Mill Partner Spotlight on Tejidos Royo
Stories | October 19, 2021
We are happy to shine our mill partner spotlight on Tejidos Royo, one of Europe’s leading textile manufacturers. Based in Valencia, Spain, Tejidos Royo was founded in 1903 – a family business that has continued to thrive over its 118 years due to its commitment to continuous innovation and focus on the future. Known for its spinning, indigo dyeing, piece dyeing, weaving, and special finishes, Tejidos Royo exports fabrics to clients in over 30 countries.
As part of its DNA, the company has always maintained a total commitment to sustainability and the protection of Human Rights throughout the value chain. Following this philosophy, Tejidos Royo accepts as its own the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as the best path to sustainability.
The company is highly respected in the denim industry for being one of the first to include eco-friendly and recycled fibers in its fabrics, and to introduce its new waterless indigo dying technology – Dry Indigo®.
We recently spoke with Tejidos Royo Sales Director, José Royo to discuss its partnership with Hyosung among other topics. We hope you enjoy the highlights of our conversation!
When did Tejidos Royo and Hyosung begin working together and what brought you together?
We started working together 20 years ago in 2001. The main reason we partnered is because we did not want to depend on one spandex supplier. We were looking for a good partner in that regard, a company that is reliable, and we found that with Hyosung and its creora® spandex brand.
What does Tejidos Royo look for when selecting a fiber company to partner with?
For us, the most important thing – whether it’s a chemical supplier, a denim supplier, or a fiber supplier – is the seriousness of the company. That means that it has to have excellent quality control. We have tried thousands of different suppliers’ fibers – in yarns, in fabrics – and we end up only with two or three suppliers in each parameter, fiber, denim, or whatever. Hyosung was one of these companies that immediately gave us that assurance of quality. You can tell they know what they’re doing.
Can you share an example of how Tejidos Royo works together with a partner to anticipate a customer’s needs?
Royo never wants to be a follower in anything we do. So every time we visit a customer, we then talk to our suppliers. Why? Because suppliers are always the ones that have the information, they have the power of the raw material. We need companies like Hyosung, Invista, and Lenzing because they come up with the ideas and they propose the ideas. By integrating our supplier with customer ideas, we can make some very nice products.
Is there anything particularly challenging that you’ve run up against with a brand that you solved with a partner such as Hyosung?
Well, we’ve had a lot of those in the history of Royo because we have a long history. The first one that was a challenge was the use of Tencel®. It took us almost two years to be able to make one meter, a correct meter. The fill was very challenging, but it was something in the end that put Tejidos Royo 20 years ahead of our competitors. Because at the time everybody was doing cottons. So we started with Tencel®, it was the first modified viscose that could be dyed in denim. Now everybody’s doing Tencel, but 20 something years ago, no one was using it. So that was the first challenge.
The second challenge was to be able to control the stretch fabrics. Now everybody is doing the stretch fabrics, but the reality is that 20 years ago, controlling the stretch was very difficult because even the finishing machines were not prepared for those fabrics that were narrow and very stretchy. So then the standards were not that easy to control these powerful fabrics. We believe that we were one of the first companies in the world to have a consistent stretch in our fabrics.
The third challenge, I would say is with our Dry Indigo®. Dry Indigo® has been a challenge because the industry has been dying fabric the same way for the last 100 years, Suddenly, about 15 years ago, these crazy Spanish guys in collaboration with Gaston Systems in America started developing a new project that is going change of the industry because we are dying with 0% water, that became our Dry Indigo® Technology.
So those, I will say are the three things that help make our long history a leader. We don’t want to be the first ones in the world. But we want to be the second or the third one because we will always give our customers something different.
How have you seen denim trends change over the years?
Sustainability has been the biggest trend. Sustainability is not something that happened over the last five or so years. We started our sustainability journey thirty years ago with viscose fill, which was the most sustainable fiber at that time. Now we are using more recycled and sustainable fibers. Our aim is by 2025 is that 100% of our fabric must be made with 20% to 30% recycled components, and that includes cotton.
It’s also interesting to see jeans design trends. Where previously men wanted 100% cotton denim, they now want stretch. Now women who previously wanted lots of stretch are buying more cotton with less stretch, but men are still wanting the stretch!
Are there some styles that you believe will withstand the test of time?
Comfort stretch because humans want to be comfy. When I go in the car, I want to be comfy. When I get on the plane, I want to be comfy. So that’s the main desire – to be comfortable.
What brands do you think are doing really creative work in denim right now?
For me, the number one sustainable, creative and craziest company in the world, in a good way, is MUD Jeans. It has to do with the whole philosophy of the company, which lives for sustainability. MUD Jeans is a company made for sustainable garments. There are a lot of other companies that are doing very good and interesting things, such as Diesel Jeans, 7 for All Mankind, AG Jeans in America. There are many more companies, and I don’t want to mention more because I will leave someone out that I do not mean to!
What three things do you believe have contributed to Tejidos Royo’s success over its 118 years?
First, we are here because of the family members. However, the family owner of the company has always put the company over family, meaning that in order to have the business succeed, we have the most talented people leading our company, even if that person is not a family member. The leader or the CEO has to be foremost a professional, and not necessarily a family member.
The second thing that has made us successful for so many years is our commitment to lead with innovation. Don’t try to copy what your competitors are doing. So we always try to do things differently.
And the third is sustainability. We were talking about sustainability 30 plus years ago, which gave us a competitive advantage with eco-friendly initiatives and materials. We invest in the future and we take risks always to be different from the rest.
What do you think is new and exciting on the horizon?
If I tell you, I have to kill you! There is so much! Because of COVID, people are more conscious about the CO2 footprint – we want to feel better about our environment. We want to have a better world. I think we are going from more global to local production in the future. We can never give up global for competitive pricing, but we need to include local where we can. We need to be global and local – Glocal.
I believe in the next five years we must have 100% recycled garments. There’s no excuse. Perhaps in this timeframe, we will also create something new so that our trousers will look totally different from what they are today. I have no idea what but we’re working on it!
Many thanks to José for his time to share all of the great stories! For more information on Tejidos Royo, please visit https://www.tejidosroyo.com/