STOCKHOLM – Swedish fashion retailer Filippa K will showcase biologically dyed apparel styles later this year. The business has formed a strategic partnership with with Colorifix, a UK business behind the first available biological dyeing process. “We also aim to revolutionise the textile manufacturing business,” said the retailer in a note.
Colorifix has developed the first commercially available biological dyeing process which sees engineered microorganisms produce naturally-occurring pigments. Colorifix converts agricultural by-products such as sugar molasses into colorants suitable for textile dyeing, and the microorganisms also transfer the colour onto a fabric or garment, resulting in additional water and energy savings.
It is claimed that as a result, Colorifix uses ten times less water than traditional dyeing processes and without using heavy metals, organic solvents or acids. Instead of using ubiquitous petrochemicals that are non-renewable and toxic, Colorifix uses synthetic biology methods to create a range of colours produced naturally by organisms such as plants, animals and insects.
Colorifix is the first company to successfully apply biological dyeing to the commercial dyeing of polyamide-based jersey, polyester and cotton fabrics, and research is already underway to apply the technology to other natural and synthetic fabrics.
Said Elin Larsson, Filippa K’s sustainability director: “Biological dyeing is a significant step in our journey to serve both our customers and the planet, and this partnership reinforces Filippa K’s long-term strategy and deep commitment to innovation and sustainability.”
Added Christina Muljadi, product manager for soft sport and also Filippa K’s water and chemical expert: “We believe Colorifix has the potential to revolutionize textile manufacturing, and we want to collaborate with progressive dye houses and textile manufactures to help scale this technology and accelerate its adoption through the industry.”
Filippa K and Eurojersey, supplier of the Sensitive Fabrics’ range, have evaluated Colorifix and expect to showcase apparel using textiles dyed biologically later this year, with a view towards scaling the technology for larger production volumes.