How far can you go with your denim designs, can you create products with longevity whilst still remaining on trend? We spoke to Pakistan-based denim producer Siddiqsons to find out more.

Tell us about your business, how long has it been running and what’s the story behind it?

We were the first denim manufacturers in Pakistan, starting production in the 1970s. We run the business in conjunction with our home textile, indigo knit and jersey productions. Although we are now well diversified in shopping mall construction, tin plate manufacture and other areas across the denim business.

Are you an integrated mill? Do you produce the fabrics as well as the finished garments?

We quite literally take the cotton bales in one end and produce a fully finished and washed garment out the other. We do supply just fabric to a lot of our customers, but the full package is very definitely our speciality.

What sort of denim do you specialise in?

In terms of weights, we run from five to 15 ounces. Our heritage from the last Century gives us a unique insight into authentic denims and finishes, but we also update these with modern requirements; super stretch, bi-stretch, rigids, Lycra Beauty and even ecrus for white, black-stay-black and garment dyes.

Do you incorporate any other fibres, such as Lycra, Tencel etc?

Our quest for sustainable material has led us to incorporate Tencel and other efficient man-made fibres; roughly 80% of our production uses Lycra, as is the way in the modern market.

Do you specialise in any dying techniques, washes or finishes?

We seem to do a lot of acid washes for our customers, and are known for our ability to master this technique. On the other end of the scale, we are heavily experimenting on Ozone and Laser finishes to try and lead our customers away from destructive chemicals.

How are you dealing with the sustainability issues surrounding the denim industry?  We built our factories many years ago with an effluent processing plant (not many Pakistani mills can say that), so sustainability of product and environment is top of the list for us and always has been.

Recycled cotton and polyester and post-consumer waste, are incorporated into raw materials but always bearing in mind that the product has to look right. We work closely with our dye and chemical suppliers to reduce the environmental impacts of those, and as we make our own fabric we are in a unique position to educate our customer of the advantages. BCI cotton is a given, Okotex and REACH are standards, but we want to go beyond.

How do you see denim moving into the future? What technological or design strategies are you implementing for your customers and the future of denim?

Sustainability and environmental issues should not be mutually exclusive to a great looking denim. We have laundry experts finding new and better ways to wash jeans and fabrics and make the classic denim product live longer. We, and the market, believe in it, we just have to keep it fresh and relevant. Communication is key to this and technology is key to that. We can make denim to look like sportswear, denim that does not lose any colour after 40 home washes, and denim that stretches and stretches, but we must not lose sight of the inherent beauty and behaviour of the indigo magic.

Have customers become more demanding of suppliers? What have the core changes been in this relationship?

Yes they have, but it’s as much because suppliers are understanding their customers better, than customers becoming more demanding. Standards are higher, needs are greater, product range is wider, lead times must get shorter and price has become an agreement rather than a battle.

What advice would you give sourcing professionals looking for a manufacturer?

I’d say ‘Look no further’!

How can manufacturers and sourcing professionals improve their relationships?

Trust and loyalty. Work hard together, understand each other’s needs but above all make a hassle-free, gorgeous looking product.