Dutch apparel company G-Star Raw has a green thumb. The brand partnered with Swiss chemical company Archroma to launch a sustainably dyed collection made from upcycled plant waste, which includes three colorways that originate from products such as saw palmetto leaf and upcycled beetroot waste that are left over from the herbal industry.
Using materials such as organic cotton, recycled cotton and Tencel, its integration of Archroma’s EarthColors affirms its “holistic” approach to sustainability, which also includes sustainable washing techniques, the company said. The firms worked together in 2017 to create a line of circular plant-based dyed jeans, and joined forces again for its upcoming fall collection, “Dyed by Nature,” that includes jeans, denim jackets, shirts, T-shirts, and sweats for men and women. The collection is now available in-store and online.
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“Denim innovation is rooted in G-Star’s nature, focusing not only on product aesthetics, but also on the wider impact they have. Since 2006, [we have] been future-proofing denim by investing in sustainable innovations, aiming for a circular approach to how denim is made and used, in a transparent manner,” the brand explained.
EarthColors’ color palette is described as “warm ternary shades from nature,” and centered on several hues of brown, wine red, deep green and dark slate blue. The collection features Earth-Oak, made of 100 percent almond shells; Earth-Maple, 100 percent rosemary waste; Earth-Cotton, 100 percent cotton plant residue; Earth-Sand, 90 percent bitter orange; Earth-Clay, 90 percent beet residue; Earth-Forest, 90 percent saw palmetto, and Earth-Stone, 70 percent saw palmetto. The company said the use of natural waste-based raw materials “has no negative impact in any other steps of the dye manufacturing, such as water and energy consumption or waste generation.”
Nuria Estape, head of marketing and promotion for Archroma’s brand and performance textile specialties business, told WWD, “Our main criteria [is] the close availability of the ingredients and [that they are] nonedible waste. We don’t want to take any food away from anyone. The beauty of this project is the big potential to reuse waste from other industries to help create a circular economy.”
And as EarthColors is still a relatively new product, Estape explained why its color offerings are focused on a neutral palette. Estape told WWD, “In terms of shade card, EarthColors’ technology has some limitations — let’s say that we can only cover the colors of nature. Our potential is more in line with experimenting with alternative residues to help closing the loop of other industries at the same time we upcycle waste.”
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