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Archroma’s New Dye Uses Textile Waste

Archroma is joining the industry movement of upcycling textile waste into new products.

The Swiss chemical company introduced FiberColors technology, a range of dyestuff synthesized from a minimum content of 50 percent waste-based raw material.

For FiberColors, Archroma developed a process to use cotton and/or polyamide and their blends with at least 95 percent purity to substitute “the major part” of the petroleum-based raw material usually used to make dyestuff. 

With this circular solution, a brand can turn its own pre- and post-consumer textile waste into its own colors, and create a complete collection including T-shirts, chinos, sweatshirts, hoodies, polo shirts, and home textiles, the company said.

The dyes are especially suited for cellulose fibers such as cotton, viscose, linen and kapok, Archroma said. They can also be used in denim and garment dyeing and printing processes.

The patent-pending technology includes five color ranges: Diresul Fiber-Teak (brown shades), Diresul Fiber-Ochre (olive shades), Diresul Fiber-Maroon (bordeaux shades), Diresul Fiber-Slate (blue-grey shades) and Diresul Fiber-Graphite (dark grey shades).

The denim industry is seeking ways to achieve sustainable coloration, and upcycled textile waste aligns with many companies’ circular missions. Global Denim, Artistic Milliners and Cone Denim are among the mills adding no additional dye to fabrics made with recycled denim. Italian chemical company Officina39 has found success with Recycrom, a sustainable dyestuffs solution recycled from textile waste.

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For Archroma, FiberColors builds on the company’s portfolio of creative and sustainable dye solutions with commercial viability. Archroma’s EarthColors—a range of dyes derived from waste from the herbal and food industry—have been featured in collections by G-Star Raw, Patagonia, Esprit, Tom Taylor, Pangaia, Ugg and Primark.

With FiberColors, it’s making an appeal to forward-thinking companies who want to help find a solution to keep textiles out of landfills, and at the same time give value to waste including articles collected in their take-back schemes that cannot be reused.

“After creating colors from food and herbal waste with EarthColors, we are taking a step further in circular manufacturing with FiberColors, addressing the huge textile and fashion waste global issue,” said Heike van de Kerhof, Archroma CEO. “This is how we make our purpose to lead our industry towards a more sustainable future for our customers and markets, a reality. Because it’s our nature.”