A number of DyStar textile dyes have become the first approved for a Material Health certificate at gold level by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

That certificate means that no substances present in the formulation at a concentration of 100 ppm or above poses a risk to humans or the environment during textile dyeing, use, or end-of-use. The dyes were assessed according to the C2C Chemical Profiling Methodology, which uses 24 human health, environmental health and chemical class endpoints.

The dyes that have received the certification include selected vat and reactive dyes for cotton; disperse dyes for polyester; DyStar Indigo Vat 40% Solution; and a new chrome-free black dye for protein fibres.

"This accreditation is very important to DyStar as it shows that we have independently-assessed products for the colouration of textiles which meet the stringent criteria of Cradle-to-Cradle," a spokesperson told just-style.

In 2014, the Institute launched the Fashion Positive initiative which was intended to encourage apparel and fashion brands and retailers to adopt a 'circular economy' approach to garment design and manufacture embracing cradle-to-cradle principles. One of the biggest barriers to progress in the initiative was the availability of dyestuffs certified at gold level for use in the manufacture of these garments. DyStar was approached by the Institute in 2014 with a view to getting some of its apparel dyes approved at the gold level.

"Building on our experience of working on C2C projects with individual clients over the last 20 years and our good working relationship with the chemical assessment EPEA in Hamburg, we identified dyes from our current global ranges that had the potential to become certified at the gold level," the spokesperson said. 

Recent innovations from Dystar include a navy version of its Realan dye, which provides a completely metal-free dyeing process; and a new development in reactive cellulose dyeing designed to reduce water, waste and energy consumption:

DyStar to launch navy chrome-free dye

DyStar to launch reactive cellulose dyeing concept