Sustainability and the environment are at the forefront for workwear manufacturer Fristads, start-up company Mounid and knowledge center Wargön Innovation. A joint project aims to develop a more sustainable alternative to conventional textile dyestuff.
The textile industry is responsible for 4-8% of the total climate impact in the world and of that, nearly 80% occurs during production. Conventional textile dyeing makes up a quarter of those emissions and the process is also extremely water and chemical intensive.
The project is based on 2 groundbreaking innovations: – digital spray technology from imogo AB, Limhamn/Sweden, and algae ink from Mounid AB, Göteburg/Sweden. For the algae ink, color pigments are extracted and processed from microalgae. The aim is to create a textile dyeing value chain that is radically more resource efficient and resilient than today. The project model lowers water and energy consumption by up to 90% and reduces carbon dioxide (CO2
) emissions by the same amount, compared with conventional dyeing methods.
»We think everybody should have access to high-quality, durable clothes, but the manufacturing process shouldn’t burden the climate more than necessary. Since dyeing causes a significant share of the environmental impact of the production, it is a prioritized area for us as we are working to reduce our environmental imprint. We have already tried more efficient textile dyeing methods, for example when we developed our environmentally declared workwear collection, ‘Fristads Green’.«
Additionally, algae are superior to land-based plant dyes when it comes to generating biomass and storing CO2
, which in turn helps counteract the greenhouse effect.
By creating ink dye from microalgae, garments can be designed in a fully closed loop, whereas the industry dyes that are used today compromise that process.
Mounid creates ink dye using microalgae to provide the textile and fashion industries with completely biodegradable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly dye products. In collaboration with companies in the Swedish textile industry, the first algae ink is currently under development to become market ready.
Aside from Fristads AB, Borås/Sweden, and Wargön Innovation, Vargön/Sweden, other participants in the project include Baux AB, Stockholm/Sweden; Indorama Ventures Public Company Ltd. (IVL), Bangkok/Thailand; Sjuhäradsbygdens Färgeri AB, Kinnahult/Schweden; Miljösus AB, Bohus-Björkö/Schweden; Woolpower belonging to the Swedish manufacturer Ullfrotté AB, Östersund, and imogo. The goal is to have at least 4 prototypes from participating brands ready for market by the end of the project in autumn 2023.