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Environmental Enforcements Drive Up the Cost of Dyestuff

Specialty chemicals company Archroma recently announced an immediate cost surge on a wide variety of their dyes used in the textile industry.

The price increase is due to supply shortages caused by environmental controls in Asia, many of which aren’t new but have only recently been strictly monitored. The controls regulate and monitor the distribution of contaminated water waste and air pollution created by dye chemicals. Chinese authorities have even begun imprisoning toxic site owners who violate the new rules.

Switzerland-based Archroma is not the only textile dyeing chemical manufacturer affected by the new enforcements. Cost increases have been put into effect across the globe over a wide range of products. Companies like Huntsman Corporation and DyStar are being hit as well. New raw material controls have impacted a majority of dyestuffs, including reactive and direct dyes for textiles.

Changes in dye prices have caused a domino effect throughout the apparel supply chain. Textile mills are doing their part to keep costs low by avoiding certain chemicals altogether and seeking environmentally sound alternatives.

On Tuesday, textile mill Twin Dragon Marketing Inc., released a statement saying that it is managing the rising dyestuff costs by focusing on manufacturing efficiency to keep costs lower and the process more environmentally friendly.

H acid, bromaminic acid and anthraquinone are the intermediate chemicals most targeted by the environmental control. According to raw material and dyes intermediate producers, a further upswing in cost is anticipated.

Ron Pedemonte, president of DyStar Americas, explained that there are few alternatives to these chemicals. The key is to manage the pollution by incinerating or repurposing, he said.

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DyStar, a global solution provider, is no stranger to environmental awareness. They built waste water controls into each of their 14 plants even before it was required. Their green initiatives are recognized by the United Nations, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Textile Exchange, Bluesign and more. Pedemonte believes the enforcement of the controls is positive, “It’s an industry change that has to come,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Archroma has also begun to take the environment into consideration and the company has made strides toward becoming more eco-friendly. They opened their first sustainable effluent treatment facility in Pakistan, which recovers 80 percent of the water used in the textile operational site, and according to Achroma’s website, they are working with textile mills, brands and retailers to create innovative, ecological and economical chemical products and process solutions.