Fashion

Colorifix, Central Saint Martins Together Launch Microbial Printing PhD Project

Published: March 1, 2023
Author: DIGITAL MEDIA EXECUTIVE

Colorifix Ltd. and Central Saint Martins University are pleased to announce the start of a collaborative sponsored PhD project led by designer Ruth Lloyd. This doctoral research project aims to create a new framework to accelerate the textile industry’s transition to microbial colour printing.

The textile dyeing industry is one of the world’s largest water consumers, using more than 5 trillion litres per year, and routine dyeing processes use approximately 70 highly toxic chemicals.The Colorifix method replaces petrochemical dyeing with natural and renewable products and processes, such as simple sugars, yeast and plant by-products. This results in significant reductions in water and energy consumption, as well as the elimination of toxic chemicals currently used in industry.

Ruth Lloyd works as a Colorifix Ltd. and Central Saint Martins University are pleased to announce the start of a collaborative sponsored PhD project led by designer Ruth Lloyd. This doctoral research project aims to create a new framework to accelerate the textile industry’s transition to microbial colour printing.

The textile dyeing industry is one of the world’s largest water consumers, using more than 5 trillion litres per year, and routine dyeing processes use approximately 70 highly toxic chemicals.The Colorifix method replaces petrochemical dyeing with natural and renewable products and processes, such as simple sugars, yeast and plant by-products. This results in significant reductions in water and energy consumption, as well as the elimination of toxic chemicals currently used in industry.

Ruth Lloyd works as a She is a textile designer with extensive knowledge of textile printing who worked as a designer in residence at Colorifix in 2021-2022, making her an ideal doctoral candidate to develop a scalable bio-based colouring framework for the dyeing industry. The PhD is registered at Central Saint Martins’ Living Systems Lab and is supervised by Professor Carole Collet (Central Saint Martins), Dr Alice Taylor (Central Saint Martins), and Professor Jim Ajioka (Colorifix). The Living Systems Lab investigates the inherent properties of biological living systems in order to advance ecological knowledge through creative practises in art, design, and architecture.

The fashion industry is looking for scalable alternatives to petrochemical textile dyeing now more than ever. Both the biotechnology and design industries are active change agents, and this project is no exception. demonstrates how design-science research can play a critical role in the transition to a more sustainable fashion system.

“We are delighted to activate our formal collaboration with Colorifix via this pioneering PhD project and are looking forward to working with leaders in bacterial biotechnologies to develop new knowledge for regenerative fashion systems,” said Professor Carole Collet, co-director of the Living Systems Lab at Central Saint Martins.

“Collaborative PhD projects like ours with Central Saint Martins will become an increasingly important component of research at the intersection of science and design, especially for industrial adoption of bio-based products and processes,” Colorifix’s chief science officer, Jim Ajioka, added.

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