Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, presented an aniline-free* denim indigo dye in Vancouver, Canada. It provides a non-toxic way to produce the iconic indigo blue that buyers associate with jeans and denim.
The adverse aniline impurities are unavoidable and are locked into the indigo pigment during the dyeing process and therefore cannot be washed off the fabric. Scientific testing shows that aniline impurities are toxic to humans, causing skin allergies, damage to major organs and genetic defects, as well as being linked to cancer. Aniline is also toxic to aquatic life, which is an issue as two thirds of the 400 metric tons of aniline waste on an annual basis ends up in the environment as wastewater discharge.
The toxic chemical is therefore starting to feature on the restricted substance lists (RSL) of some major clothing brands and retailers.
Archoma with their research and development developed an alternate aniline free system.The new Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 now also makes it possible to produce indigo-dyed denim without high levels aniline impurities, is a sustainable innovation and will be produced in Archroma’s facility in Pakistan.
“At Archroma, we continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable,” continues Alexander Wessels. “By removing a hazardous impurity from the denim supply chain, we aim to protect the workers who create denim, the consumers who wear denim, and the environment with cleaner waterways.”
The Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 dye is the latest in a long line of sustainable innovations for denim started in 2009. That year, Archroma introduced its ‘Advanced Denim’ technology which uses up to 90% less water during the dyeing process. “Being not indigo but sulfur based, ‘Advanced Denim’ itself was an aniline free solution too!” adds Alexander Wessels.