Up close with Sarah Faisal Ahmed, Creative Director for DL 1961
Sarah Faisal Ahmed, Creative Director for DL 1961, came to New York at age 17. She went on to attend graduate school at Parsons School of Design where she majored in fine arts and technology; she knows how to code. But her story began in Pakistan where the DL 1961 brand was also born.
DL1961 is a family story. It all begins in Pakistan where Ahmed’s family owns the mill that makes the yarn to produce the “world’s greenest high-performance denim.” About one third of the denim produced in the world is made in Pakistan.
The American version of the DL 1961 story begins in 2008, when DL set out to re-write the way denim is being made. Ahmed was acutely aware of the amount of production happening in fashion and felt that the way we manage our impact on the environment is critical to the future of the planet. Since her family owns the supply, what better way, she thought, to control waste and have less impact on the environment, than through DL 1961’s manufacturing process.
The result is innovation from top to bottom: their manufacturing processes use the highest quality recycled fibers, 50% less water than traditional manufacturing and zero water is used in getting jeans washed dark to light. In fact, 98% of the water they use is recycled and 30% of their energy is solar powered.
The good news gets better. The brand takes meticulous care to ensure that the denim they make is not only environmentally sound, but “feels like butter on a customer’s body”; and this is especially important because, as Ahmed points out, over 65% of women today require larger sizes than those being promoted by the fashion industry.
Ahmed’s deep belief that “respect is the cornerstone” of human relationships applies to the way she sees the Earth as well. She left me with this thought: “We are one planet, and we must respect everyone”.
Discover DL 1961’s revolutionary, “instasculpting” denim here>