A range of biosynthetic dyes for cotton and cellulose based fabrics make use of agricultural waste products
Alexander Wessels, CEO of Archroma, a global colours and specialty chemicals company, talks about the latest trends in the industry, the fashion for earth colours, the importance of sustainability in technological innovations, and water conservation being high on their agenda with Mary Christine Joy.
You are in an expansion mode - mulling over of a lot of acquisitions. Can you let us know about your expansion and acquisition plans?
Archroma is looking to more than double into a US$ 3 billion business in five years through acquisitions and organic growth. To help us achieve that goal, our textile specialties division acquired 49 per cent of textile manufacturer M Dohmen in May 2014. We are currently in the process of acquiring BASF Textile Chemicals.
Being a management person, how do you rate the importance of strategic management in a company? Can you elaborate on the importance of strategic management in a textile chemicals manufacturing company?
I believe strategic management is important to ensure commercial excellence. And, it is important to explore growth opportunities that can enable a company to achieve best-in-class focus on quality, innovation and sustainability. This applies as much to a textile chemicals manufacturing company as to any other business. It is particularly important for companies working with downstream customers, ranging from big global operations to small, local producers - as is the case in the textiles industry. A good strategic management team should bring the expertise and overview necessary to direct the textile chemicals manufacturer to support the full spectrum of customers throughout the value chain in facing their particular challenges.
Denim dyeing is no longer restricted to just a few selected colours nowadays. It has expanded in terms of colour choices. What are the latest trends in denim dyeing?
Denim reinvents itself constantly, and innovation is a key factor for new colours, effects, and handles. Within this, there is a growing focus on sustainability of dyes and the dyeing process. Designers are playing around with wash-down techniques to apply spectacular "local" effects and contrasts. There is also a definite interest in creating a more natural look than possible with conventional pigment colouring. In terms of latest colour trends, we saw a demand for orchid tones in 2014. Now, earth colours that are rich red, brown and green are very much in vogue.
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