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Industry news: Smart indigo

Electric dyeing

Dyeing blue jeans is harmful for humans and the environment, but new technologies are paving the way for a more sustainable denim industry.

August 2019

The washing makes the jeans. Denim in a vast variety of colour gradations and used look effects are a fashion industry best-seller. In 2011 alone, of the 50,000 tons of indigo dye 95% were used to dye about four billion jeans fabrics.[1] The process is environmentally harmful because indigo is not soluble in water and is therefore processed with a lot of chemicals in conventional jeans production. The water used is treated with strong chemicals like bleach, which often end up in the groundwater posing a threat to humans and the environment. Sedo Engineering wants to change that and has developed a mechanical process, which substitutes chemicals with electricity. With its “Smart Indigo”, the Swiss technology company, owned by textile machinery producer Savio Group, is revolutionising the dyeing of jeans fabrics. The process that aims at considerably reducing the impact of jeans production on the environment is called “Smart Leuco-Indigo”. It only needs indigo pigments, soda lye, water and electricity. One of the company’s machines has been used for more than three years by denim producer Italdenim, which has so reached the standards of Greenpeace’s Detox labels. The Pakistani company Soorty, exhibitor at this year's spring edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, and more producers from China and Bangladesh have also ordered machines.

Until today, only few attractive alternatives to conventional denim dyeing were available. Sedo Engineering is now making great strides towards the future.

#Denim industry #Jeans #Smart Indigo #Savio Group #Sedo Engineering #Italdenim #Kassim #Soorty #Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics

[1] https://www.tagesspiegel.de/wissen/synthetische-biologie-gruene-jeans/20825414.html

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