Denim is a fabric with a rich history, but one man has played a pivotal role in transforming it from a workmanlike staple into a fashion icon. That man is Adriano Goldschmied, often hailed as “the Godfather of denim.” His journey in the world of denim has been nothing short of remarkable, and today, we’ll dive into his groundbreaking work in denim washing, particularly his insights on denim wash types and handmade stones for sustainable denim washing.


Pioneering the Stonewash Revolution


Adriano Goldschmied’s journey in denim started with a dream of becoming a competitive skier. Little did he know that he would go on to change the denim industry forever. In the early days, he co-founded Diesel and created denim labels like AG and Goldsign, among others. Goldschmied was among the first to reimagine denim as a fashion item, breaking away from the traditional dark and raw denim.


One of his most significant contributions was pioneering the stonewash revolution in the denim wash types. Alongside innovators like Francois Gerbau in France and Edwin in Japan, he developed the stonewash process, a technique that mimicked the natural abrasion of vintage jeans. This process became a hallmark of distressed denim fashion and created a new denim landscape.


A Conversation with Adriano Goldschmied and denim wash types.


In a candid interview with denim industry legend Adriano Goldschmied, we delve into the evolution of techniques shaping the industry’s sustainable future. As one of the pioneers behind the stonewash process, Goldschmied reflects on its history and the need for innovative alternatives, ultimately highlighting the significance of Hand Made Stones (HMS).

Adriano Goldschmied: “I think I was one of the first to develop the stonewash process in denim, together with Francois Gerbau in France and Edwin in Japan. The effect of the stonewash was the only one that could reproduce the abrasion of vintage jeans.”


The stonewash, renowned for its vintage aesthetic, had revolutionized the denim industry. However, as Goldschmied notes, in the late ’90s, the downsides of this technique began to emerge – environmental concerns. 


Adriano Goldschmied: “We realized the impact of the stonewash was terrible because of a problem, obviously, with the stone-pumice that was destroying the environment. But also, the chemicals used in stone washing were highly polluting the water.”


In response to these challenges, the industry sought alternatives. Goldschmied discusses a range of options, including new technologies like lasers, ozone, eco-friendly chemicals, and enzymes for decoloring indigo. But one alternative that has stood out, according to him, is Hand Made Stones (HMS).

Adriano Goldschmied: “Hand Made Stones took a very important position at a certain point. Basically, HMS is a synthetic stone that gives the same effect as stonewashing with a lot of advantages.”

Goldschmied goes on to highlight the key benefits of HMS:

  1. Customizability: HMS can be designed in any shape, allowing precise control over the wash effect.
  2. Environmental Friendliness: Unlike traditional stone washing and denim wash types
    HMS doesn’t create pollution or leave marks in the water, addressing major sustainability concerns.
  3. Water Efficiency: HMS consumes less water compared to previous methods.


Adriano Goldschmied: “I’ve been using HMS for the new washes of Daily Blue, and we had amazing results, especially in the very light washes where it’s impossible to achieve sustainability. So it’s no question that HMS is bringing a good contribution to more sustainable washes.”


The Dark Side of traditional denim wash types


While stonewashing revolutionized the denim industry, it came at a cost. The traditional method of stonewashing using pumice stones was environmentally damaging and polluting. The adverse effects on water and the environment became evident in the late ’90s, leading to a search for sustainable alternatives.


Reflecting on his journey, he candidly admits that, over the years, he may have unintentionally contributed to some ecological concerns. He expresses genuine concern about the harmful processes once employed to fashion a pair of jeans, like sandblasting. He believes it’s a grave issue that needs urgent attention and reform. 


However, it’s inspiring to witness his commitment to change and the industry’s future. He firmly believes that it’s time for the denim industry to embark on a path of transformation and sustainability. With individuals like him leading the way, there’s no doubt that the industry will soon embrace responsible practices and contribute positively to our planet’s well-being.

Handmade Stones for Sustainable Denim Washing

In the quest for sustainability, various alternatives emerged, such as laser and ozone technologies, eco-friendly chemicals, and enzymes for decolorizing indigo. However, one innovation that stood out was Handmade Stones (HMS). HMS is a stone that replicates the stonewash effect without the environmental drawbacks.


The advantages of HMS are compelling. Firstly, it allows for the creation of custom shapes, providing designers with greater flexibility in achieving their desired denim finish. Secondly, it leaves no pollution or marks in the water, addressing a significant concern in denim manufacturing. Finally, HMS consumes less water compared to traditional stonewashing methods and denim wash types.

Adriano Goldschmied has personally embraced HMS for sustainable denim washing. His experiments with HMS for Daily Blue resulted in remarkable outcomes, particularly in achieving very light washes that were previously challenging to create using sustainable methods. HMS is making a valuable contribution to more eco-conscious denim washing.


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