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Archroma and Kathmandu Collaborate on Eco-Friendly Apparel Dyes

Outdoor retailer Kathmandu is stepping up its apparel offering with more sustainable garment dyes.

On Tuesday, Kathmandu selected color authority Archroma and its EarthColors range of plant-based dyes to develop a capsule collection of Kathmandu’s signature hoodie.

“We have been using recycled materials for over 20 years and we are constantly looking for new technologies to develop more sustainable outdoor gear,” said Manu Rastogi, textile R&D and responsible materials manager for Kathmandu. “So when we heard about Archroma’s EarthColors, we were immediately excited by what is probably the first technology allowing colors to be synthesized from plants rather than petroleum while keeping similar performance.”

The ‘vintage casual’ themed collection, which is available on Kathmandu’s website, features a variety of Archroma’s nature-inspired dyes, including burlwood rose, burnt olive and slate blue, that are made from non-edible parts of nutshells, almond shells, bitter orange and beetroot, rosemary and saw palmetto. Archroma sourced these 100 percent renewable resources from the agriculture and herbal industries—providing brands with more sustainable dyeing materials. What’s more, the EarthColors range contains NFC technology, a chip which enables the colors to be traced from source to shop. With EarthColors, apparel brands, including Kathmandu, can foster a more circular economy and reduce the negative environmental impacts of garment dyeing.

[Read more on how companies are making garment dyeing more sustainable: Fashion for Good’s Next 8 Apparel Startups to Watch]

“Kathmandu will surely inspire other brands and retailers to explore and adopt eco-advanced innovations,” added Paul Cowell, head of brand marketing in Archroma’s Brand & Performance Textile Specialties business. “With the help of Kathmandu, Archroma is again showing the apparel industry the way to go, one collection at a time.”

Kathmandu is just the latest brand to opt for the EarthColors collection. Patagonia announced in May it would use the Palmetto Green and Citrus Brown colors in its Clean Color Collection.