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Archroma Targets Better Water Efficiency, Waste Management

Rivet's 2020 Denim Circularity report takes a deep dive into how the global denim industry is plotting its circular future amidst a worldwide pandemic.

Swiss specialty chemicals company Archroma developed seven new innovations and 27 new solution systems last year that abide by its philosophy of providing a “safe, efficient and enhanced” path to a sustainable world.

Despite the advancements and the global pandemic that rattled 2020, Archroma CEO Heike van de Kerkhof affirms that progress will continue on just as strongly.

“As our industries navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, the temptation for some will be to push back on the urgent need to address the climate crisis,” she said. “We cannot allow that. Because after all, it’s our nature.”

With a target to increase sales from sustainable collections by 35 percent by 2023, Archroma, the maker of EarthColors and Denisol Pure Indigo, shed light on how it aims to maintain its momentum in developing sustainable solutions for the garment industry in its recently published 2019 sustainability report.

High on Archroma’s to-do list is to improving in consuming the water essential to its business. “It is primarily used as a processing aid in cooling, cleaning and air scrubbing/washing, and as a raw material in the production of commercial liquid based formulations, such as liquid dyes, optical brightening agents and polymeric dispersions, and also evaporated in the production of dry formulations,” the report stated.

Though its water use is monitored and managed, Archroma reported that it used 6.4 percent more water during fiscal year 2019 compared to the year prior, or the equivalent of 19.63 cubic meters of water per ton of product.

By 2023, the company plans to cut water intensity to 16.6 cubic meters per ton of production. To achieve that target, Archroma has already developed water-saving innovations such as Dark Bliss, a system for dyeing blacks and dark colors with significantly less water and fewer chemicals; Deep Dive, a water-saving coloration system; and Denim Vibe, a sulfur-based system to produce bright ocean-blue denim without wasting water.

Waste is another area in need of improvement, according to the report. By 2023, Archroma aims to reduce the amount of waste it generates by 25 percent. To reach this goal, the company plans to modify its production processes to reduce waste and increase yields in two main areas: chemicals, and dyes and optical brightening agents.

Archroma’s Denisol Pure Indigo, an aniline-free synthetic pre-reduced liquid indigo, as well as Bright Dream, a formaldehyde-free system for whiter fabrics, are helping the company inch closer to its goal.

Safety, however, is not neglected in the name of sustainability. “For our innovation efforts, this means making chemical products that are safe to manufacture, safe to use by our customers, safe for consumers using our products, and safe for our environment at every stage of our products lifecycle,” the company stated.

To enable this, Archroma reported that it developed a market-related Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), designed to limit unintended hazardous substances in its commercial formulations. “Through diligent portfolio and vendor management, we are committed to optimizing our entire product range so that by the end of 2023 all of our commercial formulations meet the criteria of the Archroma MRSL,” it stated.

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