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Archroma introduces biosynthetic dyes

EcoNote | December 8, 2014 | By:

A dyestuffs company with a new name but a long history wants to help clothing companies on their way to eco-conscious fashion, with a range of products created from agricultural waste. It is also embracing the latest in communications technology to enable transparency of the supply chain to consumers.

Color and specialty chemicals company Archroma is combining the old and the new in a range of “biosynthetic” dyes for cotton and cellulose-based fabrics. Called Earthcolors, the dyes are derived from almond shells, saw palmetto, rosemary leaves and other natural products that are considered agricultural waste and would otherwise be sent to a landfill. Instead, they are used to color denim and casualwear fabrics in reds, browns and greens.

Additionally, Archroma is providing brand owners with the possibility of transparency along the complete supply chain for these dyes, and it is offering to make that transparency available to end consumers using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology incorporated into their smartphone. Archroma believes that this is the first time that NFC is being used in this way. NFC is a relative of RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, which many retailers already use for tracking products. But NFC is more sophisticated and more consumer friendly. Information, such as the mill which dyed the fabric, where the garment was laundered and the source of bio-based raw material, can be accessed.

The new biosynthetic sulfur dyes have been four years in the making. The company describes this new development as a step-change in dyes manufacturing and coloration technology.

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