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Archroma to produce IndiGold at scale

Agricultural value chain from seed breeding and production to biomass harvest and extraction established.

22nd April 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Reinach, Switzerland


Archroma is partnering with Stony Creek Colors, of Springfield, Tennessee, to produce and bring to the market IndiGold high-performance plant-based pre-reduced indigo at scale.

Stony Creek extracts its dye from proprietary Indigofera plant varieties grown in partnership with family farms as a regenerative rotational crop and IndiGold was developed with Archroma to offer the first ever plant-based alternative to synthetic pre-reduced indigo. The dyestuff will be sold as a 20% concentration in a soluble liquid form that displays similar performance to comparable synthetic indigo products available on the market.

Stony Creek has evolved into a leader in plant-based indigo due to its complete development of an improved agricultural value chain, from seed breeding and production to biomass harvest and extraction. The company has been selling its US grown indigo to denim mills since 2015.

The pre-reduced plant-based indigo partnership took root in 2020 when Stony Creek was looking to work with like-minded partners to produce the new dyestuff at scale. Archroma emerged as the ideal partner, being well known for its expertise in indigo manufacturing and application.

Archroma’s indigo plant in Salvatierra, Mexico. © Archroma

Archroma has continuously introduced eco-advanced indigo innovation such as the first ever aniline-free synthetic pre-reduced indigo and the Archroma x CleanKore technology for aniline-free potassium permanganate-free spray and laser booster for white abrasion.

Pilot scale

It subsequently supported Stony Creek with extensive pilot scale manufacturing trials and engaged with its network of denim machinery manufacturers to test the first samples in industrial conditions. The trials showed excellent colouration and the typical indigo wash down, as with synthetic indigo. Archroma will produce the first batches of IndiGold in Salvatierra, Mexico, and has other locations where the product could be made. It will support Stony Creek through its manufacturing and logistics capabilities, and its expertise in denim dyeing with customers using pre-reduced indigo.

While this development was underway, Fashion for Good selected Stony Creek as an innovator in its global Innovation Programme which connects brands with innovators to work together to test, validate and ultimately scale disruptive innovations in the fashion industry. Through the programme, Fashion for Good has collaborated Levi Strauss and will now pilot the use of IndiGold in denim mills at scale, with the goal of unlocking key learnings around shade application and other efficiencies of this new dyestuff.

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