A better blue jean – Archroma develops new non-toxic denim dye

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In Switzerland, Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, presented an aniline-free denim indigo dye at the recent Planet Textiles 2018 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The brand new dye provides a non-toxic way to produce the traditional, iconic indigo blue that consumers associate with denim and jeans.

Currently, aniline impurities are an unavoidable element of producing indigo-dyed denim. Unlike other chemical impurities, aniline is locked into the indigo pigment during the dyeing process and therefore cannot be washed off the fabric.

Scientific testing has shown 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 Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 dye is the latest in a long line of sustainable innovations for denim. The new dye will be produced in Archroma’s facility in Pakistan, a plant that made the headlines in 2012 for being what Archroma believed to be the industry’s first zero liquid discharge plant.