Louisa Smith
Louisa Smith

Sustainable sourcing solutions for dyeing

Archroma and Kathmandu announce natural origin collaboration

When it comes to sustainability in the textile industry, it isn’t just down to fibers. Dyes and auxiliaries are also pursuing a cleaner route. Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, has announced its first-ever collaboration with Kathmandu, the well-known New Zealand born and based outdoor brand and a gold winner of the ISPO Award 2017.

Archroma’s EarthColors is a line of patent-pending plant-based dyes, sourced from up to 100 percent renewable resources. a
Archroma’s EarthColors is a line of patent-pending plant-based dyes, sourced from up to 100 percent renewable resources.

Selecting  Archroma and its EarthColors, a range of plant-based dyes. Kathmandu has created a new capsule collection of the brand’s signature hoodie. The result is a soft hand and vintage look, all achieved through a more sustainable source of dyeing. Archroma’s EarthColors is a line of patented plant-based dyes, sourced from up to 100 percent renewable resources including.


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An alternative to petroleum derived raw materials

Archroma developed EarthColors using non-edible waste products including nut shells and leaves, from agriculture and herbal industries, to replace petroleum derived raw materials, which are the conventional raw materials used to currently synthesize dyes.

This new development gives brands an alternative when looking for more natural ways of dyeing garments with a range of warm ternary shades from nature possible. In addition NFC technology guarantees traceability from nature to apparel.

Vintage casual capsule Collection

Kathmandu’s incorporation of EarthColors to create an exclusive “vintage casuallook is available in a wide range of tones including slate blue, burnt olive and burlwood rose, are made from the non-edible parts of nutshells, almond shells, rosemary, saw palmetto, bitter orange and beetroot, left over from agriculture industry or herbal extraction.

Katmandu has been a pioneer on the sustainable front for 20 years, offering alternative and less wasteful and harmful products for its outdoor ranges including camping, active,travel and ski and snow collections for all the family.

“We have been using recycled materials for over 20 years and we are constantly looking for new technologies to develop more sustainable outdoor gear,” said Manu Rastogi, Textile R&D and Responsible Materials Manager for Kathmandu.

“Dyeing techniques using plants have been around for centuries, but they require adding huge amounts of mordants (alum, iron, copper, tin, chrome) and fixatives (salt, tannings, vinegar), which could lead to water pollution,” he said.

Two hoddies in brown and green from Kathmandu.
A vintage look is achieved by using Archroma's EarthColors in the Kathmandu capsule collection for men and women.

Plant-based dyeing techniques have had their problems, mainly they tend to have poor light and wash fastness, which doesn't appeal to the consumer. The inability to promote an article’s longevity has now been overcome by Archroma’s EarthColors, the first technology allowing colors to be synthesized from plants rather than petroleum, but most importantly keeping similar performance

“We are very proud and grateful that Kathmandu selected Archromas EarthColors for their first incursion into the world of nature-based colors,” comments Paul Cowell, Head of Brand Marketing in Archromas Brand & Performance Textile Specialties business.

“Kathmandu will surely inspire other brands and retailers to explore and adopt eco-advanced innovations. With the help of Kathmandu, Archroma is again showing the apparel industry the way to go, one collection at a time. Because it’s our nature!


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Louisa Smith
Louisa Smith
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