Sarah Ahmed, chief executive officer of Warp + Weft and its sister brand DL1961, two brands built on sustainability, is partnering with HeiQ, an antimicrobial Swiss textile technology added to fabrics to protect against viruses.
A liquid is added to the softener to provide a self-sanitizing and germ-resistant surface.
Starting Oct. 1, all new DL1961 and Warp + Weft garments will have this technology added to their collections. This liquid is added to the softener during the laundering process of the denim production, providing a self-sanitizing and germ-resistant surface.
According to the company, the silver component in this technology attracts the virus molecules and the vesicle technology deplete the viral membrane so the silver destroys the virus quickly.
“Our mission as a premium denim brand is to make products in a way that is good for the planet and the people on it,” said Ahmed. “As safety is at the forefront of our consumers’ concerns, we want to be there to help. Our jeans are designed to make you look good, and feel good about wearing them.”
“People are so apprehensive about going to stores, and we really wanted to put this treatment on the denim that made it safe to touch, and also give our brand partners and stores a lot more confidence that the product will be safe to touch. You don’t want to put your customers at risk and you don’t want to put your staff at risk,” said Ahmed. She said boutique stores don’t have the manpower to sanitize everything. “We wanted to give assurance to our customers that is safe,” said Ahmed.
“We want to be clear that this protects against microbials,” she said. They are one of the first to bring it over from Europe.
HeiQ is one of the first textile technologies to be proven against Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tests were done in Australia, and with the partnership with DL1961 and Warp + Weft, they are bringing this technology to the U.S.
Ahmed said they are still doing U.S. testing and are unable to guarantee that the fabric will protect against COVID-19. There’s still a lot of legalities and red tape to go through in the U.S. to make that claim.
The clothing will have a hangtag that the jeans are treated with this technology providing a self-sanitizing and germ-resistant surface.
DL1961 has been changing the way denim is made to lessen its impact on the planet for future generations. While the average pair of jeans uses 1,500 gallons of water to produce, the average pair of DL1961 jeans uses less than 10 gallons. The company uses botanic fibers, organic and certified cotton, clean dyes and energy-efficient machinery preserve resources. Its jeans retail from $158 to $188.
Warp + Weft is also committed to ethical production and innovative fabrics. Using natural materials and smart technology, the company makes jeans for less than $100.
Ahmed said the addition of this antiviral and antibacterial agent won’t raise the price of the garment.
Ahmed manufactures jeans in the company’s Pakistani factory. Its brands are sold in such stores as Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Stitch Fix and Shopbop. It also sells many specialty stores.
“This will be an amazing competitive advantage to them,” she said.