Lace might be soft and delicate, but when it comes to creating a path toward sustainable beauty, Noyon Lanka is going at it with mighty force.
Already a leader in sustainable apparel, the company recently introduced Planetones, the world’s first Control Union certified 100 percent natural dye solution for nylon lace—something that has long eluded the fashion industry. The certification by Control Union is known as the “Eco Dye Standard.”
This will allow brands to better meet growing demand from consumers and pressure groups for responsible and sustainable fashion and lace, all produced in an environmentally friendly and ethical manner.
Established in 2004, Noyon Lanka is a subsidiary of South Asia’s largest apparel manufacturer MAS Holdings. The company’s engineered warp-knitted collections range from high-quality fabric for athleisure as well as intimate wear, sleepwear and fem tech. Various types of lace range from luxurious chantillies and multiway stretch to high-tenacity and engineered lace fabric. This dyeing innovation brings the industry closer to one day having a lace garment made purely from natural dye.
A green roadmap
Noyon Lanka’s natural dye solution is the latest development to the company’s ongoing Green Mission or sustainability roadmap, and its existing suite of eco-offerings includes biodegradable and recycled material as well as material made using recycled polyethene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
But developing a natural dye solution has been a particularly pressing mission, especially since dyeing and treatment of fabric is such a big contributor to the fashion industry’s environmental footprint. Dyeing contributes substantially to other forms of environmental impact, including carbon emissions, not to mention approximately 20 percent of world wastewater.
Compared with a synthetic dye, Noyon Lanka’s solution saves approximately 30 and 15 percent on water and energy, respectively, with a significant chemical load reduction on effluent, and ensures zero toxic chemicals.
In addition to the ‘Eco Dye Standard’ offered by Control Union for Noyon’s natural dye solution, Planetones, the company also complies with several other sustainable standards, such as the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substances List—Level 1, Oeko-Tex as well as a Transaction Certificate from the Control Union.
“This innovation, an important milestone in Noyon’s sustainability journey, has the potential to substantially reduce the environmental footprint of the apparel industry,” Noyon Lanka CEO Ashiq Lafir said. “We are actively collaborating with other stakeholders in the supply chain as well, to make this solution available to them, which we hope will initiate momentum towards producing a garment that uses exclusively natural dye, in the near future.”
Color without compromise
Natural dyeing has traditionally caused some challenges to the fashion industry due to the fact that no two tea leaves, fruits, flowers or plants are exactly alike, even within the same type. However, Noyon Lanka’s natural dye solution boasts an 85 to 95 percent color match using natural “shades of nature” (think: cranberry or achiote), and is currently available in 32 different color shades. In terms of colorfastness, the solution also scores high—2.5 – 3.5 to light and 3.5 to other materials. Similarly, color repeatability is also high, ranging between 90 and 95 percent. Taken together, these factors mean designers can utilize sustainably dyed lace without significant compromise.
“While we take pride in this innovation, this only represents the beginning of a journey for Noyon,” Lafir said. “Through innovations that are currently in development, we are confident that we can produce solutions that are even more sustainable.”
It’s on its way. Compared with levels in 2019, Noyon reduced its absolute emissions by 8.4 percent in 2021 and seeks to reduce a further 12.6 percent in 2022. The company currently engages in value enhancement of 50 percent of its non-hazardous waste, supporting circularity and re-use. 100 percent of the dyes and chemicals used by the company, are Bluesign-approved.
With production bases in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and China as well as sales and marketing offices in Paris, and New York, Noyon Lanka is reaching out to a global audience. Its natural dye solution has already been commercialized at scale and is being used by two leading European fashion brands, according to the company, with more opportunities and innovations to come for the industry at large.
In other environmental news, Noyon Lanka has partnered with the Galle Wildlife Conservation Society at Sri Lanka’s Sinharaja forest (East) for a community-based project to identify “new to science” species, considering the first step to conservation is identification. The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and of high importance to the country.
The focus of the Sinharaja conservation project involves identifying and publishing “new to science” species, biodiversity conservation, creating a “green culture” within the organization, and driving community engagement to protect the environment.
In its efforts to commemorate the identification of these species, Noyon Lanka aims to create a sustainable line for the natural dye colors by naming each color after them. Additionally, Noyon Lanka will donate 1 percent of all revenue generated through the natural dye project towards this cause.
To learn more about how Noyon Lanka’s naturally dyed lace can enhance your brand or product, click here.