in high electricity consuming driers.
Solar-powered lights throughout their facilities help to save 13 million kWh per year.
Saying no to fossil fuels - SAITEX uses biomass steam generation instead.
By providing alternative transport solutions and planting trees to offset carbon emissions SAITEX aims to be carbon neutral by 2023.
SAITEX has been awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. One of the most prestigious green building certification programs.
As a certified B-Corporation, their commitment to being a purpose led business is demonstrated by their many initiatives focused on people and planet - 0.1% of their revenue is invested into supporting positive social impact.
People matter at SAITEX and they have some amazing initiatives in place. They have set up hydroponic farms that produce more than 100kg of organic produce each month, providing healthy fresh food for their staff and training and employment for locals.
In 2019 they joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign Project, which sets out a blueprint for designing more sustainable jeans, ELK is currently working with SAITEX around these guidelines to create an even more sustainable denim for winter 2021.
Learn more about SAITEX here.