Nowadays sustainability is central to conscious consumerism. Denim, an evergreen fashion staple, is undergoing a profound transformation as companies strive to reduce their carbon footprint. In the context of denim washing, the choice between conventional pumice stone and the revolutionary Hand Made Stone (HMS) holds the key to a more environmentally responsible future. To make this choice, it is imperative to examine the environmental impact of pumice stone and HMS, from the moment they are sourced to their role within denim factories, and finally, the lasting repercussions on our planet. That’s why HMS Washing has come up with its new blog.


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Sustainable Fashion: The Carbon Footprint Comparison of Pumice Stone and HMS

Pumice Stone’s Carbon Footprint


The journey of denim’s environmental impact begins at the source — the mines that yield the coveted pumice stone. Fortunately, pumice stone mining stands as a relatively eco-friendly process since the stones are predominantly surface-mined.


The carbon footprint associated with transportation is influenced by two important factors. First, the distance between the mining sites and the pumice factories, where the raw material undergoes processing. Second, the subsequent journey from these factories to denim manufacturing facilities. The cumulative impact of these distances contributes significantly to the overall environmental cost of utilizing pumice stone in denim washing.


When it comes to the storage of pumice stones, many challenges arise. Denim factories find themselves confronted with the need for expansive storage spaces to accommodate the sheer volume of pumice stone required for consistent production. Moreover, the rapid dissolution of pumice stone during denim washing processes mandates a continuous and substantial supply, prompting denim manufacturers to reserve large areas solely for storage purposes.

Water Usage

The use of pumice stone in denim washing processes introduces a puzzle in water management. As the stone is employed to achieve the desired distressed look on denim, it undergoes rapid dissolution. Although the stone is effective in creating unique denim fades, it poses a big challenge in terms of water contamination and consumption. In addition, the swift dissolution of pumice stone during washing necessitates a higher volume of water for thorough cleansing. Denim factories, aiming to maintain the integrity of their production processes, find themselves grappling with the need for increased water usage. This spike in water consumption not only contributes to the strain on water resources but also aligns with the broader industry concern regarding responsible water usage.

Energy Usage

The majority of pumice stone washing processes hinge on the use of heated water. As denim undergoes the transformative journey of distressing, heat is employed to enhance the efficacy of the pumice stone in achieving the desired aesthetic. However, heating water requires a substantial amount of energy, contributing to the overall carbon footprint of denim manufacturing. This environmental cost points to the urgency for more sustainable alternatives.

Wastewater Systems

Characterized by its rapid dissolution during washing processes, the stone is challenging to wastewater management. As denim factories strive to achieve the desired distressed look, the water used in conjunction with pumice stone becomes a carrier of particles and contaminants. This water, laden with residues from the stone, enters wastewater systems and places a burden on wastewater treatment plants. This strains the operational efficiency of wastewater systems and also contributes to the overall environmental impact of denim production.

Earth Contamination

The waste generated from wastewater systems, saturated with contaminants from pumice stone and other elements used in denim washing, follows a common disposal route – burial. This seemingly routine practice, however, conceals a more profound impact on the earth and its surrounding ecosystems. Permeating the soil, the waste introduces foreign substances to the earth. Over time, this accumulation of contaminants can disrupt the natural balance of the environment and may even harm flora and fauna in the vicinity. This calls for a paradigm shift in denim manufacturing practices.


HMS’ Carbon Footprint


In a groundbreaking departure from tradition, HMS skips the mining step altogether. This fundamental shift marks a paradigmatic leap towards sustainable denim production. By eliminating the need for mining, HMS stone immediately reduces its environmental impact to practically zero at this initial stage.


Transportation, a notable contributor to carbon emissions in traditional mining processes, is entirely circumvented in the case of HMS. The absence of transportation-related emissions presents a compelling argument in favour of HMS stones as a more sustainable choice.


In the realm of sustainable denim production, HMS emerges as a transformative force that challenges conventional storage norms within denim factories. The durability of HMS up to 60 times that of pumice stone, fundamentally alters the spatial dynamics within denim factories. Storage spaces that were once dedicated to housing vast quantities of pumice stone can now be reimagined and repurposed. This efficiency not only streamlines logistical challenges but also optimises physical space for a more sustainable and flexible production environment.

Water Usage

The distinct advantage of HMS lies in its highly slower dissolution rate compared to traditional pumice stone. As it engages with denim during the washing process, HMS melts away up to 60 times slower than pumice stone! This presents a tangible solution to one of the industry’s pressing concerns. Interestingly, this also translates into a more efficient use of water resources. 20% less water is required per load in stone washing which resonates with the broader industry goal of minimising the environmental impact of denim production.

Energy Usage

The best part of HMS lies in its compatibility with cold water. Unlike pumice stone, HMS washing is done efficiently with cold water without the need for energy-intensive heating. This fundamental shift in the washing paradigm not only aligns with energy conservation goals but also positions HMS as a catalyst for reducing the overall carbon footprint of denim manufacturing. The elimination of the need for heated water represents a cost-saving measure and a strategic move towards energy-efficient practices.

Wastewater Systems

The durability of HMS is 60 times more than the traditional pumice stone. This brings about a 60 times reduction in the contamination levels of wastewater. As denim undergoes the washing process with HMS, the slower dissolution of the material contributes to cleaner water runoff. As a result, there is a substantial reduction in the strain on wastewater treatment plants and a broader shift towards more responsible and efficient wastewater management practices within the industry.

Earth Contamination

There is minimal water contamination associated with HMS. Furthermore, the sludge generated in wastewater treatment, typically a contributor to soil pollution, finds a second life in the production of HMS. This closed-loop recycling reduces the need for additional raw materials and interestingly, the remnants of denim production are repurposed rather than buried in the ground. A win-win situation indeed!


Summary of Pumice Stone’s and HMS’ Carbon Emissions



Pumice Stone HMS


Surface-mined, relatively eco-friendly

Skips mining, fundamentally sustainable


Influenced by distances, significant environmental cost

Zero transportation-related emissions, a sustainable choice


Requires expansive space, continuous supply challenges

Efficient storage, durability up to 60 times that of pumice stone

Water Usage

Rapid dissolution, challenges in water management

Slower dissolution (60 times), 20% less water per load, more efficient use

Energy Usage

Requires heated water, substantial energy consumption

Compatible with cold water, eliminates the need for energy-intensive heating

Wastewater Systems

Challenges in management due to rapid dissolution

60 times reduction in contamination levels, contributes to cleaner water runoff

Earth Contamination

Waste disposal through burial, potential harm to ecosystems

Minimal water contamination, closed-loop recycling, repurposes remnants, environmentally friendly


Comparing the carbon footprint of both the stones, HMS emerges as the winner! By eliminating mining and transportation, reducing storage requirements, optimising water usage with a slower dissolution rate, embracing cold water washing to minimise energy consumption, and alleviating the strain on wastewater systems, HMS redefines denim manufacturing sustainably and aesthetically. That’s what sustainable fashion is all about.


Interested in HMS for your denim brand? Contact us now!


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the primary carbon footprint concern associated with using traditional pumice stone in denim washing?

The rapid dissolution of pumice stone during denim washing is challenging in terms of water contamination and consumption, and increased strain on water resources and wastewater systems.

How does the transportation of pumice stone impact its overall environmental cost in denim production?

The cumulative impact of transporting pumice stone from mining sites to processing factories and then to denim manufacturing facilities contributes to the carbon footprint associated with its usage in denim washing.

What distinguishes HMS from traditional pumice stone in terms of water usage during denim washing?

HMS boasts a highly slower dissolution rate compared to traditional pumice stone, requiring 20% less water per load. This addresses water conservation goals and also aligns with the broader industry objective of reducing the environmental impact of denim production.

How does HMS contribute to more efficient energy usage in denim manufacturing?

Unlike pumice stone, HMS operates efficiently with cold water, eliminating the need for energy-intensive heating in the washing process. This shift represents a cost-saving measure and a strategic move towards energy-efficient practices in denim manufacturing.

What makes HMS a more sustainable choice for denim production compared to traditional pumice stone in terms of wastewater management?

The durability of HMS, being 60 times greater than traditional pumice stone, results in a substantial reduction in wastewater contamination. Cleaner water runoff during the washing process reduces the strain on wastewater treatment plants and contributes to more responsible and efficient wastewater management practices within the industry.

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