Techtextil North America

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Tangible impacts from Archroma in eight years

The go-to partner for many brands looking to integrate sustainable innovations and solutions.

4th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Reinach, Switzerland

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

It is now eight years since the formation of Archroma, headquartered in Reinach, Switzerland, from the textiles, paper and emulsions businesses acquired from Clariant by SK Capital Partners.

Building on decades of commitment to developing safer eco-friendlier chemistry, Archroma has in this time become a prominent name for more sustainable colours and performance in textiles, collaborating with leading brands such as Esprit, G-Star, Patagonia, Primark and many more.

More recently the Ellen McArthur Foundation selected Archroma’s plant-waste based EarthColors for its online Biodiversity and Circular Economy case study library.

“Such impact cannot be created overnight,” says CEO Heike van de Kerkhof. “Just a few years ago sustainability was considered by most industries as a ‘compliance’ topic. We at Archroma have always had a vision that sustainability is the right thing to do, and that it doesn’t have to come at the expense of cost efficiency or performance.”

Years after the Greenpeace ‘Detox’ campaign in 2011, and more recent events such as the climate school strikes of Greta Thunberg, the fast-growing plant-based movement and the pandemic, the general public has finally recognised the reality of the climate crisis and is demanding more responsible policies and supply chains, and safer products.

In this context, Archroma has become the go-to partner for many brands in fashion, outerwear, packaging or home decoration, looking to integrate sustainable innovations and solutions in their products.

In its very short life span, Archroma has introduced game-changing innovations, such as the EarthColors range made from non-edible plant waste from the food and herbal industry, Denisol Pure, an indigo for aniline-free denim, and Smartrepel, a PFC-free water repellent solution. The company is also about to launch a new plant-based softener.

In parallel, Archroma has been helping its customers in addressing the growing expectations of the public in terms of keeping consumers and the environment, safe.

The company started to develop holistic solutions designed to bring innovation and performance, while reducing the impacts on water, energy and other natural resources. The savings generated by these 70+ system solutions are demonstrated by Archroma’s proprietary One Way Impact Calculator, a tool launched in 2012 and continuously upgraded to simulate and optimise the footprint of application processes.

For instance, Archroma recently launched Casual X Smart, a sulphur dyeing system for trendy wash-down effects to make clothes that look smart at home and at work. The colours won’t fade in the washing cycle, and the application process allows resource savings of up to 33% water, 21% energy and 35% chemical usage compared to a benchmark reactive and pigment garment dyeing.

With One Way, a brand can calculate how much impact their current production and the Archroma Way collection will have on water, energy, chemical, raw materials or CO2 footprint.

Meanwhile, fashion, online shopping, food packaging, etc., are increasingly associated with air and water pollution.

Brands are eager to implement sustainable solutions and demonstrate their impacts, especially CO2 reduction, in a post-pandemic world where we can expect consumers to have no tolerance for green washing.

“Brands in fashion, food, home decor, or sportswear make ambitious pledges, and they want to honour them,” says van de Kerkhof. “They are therefore eager to understand how they can introduce new innovations with safer ingredients and a lower impact on resources. That is where we can help, with our advanced ingredients and demonstrated resource-saving solutions.”

Archroma estimates that it has so far helped:

-Divert 1,250,000 kg of formaldehyde from the textile supply chain with its Bright Dream and Stamp It Safe products.

-Remove 25,000 kg of aniline, a substance toxic for aquatic life and for denim workers, from the environment, with its Pure Indigo Icon system based on Denisol Pure.

-Replace 450,000 kg of fossil fuel based products, with its Nature Bound, Rag n’roll and Love Nature X Earthcolors systems that use plant-based renewable ingredients.

-Save 7,740,000,000 litres of water and reduce 420 million kg of CO2 with its Deep Dive 2.0, Dark Bliss 2.0, Smart Start and Smooth as Iron systems that allow massive resource savings in cotton items.

-Divert 21,000 tons of chemicals and 14,000 tons of acetic acid from the packaging supply chain, with its Boxing Clever dyeing solution.

“We calculated all these savings with the One Way Impact Calculator,” Heike van de Kerkhof explains. “We are very proud of these very tangible positive impacts and we are looking forward to creating many more in the years to come.”

The company will share more impact examples during its anniversary month of October 2021 on its Linked In channel:

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more