SUSTAINABILITY: NOW MADE POSSIBLE WITH ARCHROMA

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Q. Denim being one of the controversial garments in terms of its effluent discharge, does Archroma has any solutions for the same since the popularity of the iconic denim is here to stay?

A. We have several systems, besides the Earthcolors® range, that allows a more sustainable way to color fabrics and garments. Let me give you two examples.  The first one is ‘Indigo Flow’, an aniline-free* indigo system that produces authentic denim without compromising our planet. This system is based on Denisol® Pure Indigo, the aniline-free* synthetic pre-reduced liquid indigo that Archroma launched in 2018. The second one is ‘Indigo Reflection’, a coloration system that behaves like indigo but with a more sustainable and efficient process. It is based on Diresul® Smartdenim Blue, a liquid sulfur blue dye designed to mimic indigo that was just launched at ITMA Barcelona in June 2019.

Q.What is Archroma’s approach for the textile industries, towards the well-being of the planet?

A. Our purpose at Archroma is to help make the industry more sustainable. Therefore, whilst clearly, the regulations are challenging in the short term for the industry, we also believe that there is no other way, moving forward. That is why we introduced a whole new way to lookat colors and performance for textiles, with an approach based on systems. We work with our customers looking at the whole production process, and including their needs, challenges, and market goals, which allows us to come up with holistic, optimized, and competitive solutions.Our objective is clearly to push the sustainability agenda even further. We recently joined the ZDHC Foundation as a contributor to help drive industry-wide change in responsible chemical management. Archroma is supporting the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (ZDHC MRSL) and the related “pyramid” conformity system designed to eliminate duplicative approaches. Archroma has already uploaded and published the first batch of more than 1020 products on the online Chemical Module of the ZDHC Gateway. Such initiatives, associated with our commitment to develop innovations and systems aimed to help textile manufacturers with optimized productivity and/or value creation in their markets, help make the textile industry more sustainable and protect our planet for the generations to come. Because it’s our nature.

Q.The wet processes-namely, pre-treatments, dyeing, printing and finishing pose a major threat to the environment because of discharging of effluents.Archroma’s catalogue has a number of solutions for the same. How will the Indian textile industries adapt to it?

A. Archroma is a global, diversified provider of dyes and specialty chemicals serving the
branded and performance textiles, from fiber to finish. We play a key role throughout the
entire textile supply chain, with special chemicals for pretreatment, dyeing, printing, and
finishing of textiles. Archroma’s solution systems aim to enhance the properties of apparel
and other textiles in applications as diverse as high fashion, home textiles, and special
technical textiles. As I mentioned earlier, we believe that the Indian market has many strengths to build upon. Of course, The Indian textile industry needs to adapt to new ecological requirements – or growing expectations in quality and performance, for instance in denim or technical textiles, but we have the technical experts and creative minds in this country to tackle these challenges. We just introduced our systems approach this year and we already launched 24 systems, and more are coming every month. It is too early to give a figure but we can see from the market response so far that the industry is eagerly awaiting more sustainability and innovation. With Archroma, our customers know that we will help them develop products with a higher value and in a  responsible  way

Q.The awareness of environmental consequences among end users, as well as buyers is intensifying. How does Archroma react to the same?

The textile industry is going through major changes, mainly driven by the growing public concerns about how products are made and what impact they have on the environment or our health. Responsible chemical leaders such as Archroma have been developing technologies for increased safety and sustainability for many years, and we are therefore very excited to see such change happening in the textile industry. That is where Archroma comes to help textile manufacturers with our innovations and solution systems designed to optimize productivity and/or increase the value of the textile products to help our customers to differentiate in their markets. We select our innovations and solution systems for their compliance with what we call The Archroma Way: Safe, efficient, and enhanced. We help make products that are safe to use and wear, for our customers and the consumer. We help make textiles and clothing more efficiently, aiming to optimize productivity and resource usage, to reduce the total production cost. And we help make textiles that are enhanced through functions and aesthetics to help make the final product more desirable for brands and the consumer.

Q.The supply chain of textiles is a very complex one with a lot of players involved, which make the process vulnerable at every step. What is Archroma’s approach to minimise these vulnerabilities?   

A. The Archroma Way is all about making textiles safe, efficient, and enhanced. Our efforts in R&D is therefore geared towards supporting these objectives, towards developing ever safer formulations, for the worker, for the consumer and for the planet. When developing new dyes and chemicals, we also look at ways to make our products but also our customers’ production more efficient, with less energy consumption, less natural resources, and cleaner effluents. And last but not least, we look at creating innovative functions and effects to make textiles, fabrics, and clothing more attractive to the final customer or the end consumer.

  1. Innovating the textiles is a Primary importance for you, which is very evident from the wide range of solutions that you provide like- The purest Indigo, Earth colors, Inkpresso, Active odor control function, etc. How widely are manufacturers accepting of these innovations?
    A. Archroma is reputed for its continuous flow of ground-breaking innovations, such as the EarthColors®, a range of dyes made from non-edible natural waste from the agricultural and herbal industry, or, Smartrepel®Hydro, a nature-friendly protection that keeps cotton, polyester and polyamide textiles dry, and Denisol®Pure Indigo, an aniline-free* synthetic pre-reduced liquid indigo launched in 2018.

In India, we expect the technical textiles segment to grown alongside the per-capita consumption, and we recently introduced innovations for those textile manufacturers in search for differentiation on the market, such as our Appretan® NTR, a new nature-based binder for nonwovens, and Fadex® AS New, a new “super UV protector” for automotive & transportation textiles, both introduced in May 2019.

We implemented these innovations in the latest of our systems such as Light Fast Car, a system based on  Fadex® AS New and designed to keep fabric colors deep, vibrant and matched day after day; and Wick Stop, an anti-wicking system, based on Smartrepel® Hydro, to keep your feet drier in the wet, with maximum mesh sneaker durability.

We also recently introduced Odor Control, a system on Sanitized® Odoractiv 10, where odor-causing bacteria cannot adhere to the textile surface and bad smells are trapped and neutralized, and permastink cannot build-up in your sportswear.

Q.What are the EarthColours and how are they synthesized? 

A.Earthcolors® is a very exciting range. The dyes are produced in our plant of Castellbisbal near Barcelona, Spain. They are synthesized from non-edible agricultural or herbal industries waste, such as leaves or nutshells. The raw materials are sourced as close as possible from the production plant. We have currently seven dyes in the range, covering a palette of natural shades for cellulosic based fibers such as cotton, viscose, linen, bamboo, kapok, etc.  NFC stands for Near-field communication. It is a wireless technology that allows us to access data on our smartphones and other devices. We use the NFC technology to follow the color from the natural waste source to the store.

Q.The consumer behaviour is changing at a fast pace, following with the policy changes in Indian Market. How is Archroma moving forward and braving the changes?

A. Our purpose at Archroma is to help make the industry more sustainable, and we do that by continuously challenging the status quo on how colors and effects are developed and how they are applied in the textile manufacturing process. Therefore, whilst clearly, the new environmental regulations in India are challenging for the industry in the short term, we also believe that there is no other way, moving forward. That is why we introduced a whole new way to look at colors and performance for textiles, with an approach based on systems. We work with our customers looking at the whole production process, and including their needs, challenges, and market goals, which allows us to come up with holistic, optimized, and competitive solutions.  And so far the response from the Indian textile manufacturers and brand is very positive.

Q. The fight for sustainability is not centred to one geographic location, it is spread across the globe. How is Archroma contributing to the cause worldwide?
Archroma is already a global player. We have a presence and experts in 35 countries, and we operate with 3000 employees and 25 plants worldwide. This footprint is what makes us a reliable partner for the major global brands and textile manufacturers who need world-class and consistent quality and service levels.

Archroma has a presence in China and India. We see some shifts here and there, but we don’t build our strategy in the short term. Archroma is committed to help make our industry sustainable, ecologically but also economically, and that means supporting our customers and helping them, to develop and solidify both domestic and export market outlets and positions. Each market comes with its strengths and challenges, and our job is to help our customers in both countries to weather the challenges and make the most of their opportunities.

 

Interview taken by – Ms. Prachi Ghelot – Intern – TVC