Black Pigment Pilot aims to develop sustainable black dye for textiles from waste feedstocks

Black Pigment Pilot is a new project which aims to develop black pigments derived from waste feedstocks such as industrial carbon, algae and wood that could replace synthetic dyes offering a more sustainable means of textile production with a lower carbon impact.

The project – launched by platform for sustainable fashion innovation – Fashion for Good, aims to develop and scale black pigment for the dope dyeing of man-made cellulosics (MMCs) fibres and recycled polyester (rPet) yarns, evaluating the technologies of the participating innovators – Graviky Labs, Nature Coatings and Living Ink, who produce black pigment from industrial carbon emissions, wood waste and waste algae, respectively.

The colour black has a long history in the fashion industry and is one of the most commonly used colours to dye apparel. Modern synthetic dyes are often derived from petro-chemical compounds, which are non renewable and contribute to water pollution when not treated correctly.

The first phase of the pilot will run until mid 2022, with Birla Cellulose and Paradise Textiles producing the first dope dyed MMCs fibres and rPet yarns respectively, using the black pigments. Participating Fashion for Good partners will have the opportunity to evaluate the performance, colour fastness, wearability and impact of all solutions. Successful formulations will then go on to trial larger production runs with fabrics dyed using the innovations.

Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good, said: “Collaboration is key to making a step change in replacing the abundantly used harmful dyes in the industry, of which black is dominating. We are very excited to be able to support this first-of-its-kind collaborative pilot aiming to validate three technologies that will enable the industry to switch to more sustainable (black) dye chemistry.”

Fashion for Good

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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