Daily Newsletter

15 September 2023

Daily Newsletter

15 September 2023

Deakin University, Xefco to research ‘waterless’ jean dyeing process

Deakin University has forged a partnership with the Geelong-based company Xefco, to conduct research to find a sustainable alternative to the garment dyeing process, as part of its Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH) initiative.

Isatou Ndure

The collaboration between Deakin University and Xefco seeks to explore the possibility of a waterless manufacturing process in the dyeing process of jeans. The innovative technology at the heart of this endeavour is known as ‘Ausora.’

Supported by a generous $50m grant from the Australian Government’s inaugural Trailblazer Universities Programme, along with contributions from industry partners and the university, the REACH initiative boasts a total project value of $380m. Its overarching goal is to facilitate the development of greener supply chains while catalysing business success.

Associate professor Alessandra Sutti, from Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials, said: “If successful, the Ausora technology, which colours fabrics without the need for large quantities of water, will put us a step closer to more efficient and sustainable clothing manufacturing.”

Xefco’s CEO, Tom Hussey, noted that the company’s new pilot plant, located at Deakin University in Geelong, will undergo extensive testing using various materials, including specialised fabrics like waterproof textiles used in outdoor jackets and jeans.

Hussey outlined the broader vision behind the technology and said: ” This is the first stage of Xefco’s vision for the technology, with the REACH project focused on demonstrating the commercial viability of the technology at pilot scale and developing processes so it can be scaled up for commercial production.”

The pilot plant established by Xefco is strategically located alongside Deakin researchers at ManuFutures, a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing hub situated at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus.

Textile chemicals specialist Archroma and denim finishing technology specialist Jeanologia joined forces in 2022 to launch an eco-advanced alternative to the denim fabric washing process.

Traditional AI is here to stay in the retail and apparel space

Initially, retailers used AI for basic tasks, including inventory management and demand forecasting. However, its usage has now become more prevalent in other aspects such as personalized marketing, customer service, pricing optimization, and supply chain management. With the rise of ecommerce and the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making, AI adoption in retail and apparel has accelerated. The industry now relies on AI to enhance the shopping experience, optimize business operations, and gain an overall competitive edge.

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