A renowned name in color and specialty chemicals, Archroma showcased its ‘aniline-free’ denim indigo dye at the recently held Planet Textiles 2018 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The brand new dye provides a non-toxic way to produce the traditional, iconic indigo blue that consumers associate with denim and jeans, said a press release.
According to the release, currently, aniline impurities are an unavoidable element of producing indigo-dyed denim. Unlike other chemical impurities, aniline is locked into the indigo pigment during the dyeing process and therefore cannot be washed off the fabric.
Scientific testing has shown that aniline impurities are toxic to humans, causing skin allergies, damage to major organs and genetic defects, as well as being linked to cancer. Aniline is also toxic to aquatic life, which is an issue as two-thirds of the 400 metric tons of aniline waste on an annual basis ends up in the environment as wastewater discharge. The toxic chemical is, therefore, starting to feature on the restricted substance lists (RSL) of some major clothing brands like Levi Strauss, Burberry, and H&M.
Quoting Alexander Wessels, CEO, Archroma, the release said, “We have tested denim garments and found that aniline concentrations are frequently higher than expected. This could put some manufacturers over the limits agreed on their RSLs. At Archroma, we continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable. By removing a hazardous impurity from the denim supply chain, we aim to protect the workers who create denim, the consumers who wear denim, and the environment with cleaner waterways.”
“Thus, after working with their R&D experts, the company found an aniline-free alternative – Denisol Pure Indigo 30, which it claims to be the ‘most-sustainable’ way possible at present”, he added.
Further, the latest innovation by Archroma consumes 90% less water at the time of dyeing.