H&M Group has invested in Alchemie Technology, a global disruptor of textile dyeing and finishing technology, to support the firm’s commercial roll-out and accelerate the transformation of the profile of textile manufacturing worldwide.
The Swedish fashion retailer has invested in the firm through its investment arm H&M CO:LAB alongside At One Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund focused on disruptive technologies that combat climate change.
Alchemie Technology develops clean-tech textile manufacturing processes using advanced digital technology. Its industrial solutions are said to provide a unique value proposition to textile manufacturers, with a lower cost, higher throughput, and radically more sustainable alternative to traditional textile processing. With the addition of software services to digitalise the supply chain, it is also enabling the move to fully connected digital manufacturing.
The firm says the investment will drive the commercial roll-out of its disruptive digital manufacturing products in the global market: Endeavour smart waterless dyeing and Novara precision digital finishing.
Alchemie’s Endeavour smart waterless dyeing technology allows garment manufacturers to eliminate the production of contaminated wastewater and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint from dyeing. Demonstrated to radically reduce lead times and enable lower minimum order sizes, alongside a 50% cost saving compared to traditional technologies, the Endeavour solution has been well received by textile manufacturers and fashion brands worldwide, the firm says.
Alchemie has also seen a surge in market demand for its Novara precision digital finishing technology. The technology enables significant energy and materials savings compared to traditional technologies, which radically reduces the impact of fabric finishing on the environment and reduces cost, Alchemie says.
Both Endeavour and Novara are currently available for implementation, and there is a pipeline of additional sustainable fabric finishing innovations progressing to market based on the Novara technology including technologies that deliver eco-friendly, fluorine-free water repellents and advanced bio-based functional finishes.
“We are very pleased that At One Ventures and H&M CO:LAB have invested in Alchemie at this pivotal point in the commercial roll-out of our sustainable dyeing and finishing solutions,” says Dr Simon Kew, managing director of Alchemie Technology. “The textile manufacturing industry has a significant impact on the environment, and with our Endeavour and Novara technologies, we are disrupting manufacturing processes that are responsible for over 3% of global CO2 emissions and 20% of global water pollution. Our solutions both dramatically reduce the environmental impact and radically reduce cost for dyeing and finishing, which has proven to be a compelling combination in the global textile industry.
“We are building on the momentum we have generated in the market with successful commercial trials of our fabrics and are looking forward to rolling out the first global commercial installations this year.”
Nanna Andersen, head of H&M CO:LAB, H&M Group, adds: “Alchemie Technology is pioneering a truly breakthrough and cost-effective approach to solving a longstanding sustainability issue in the supply chain for textile products. We are excited to partner with Alchemie and support innovation that addresses some of the largest carbon footprint contributors of the textile industry: dyeing and finishing. The commercial implementation of their game-changing technology not only aligns perfectly with the H&M group’s vision to become fully circular, but also has the potential to benefit the entire textile industry.”