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PRATTELN – Textile chemicals business Archroma has signed a deal with Stony Creek Colors, which produces traceable natural indigo dyes, to market and scale Stony Creek’s IndiGold plant-based pre-reduced indigo. Stony Creek extracts its dye from proprietary Indigofera plant varieties grown in partnership with family farms as a regenerative rotational crop.

Stony Creek Colors developed the new IndiGold concept as the world’s first pre-reduced natural indigo dye, which was then developed with Archroma to offer the first ever plant-based alternative to synthetic pre-reduced indigo.

The dyestuff will be sold as a 20 per cent concentration in a soluble liquid form which is claimed to offer similar performance to comparable synthetic indigo products available on the market.

Stony Creek Colors has been selling its US grown indigo to denim mills since 2015.

The pre-reduced plant-based indigo partnership with Archroma began in 2020 when Stony Creek was looking to work with like-minded partners to produce the new dyestuff at scale.

Archroma provided support to Stony Creek Colors via extensive pilot scale manufacturing trials and by engaging with its network of denim machinery manufacturers to test the first samples in industrial conditions. The trials showed excellent coloration and the typical indigo wash down, as with synthetic indigo.

Archroma will produce the first batches of IndiGold in Salvatierra, Mexico, and says it also has other locations where the product could be made.

Late last year, Fashion for Good selected Stony Creek Colors as an innovator in its global Innovation Program. The program connects brands with innovators to work together to test, validate and scale disruptive innovations in the fashion industry to drive positive impact. Through the programme, Fashion for Good facilitated a collaboration between brand partner Levi Strauss & Co. and Stony Creek Colors which was announced in December 2021. The partners will pilot the use of IndiGold in denim mills at scale, with the goal of unlocking key learnings around shade application and other efficiencies of the new dyestuff.

“For years our consistent powder and paste products have been able to fill a void in the marketplace for denim mills needing verifiable plant-based indigo. We, along with many in the industry, see IndiGold as the holy grail for indigo dyeing and are ecstatic to now be bringing it to life with such a reputable partner as Archroma. The coupling of our two technologies allows us to fulfil the ultimate desire from our customers for an easy-to-use, pre-reduced liquid formulation that stems from a 100 per cent plant-based supply,” said Sarah Bellos, CEO and founder of Stony Creek Colors.

“I am very proud that Archroma supports Stony Creek’s project. We shared the same vision that plant-based pre-reduced indigo can be scaled up and colour the nature-friendly collections that denim brands & retailers have been dreaming of, and we are pleased to help bring it to the market,” added Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO of Archroma.

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