From using natural dyes and innovative new processes to not using dyes at all, retailers are adopting all required measures to control environmental impact of dyeing clothes. They are also launching capsule collections and reinventing old production methods. As per a Drapers Online report, dyeing causes many environmental issues such as use of fossil fuels to create oil-based dyes, excessive water consumption and water pollution from dyeing effluents. To control these issues, brands are launching limited edition collection like the 22-piece collection launched by Primark in August this year. It uses three dyes created from agricultural waste from EarthColors by speciality chemicals provider Archroma.
Brands steps up sustainability efforts
Nuria Estape, Head-Global Marketing, Archroma says, brands are making more efforts to offer sustainable collections. The company works with many high-street brands and offers six dyes sold directly to brands and retailers. Launched in 2018, loungewear and basics brand Pangaia works with natural and polyfunctional reactive dyes that are more efficient at binding and allows it to use less dyestuff. A biosynthetic dye, EarthColors is used by other high street brands, including G-Star Raw and Esprit. The brand procures raw materials from waste that is engineered by Archroma to create higher yield.
Another brand that uses EarthColors is Scandinavian fashion brand Samsøe Samsøe. The brand is still at the product development stage. In June, Samsøe Samsøe launched an undyed range which helped it save 80 litres of water for every kilo of fabric produced. Adidas too launched a range of undyed golf shoes in August this year. These shoes need post-treatment to maintain their performance levels buy they help the brand save water and energy upto 60 per cent. The shoes give a distinct look to golfers. H&M launched a dye-themed range in April in partnership with We Are SpinDye and ColoriFix, a biotechnology company that uses DNA sequencing to decipher the nature of pigments before using them in engineered microorganisms.
The basics of dyeing
Merryn Chilcott, Sustainability and Technical Manager, BAM Clothing opines, it is important to limit the damage of certain dyes in brands’ supply chain before they explore new dyeing methods. Her company incorporated the tools by Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation to map dyeing supply chain, highlight problem areas and ensure compliance.
Estape says, brands need to experiment with new dyeing methods as customers are responding to the muted colors offered by natural and biosynthetic dyes. Charlotte Turner, Consultant, Sustainable Fashion and Textiles adds, brands can use capsule collections to explore new alternatives to existing dyeing materials and methods. They can achieve sustainability in dyeing by covering entire apparel value chain.