Global apparel retailer Gap has announced an initiative to produce denim using a waterless, indigo foam-dyeing technique, starting with a partnership between Banana Republic and Spanish denim mill Tejidos Royo.

The innovative new process, called Dry Indigo, when compared to the traditional slasher indigo (or sheet dyeing) process can:

  • reduce water usage by up to 99%;
  • use 89% fewer chemicals;
  • reduce energy usage by 65%;
  • eliminate water discharge.

Utilising a foam dye that adheres to yarn, the Dry Indigo technique produces a denim fabric that is comparable in hand-feel, aesthetic, performance and washability to traditionally dyed denim.

Two lines of denim with Dry Indigo

The Banana Republic denim with Dry Indigo will be available through a unique collection for both men and women in Spring 2020.

Both lines will include selectively sourced and sustainable pocketing and trims, such as 100% Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certified recycled poly zipper tape.
The manufacturing will be done at Saitex, a state-of-the-art sustainable factory that recycles 98% of the water it uses.

Dry Indigo, history and technique

Currently, the Dry Indigo process is exclusive to Tejidos Royo, and Banana Republic is one of the first brands to pilot the technology. Creating the ground-breaking process required ten years of collaborative research with Gaston Foam Systems and Indigo Mills Designs before its launch.

The foam-dyeing technique occurs in a space of less than 65 feet – compared to the hundreds of feet that are typically necessary for a traditional dyeing machine – thereby significantly reducing energy needs.

«Leveraging this revolutionary new dyeing process directly supports Gap Inc.’s manufacturing goal to conserve 10 billion lt of water by the end of 2020» said Christophe Roussel, Gap’s EVP of Global Sourcing.