Umberto De Vita Of Archroma Speaks With Denimsandjeans

Archroma is a global, diversified provider of specialty chemicals serving the branded and performance textiles, packaging and paper, and coatings, adhesives and sealants markets. Headquartered in Pratteln, Switzerland, the company operates a highly integrated, customer-focused platform that delivers specialized performance and color solutions in over 90 countries. Archroma is a very focused on sustainable products and constantly strives to innovate and bring new products. As Archroma joins our Denimsandjeans Vietnam show scheduled on June 26-27 in Vietnam, we spoke to Umberto De Vita – Denim Segment Director – about their latest innovations and new technologies which are coming up.

Archroma is always innovating. What keeps you moving?

At Archroma, we like to say that we touch and color people’s lives every day, everywhere. This brings with it a huge responsibility. We have to keep challenging the status quo in the deep belief that we can help lead our industry towards a more sustainable future.

Which Archroma products are eliciting the strongest response from brands and the supply chain? Are they also the most sustainable ones?

This is a moment of great challenge for denim mills and brands worldwide. Shifting market expectations mean that sustainability is now an integral part of doing business, and mere compliance is not enough to stand out. At the same time, brands and mills still have to produce the value-added products consumers want – with rich colors and wash-down effects – while maintaining or even improving productivity and competitiveness.

It is this combination of sustainability, added value and process optimization that Archroma delivers. At the moment, more than 75% of our portfolio sold into the fashion and home textile segments are third party certified with organizations such as bluesign®, ZDHC or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS); and we are working to increase that to more than 95% in the next few years.

Here are just a few of the solutions that we are seeing gaining traction right now:

  • DENISOL® PURE INDIGO 30 LIQ is an aniline-free* pre-reduced indigo that produces authentic denim colors with the same performance and efficiency as conventional indigo dye, but in a way that has lesser impact on the environment. Importantly, it results in cleaner denim production because the entire process is also aniline-free.*
  • DIRESUL® EVOLUTION BLACK is an eco-advanced sulfur black dyestuff for iconic black denim. It creates unique shade and wash-down effects with an overall impact reduction to 57% in the dye synthesis as compared to standard Sulfur Black 1 liquid.**
  • EarthColors® is a patented Archroma technology that creates high-performance biowaste based dyes from non-edible food and agricultural waste, embracing circularity.

Thank you for joining Denimsandjeans Vietnam 2024. What products are you showcasing this year, and how do you wish to develop further in this market?

Vietnam remains an important market for us and we continue to invest to improve our capabilities here so we can help our customers grow and take advantage of new opportunities around the world. As always, we want to bring our latest innovations to Denimsandjeans Vietnam. This year, we are excited to introduce our new SUPER SYSTEMS+ solutions. These are powerful end-to-end systems that combine fiber-specific processing solutions and intelligent effects.

What makes SUPER SYSTEMS+ so significant is that you can choose the impact you want to have: whether you want to save water and energy, make your product more durable, adopt cleaner chemistries, or all three. This is possible because we are able to draw on the industry’s broadest product portfolio and because we have the data to support brands and mills in this kind of decision making.

With sustainability-driven legislation coming into effect in Europe and other places, do you think there is a big disruption waiting to happen ?

The fashion and textile industry is among the world’s most global. And the supply chain is very complex. Every successful mill, brand and supplier has to keep up to date with current regulations and standards worldwide, and consider how they are evolving.

This dual challenge is why we have recently upgraded our trusted Safe Edge by Archroma platform to SAFE EDGE+. It provides instant online access to regulatory and compliance information and certificates for the entire Archroma product portfolio. Plus, it combines this visibility with COMPLIANCE+, a curated selection of Archroma innovations that go beyond basic compliance to anticipate future restrictions.

How are the overall situation in denim markets globally next year?

As a partner to many leading players in the global denim industry, we are hearing a lot of optimism from brands and mills that are seeking to harness innovation to differentiate their products, enhance sustainability and circularity, and optimize costs. It is very exciting to see denim becoming even more popular globally among the fashion-conscious consumer, especially with office dress codes becoming more informal.

Can you tell us more about Archroma SUPER SYSTEMS+?

SUPER SYSTEMS+ are a major milestone in the history of Archroma and our drive to deliver a more sustainable ecosystem for the textile industry. These are complete, end-use-focused solutions that combine breakthrough products and technologies and our most innovative tools and programs. They epitomize our “PLANET CONSCIOUS+” commitment to innovation and partnership.

For denim, SUPER SYSTEMS+ offers end-to-end systems, from pre-treatment to dyeing, printing and finishing, anchored by an Impact Matrix. This Matrix addresses the key challenges of denim brands and manufacturers and guides them to make informed decisions about cleaner chemistries, resource saving and improved durability. 

For example, a brand that wanted to produce iconic black denim while saving resources and meeting the high standard of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Gateway Level 3 compliance, would choose IMPACT.  DIRESUL® EVOLUTION BLACK – a groundbreaking sulfur black dyestuff offers unique shade and wash-down effects. It is manufactured using fewer resources, it has an overall impact reduction to 57% during dye synthesis compared to standard Sulfur Black 1 liquid.**

A mill that wanted to offer an expanded portfolio of colored denim with chemicals that comply with industry standards and the restricted substances lists of major brands could select FOUNDATION. The DIRESUL® RDT range of pre-reduced liquid sulfur dyestuffs are consistent and highly reproducible. These low-sulfur formulations promote chemical savings and cleaner wastewater versus powdered sulphur dyes.

Brands and mills looking to stand out for iconic blue denim with the best possible resource savings and durability and cleaner chemistries could choose IMPACT+. DENISOL® SMARTDENIM BLUE LIQ, an aniline- and hydrosulfite-free solution*, it produces exceptional tone and wash-down looks with significant savings in resources. 

* Below limits of detection according to industry standard test methods

** Ecotarrae lifecycle analysis

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