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Where do you source raw materials for the Earthcolors range of high-performance dyes? Are they suitable for all fibres? What is the NFC traceability technology you are using with them?
Earthcolors are a very exciting range. The dyes are produced in our plant of Castellbisbal near Barcelona, Spain. They are synthesised from non-edible agricultural or herbal industries waste, such as leaves or nutshells. The raw materials are sourced as close as possible from the production plant. We have currently seven dyes in the range, covering a palette of natural shades for cellulosic based fibres like cotton, viscose, linen, bamboo and kapok.
NFC stands for near-field communication. It is a wireless technology that allows us to access data on our smartphone and other devices. We use the NFC technology to follow the colour from the natural waste source to the store.
What alternatives do you offer to customers looking for more natural ways of dyeing?
We have several systems, besides the Earthcolors range, that allow a more sustainable way to colour fabrics and garments. Let me give you two examples. The first one is 'Indigo Flow', an aniline-free indigo system that produces authentic denim without compromising on our planet. This system is based on Denisol Pure Indigo, the aniline-free synthetic pre-reduced liquid indigo that Archroma launched in 2018. The second one is 'Indigo Reflection', a colouration system that behaves like indigo but with a more sustainable and efficient process. It is based on Diresul Smartdenim Blue, a liquid sulphur blue dye designed to mimic indigo that was launched at ITMA Barcelona in June 2019.
What new innovations and technologies do you plan to invest in the near future?
The Archroma Way is all about making textile safe, efficient and enhanced. Our research and development (R&D) efforts are, therefore, geared towards supporting these objectives of developing ever safer formulations, for the worker, for the consumer and for the planet. When developing new dyes and chemicals, we also look at ways to make our own production, but also our customers' production more efficient, with less energy consumption, less natural resources and cleaner effluents. And we also look at creating innovative functions and effects to make textiles, fabrics and clothing more attractive to the final customer or to the consumer.
What percentage of textile dyes and chemicals are environment friendly?
We just introduced our systems approach this year and we have already launched 24 systems, and more are coming every month. It is too early to give a figure, but we can see from the market response so far that the industry is eagerly awaiting more sustainability and innovation. With Archroma, our customers know that we will help them develop products with a higher value and in a responsible way.
What are the challenges hindering the growth of this sector in India?
As I mentioned earlier, we believe that the India market has many strengths to build upon. Of course, the Indian textile industry needs to adapt to new ecological requirements-or to growing expectations in quality and performance, for instance in denim or technical textiles, but we have the technical experts and creative minds in this country to tackle these challenges.
What is the action plan for the next two years at Archroma's textile dyes and chemicals division?
Our objective is clearly to push the sustainability agenda even further. We recently joined the ZDHC Foundation as a contributor to help drive industry-wide change in responsible chemical management. Archroma is supporting the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (ZDHC MRSL) and the related 'pyramid' conformity system designed to eliminate duplicative approaches. Archroma has already uploaded and published a first batch of more than 1,020 products on the online chemical module of the ZDHC Gateway. Such initiatives, associated with our commitment to develop innovations and systems aimed to help textile manufacturers with optimised productivity and value creation in their markets, help make the textile industry more sustainable and protect our planet for the generations to come. (HO)
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