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COLOMBO – One of the most environmentally-intensive stages of the textile value chain is the dyeing and treatment of fabric. This production stage is a key contributor to the fashion industry’s environmental footprint and is estimated to generate as much as 20 percent of wastewater worldwide. The dyeing process can also contribute to other forms of environmental impact, including carbon emissions. Reducing the environmental footprint of fabric dyeing has the potential to substantially impact the industry’s overall footprint, even contributing to lowering emissions and helping fashion brands meet Tier 2 and Tier 3 supplier emissions targets.

In this context, Noyon Lanka, one of the world’s largest lace manufacturers, recently introduced the world’s first Control Union certified 100 percent natural dye solution, Planetones, for nylon lace.

Noyon Lanka is the world’s first to receive the Eco Dye Standard Certification from the Control Union.Noyon Lanka’s solution currently offers 32 shades of colour and has already been commercialised with two leading European fashion brands. Noyon will extend Planetones and its intellectual property (IP) to other supply chain partners within the MAS Group. This will enable manufacturers such as Trischel Fabric, Stretchline, and Prym Intimates also to offer certified naturally-dyed elastics, accessories, and fabric.

Noyon Lanka’s breakthrough solution potentially presents a significant opportunity for the industry to align better with the growing demand Planetones: natural dyeing breakthrough for nylon lace from consumers and pressure groups for sustainable products that are responsibly and ethically manufactured. It complies with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) – Level 1, Oeko-Tex and also carries a Transaction Certificate (TC) from the Control Union.

In addition, the 100% natural dye can be offered with a 70% bio-based finish that further improves the sustainability of this solution.

Made using natural colour sources or the ‘shades of nature’ – such as cranberry, achiote and Asian Pigeonwings,– the natural dye solution has strong sustainability credentials. Compared with a synthetic dye, it is estimated to enable water and energy savings of approximately 30 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. It also achieves a significant reduction of the chemical load to effluent.

Crucially, these gains in sustainability have not been achieved at the expense of any of the critical parameters relating to quality or effectiveness. The solution has an 85 to 95 per cent colour match, an unprecedented figure for natural dyes given that no two natural sources (two fruits of the same type, for example) are exactly alike.

In terms of colourfastness – which relates to a fabric’s resistance to change in its colour characteristics or to transfer its colourants to adjacent materials – the solution scores 2.5-3.5 to light and 3.5 to other materials. Similarly, colour repeatability is also high – between 90 and 95 per cent.

This innovation, an important milestone in Noyon’s sustainability journey, potentially has global implications on substantially reducing the environmental footprint of the apparel industry,” Noyon Lanka CEO Ashiq Lafir said. “We are actively collaborating with other stakeholders in the supply chain to make this solution available to them. We hope to initiate momentum towards producing a garment that uses exclusively natural dye in the near future.

“While we take pride in this innovation, this only represents the beginning of a journey for Noyon. Through innovations that are currently in development, we are confident that we can produce solutions that are even more sustainable.” Developing a natural dye solution is part of Noyon’s ‘green vision’, its sustainability roadmap. The company’s existing suite of eco-offerings includes biodegradable and recycled material, including material made using recycled polyethene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Furthermore, compared with levels in 2019, Noyon reduced its absolute emissions by 8.4 per cent in 2021 and seeks to reduce by a further 12.6 per cent in 2022.

The company currently engages in value enhancement of 50 per cent of its non-hazardous waste, supporting circularity and re-use. 100 per cent of the dyes and chemicals used by the company are Bluesign-approved. In parallel with the introduction of its natural dye solution, Noyon Lanka partnered with the Galle Wildlife Conservation Society, a local conversation body, for a community-based project within the Sinharaja Forest (East section). The Sinharaja Forest Reserve, home to over 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies and in which more than 60 per cent of the trees are endemic, has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Through the project supported by Noyon, ‘new to science’ species in the Sinharaja Forest will be identified and published. As part of its efforts to commemorate the identification of these new species, Noyon Lanka aims to create a sustainable line of natural dye colours with specific colours named after each newly identified species. Additionally, Noyon Lanka will donate 1 per cent of all revenue generated through the natural dye solution towards this cause.

The initiative is part of Noyon Lanka’s efforts to increase its commitment to biodiversity conservation, intending to strengthen the ‘green culture’ within the organisation and drive community engagement to protect the environment.

Established in 2004, Noyon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. is a part of the MAS Group of Companies. Noyon Lanka has production bases in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and China, as well as sales and marketing offices in Paris,


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