With much anticipated Japan show , Denimsandjeans has been talking with the exhibitors about their new collection and products that will be showcased in November. After the pandemic , the show is re-scheduled after a long time and all the denim enthusiasts are looking forward to have a great physical event. Recently , we had a word with Umberto De Vita – Global Indigo Manager at Archroma team about their latest products and their current focus.
1) Archroma has been focused on reducing environmental impact through their products for a long time. What is the DNA of the company in this respect ?
Indeed, Archroma has been committed to develop innovative chemical technologies and processes that are safer for the consumer and the environment for a long time. We describe our approach as :
The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature
The Archroma Way is based on the three pillars: Safe, Efficient and Enhanced, and we look at providing a system, rather than single products, in order to maximize the potential synergies and benefits in the application process.
Safe, the first pillar, means that we strive to have safety at the core of everything we do, with a focus on helping our customers develop end-products that are safe to use for the workers, safe to wear for the consumer, and safe to release for the environment. . Safe therefore refers to the certifications we have, such as bluesign, ZDHC, GOTS, Cradle to Cradle, etc., and typically we go beyond such certifications and also regulations in hazardous chemicals. For instance we have developed products such as aniline free indigo, formaldehyde free easy-care resins, metal free acid dyes for nylon, etc.
The second pillar is Efficient. Efficient is about rethinking manufacturing processes with smart chemistry that can combine coloration processes with reducing the amounts of water and energy required. We use our ONEWAY Impact Calculator to digitize the mill’s current process, and we can then identify the achievable amount of savings in terms or water, energy, CO2 reduction, and ultimately the associated cost savings.
Systems that are Safe and Efficient are part of our Efficient Collection.
The third pillar is Enhanced. This pillar is about adding value – in terms of performance or sustainability – to the fabric or end article. This can be typically done with finishing effects such as odor control, wrinkle free, moisture management, etc. Again, we are able to measure the current cost of production and show the mill how they can generate more profit with the addition of our system, by creating additional functions, sustainability, and value.
Systems that are Safe and Enhanced are part of our enhanced collection.
In most cases we can combine all 3 technologies and provide a system that is Safe, Efficient, and Enhanced, creating a fabric or end-article using less resources whilst adding more function and value. These are part of our Ultimate Collection.
We currently have >70 systems that address specific problems and challenges facing the industry with the best possible solution for each customer and process. You can visit our System Selector and scroll through some examples:
2) Aniline free Indigo was considered very difficult till a few years ago. Also there were no metrics to measure how much it would be beneficial for the earth. Do you have some relevant data to support the impact of your Denisol Pure Indigo ?
Good question, sure we have the data! But first let me remind you a little bit about the full concept:
As you know, most of the indigo on the market today contains varying amounts of aniline. This comes from the synthesis process where an excess of aniline is carried through into the final product. Aniline is a class 2 carcinogen and has acute aquatic toxicity.
During the Archroma hydrogenation (pre-reduction) process we developed a way to create an end product without aniline, and we produce this range in our zero effluent manufacturing plant in Pakistan.
Although some aniline has been found on the final pair of jeans, especially dark, unwashed rigid styles, we were more focused on worker protection, who are often exposed to high concentrations of indigo, and also focused on the environment where discharge of denim mills with aniline could affect the aquatic life.
The product works exactly as normal pre-reduced indigo, application, shade, strength and wash down are identical – just with no aniline, which had no place being there.
We have a short video explaining the issue with aniline here at this link :
Back to your initial question: the up to date figure is that since 2019 (when Denisol Pure Indigo 30 was launched) Archroma has diverted above 35 million tons of aniline from the supply chain, and we estimated to have protected more than 40,000 denim workers.
3) Collaborations are the new normal in the industry to create real impact. With your various partnerships across, do you also feel so?
I believe that sustainability cannot be reached by a single company activity and at Archroma we always expand our research and collaborations.
I will just name 2 exciting examples, but we have many more projects in the pipeline:
– In 2021 we have started a collaboration with CleanKore, a US based company, for the production of aniline-free and potassium permanganate-free denim – this is highlighted in our [PURE INDIGO ICON]2 system
Not only does this system allow for the production of a more sustainable denim but it also enables to use significantly less resources in the process (water, energy, chemicals) leading to reduction in CO2 emission as well.
– In 2022 we officialized our collaboration with Stony Creek Colors for the production of pre reduced natural indigo in order to keep the authenticity of the natural indigo dye but with the same consistency and performance of the synthetic form.
4) Black denim has always been the ‘black sheep’ of the denim world. Are there any innovations in this segment which can really make a difference?
Black denim appeared in the market at the 80s, 40 years ago. Since then, practically all black/grey denim has been dyed using basically the chemistry of sulfur black 1, with some small variations in the dyeing to slightly move the shade and wash-downs. After the indigo blue, black is the most popular color in denim. At Archroma we have been working to develop a new dyestuff which could be a game changer for the black denim market. The product is called Diresul® Evolution Black liquid. The product has two main benefits:
1.-a more greenish-bluish shade compared to standard sulfur black. This tone is also achievable working at very high depth where standard sulfur black usually gets a very reddish tone. Diresul® Evolution Black also offers a clear differentiation in the bleaching wash-down where the product is fading on grey tone, whilst standard black shows a yellow-brown shade. We think this new black dyestuff will offer a huge opportunity for designers and product development teams at brands and denim mills to create new looks in the market segment of black denim.
2.-As mentioned in previous questions, at Archroma we are continuously trying to offer, with all new developments, products that are safer for people and for the environment. With Diresul® Evolution Black liquid we have created a sulfur black which does not generate any residue (no wastewater and no emissions) in its synthesis compared to standard sulfur black.
Using this dyestuff, brands and denim mills will be able to create the cleanest black denim in the market together with new looks.
5) You are participating in the Denimsandjeans Japan show . What is your target in Japan and your expectations from the show which is being held on Nov 1-2 at Tokyo ?
This event was planned to take place quite a time ago, before the pandemic. Today I am excited to have the opportunity to be back to such a great event and meeting in person with many international partners. I expect the usual denim passionate environment with a lot of innovations and sustainability messages from all the parts of the textile chain. Moreover, Japan is a very inspiring country and my favorite place for denim research.
I make my compliments again to Sandeep and the team to have selected such a magic location.
for more information about Archroma , please contact Umberto De Vita this email firstname.lastname@example.org