Archroma and Cotton Incorporated began working together in 2016 when Cotton Incorporated was looking to create a dyestuff using the byproducts of cotton production.

Archroma explained that the US produces sustainable cotton fibre for the textile and apparel industry, as well as cottonseed for food and animal feed. In that process, the cotton fibre industry also generates byproducts, including burs, stems and leaves, that are used to create insulation, packaging, erosion control products, and more.

The company said that Cotton Incorporated recognised the potential to use these natural byproducts to produce dyes.

Archroma said its research team drew on a century-long heritage of sulfur dye innovation and was able to apply its patented EarthColors technology to create Diresul Earth-Cotton using cotton by products from the US supply chain.

Earth-Cotton has been described as an alternative to oil-based dyes which allows brands to offer textile products in warm natural shades, using cotton to create both fabric and dye.

Mary Ankeny, vice president of product development and implementation operations for Cotton Incorporated, believes the soft and durable cotton fiber, and the rest of the cotton plant are resilient and can be reused and recycled before returning to the earth which is also ideal for a circular economy.

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Ankeny said: “Cotton is a natural and versatile plant with nearly every part, from hull to seed to fiber utilised. Cotton Incorporated is committed to working with innovative leaders like Archroma to continue finding new ways to advance circularity and expand programs using cotton.”

Umberto De Vita, market segment director for denim at Archroma Textile Effects, added: “The development of Diresul Earth-Cotton is a clear example of sustainability sparking innovation that delivers value across the whole textile chain – from cotton farmers and textile mills to brands, retailers and consumers. We are excited to continue to exchange ideas and knowledge with Cotton Incorporated as a reliable partner helping lead the textile industry towards a more sustainable future.”

Recently, Archroma joined forces with ColorDigital GmbH, the parent company of textile supply chain provider DMIX, to bring the textile industry’s “largest” library of digital colour standards to the DMIx ecosystem of fashion brands and suppliers.