Plant-Based Indigo Manufacturer, Stony Creek Colors, Closes $4.8 Million Series B2 Funding Round To Scale Natural Dye Operations

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. — December 1, 2022 — Stony Creek Colors, a Springfield, Tennessee-based manufacturer of natural indigo dye, has closed a $4.8 million Series B2 funding round co-led by the company’s long-standing partners, Lewis & Clark AgriFood and Levi Strauss & Co. Stony Creek Colors will use the capital to further develop its farming infrastructure and the dye extraction process to bring regenerative solutions to farmers and the textile industry.

Stony Creek Colors remains the only industrial scale manufacturer globally of 100% bio-based indigo, as certified by the USDA BioPreferred Program. Its vertically-integrated model allows for full traceability–down to the farm level–that brands and consumers trust. The funding will allow Stony Creek Colors to further refine its innovations, developed and field-proven over the past two years, as it advances toward scale.

“Stony Creek Colors was founded on the idea of harnessing naturally occurring chemicals in plants, to solve fashion industry challenges while giving farmers a profitable regenerative rotational crop,” said Sarah Bellos, Founder and CEO of Stony Creek Colors. “Our past collaboration with Levi Strauss & Co. as a customer allowed us to bring important denim supply chain innovations, such as IndiGold®, to life. This equity round initiates our next phase of long-term growth.”

Since its inception, the company has successfully grown, harvested, and processed its proprietary indigo varieties on over 500 acres of farmland through its repeatable and expandable farmer production model in Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida. The company’s natural indigo process fixes nitrogen and captures more carbon than it uses, enabling environmental improvements for the farms where the crops are grown. Farmers planning to break up pest cycles or boost soil fertility with “cover crops” can rotate their farmland with Stony Creek Colors’ tropical indigo, which simultaneously provides them with viable revenue per acre and meets important regenerative agriculture goals.

“Stony Creek’s 2021 investment round allowed for the expansion of its production into a more tropical region where its improved plant genetics are well suited. With this current investment round, the company is poised to reach a greater scale in agricultural production and processing to meet growing demand for clean colors in the textile industry,” says Tim Hassler, Managing Director at Lewis & Clark AgriFood.

In addition to agriculture supply chain integrations, Stony Creek Colors is known for its innovations in new dye applications and customer point-of-use for this natural chemistry. Earlier this year, Stony Creek Colors publicly launched IndiGold®, the first plant-derived, pre-reduced indigo for denim mills, with global specialty chemicals leader Archroma. This product delivers on a long sought-after commercial drop-in solution for industrial denim production.

This investment for jeanswear company Levi Strauss and Co., headquartered in San Francisco, comes five years after an initial collaboration with Stony Creek Colors. Stony Creek Colors’ plant-based dyes were piloted as part of the Levi Strauss & Co. Wellthread® collection, a living R&D lab that addresses design and manufacturing challenges in order to create a more sustainable future through innovative products.

“Our work with Stony Creek on the Levi’s® brand and our Wellthread® collections has shown the potential of plant-based dyes,” said Paul Dillinger, Levi Strauss & Co. Head of Global Product Innovation. “We’re excited to get more involved with the company by supporting its efforts to bring plant-based dyeing alternatives to market at scale.”

Stony Creek Colors’ vertically-integrated technology eliminates the major historical inefficiencies in plant-based indigo production to allow for a high-purity dye suitable for its industrial denim mill customers, while demonstrating a soil health enriching and climate positive chemical that fits well into farmers’ annual crop rotations. Today, Stony Creek is increasing accessibility of renewable color chemistries as demand for plant-based innovations rise in the fashion and textile markets.

Posted: December 1, 2022

Source: Lewis & Clark Agrifood

Trützschler And Valérius 360: A Breakthrough For Recycled Yarn

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany — November 30, 2022 — Valérius 360 wanted to make a sustainable, circular approach possible in the fashion industry. But it needed a partner with the power to make this green dream a reality. Working together with Trützschler, a pioneering collaborative project has now achieved high-quality recycled yarn – opening up massive potential to drive measurable progress toward a circular and sustainable textile industry.

Valérius 360 was founded in Portugal in 2017. It produces yarn by recycling waste from its own spinning and knitting processes – which keeps more material in the economic cycle for longer, cutting down waste and making an important contribution to sustainability. Recently, its experts launched a new project with the ambitious aim of increasing the quality of yarn made from recycled waste fiber. But processing recycled fibers is tricky in many ways. Reopening textiles down to the tuft, for example, leads to a reduction in the fiber quality.

Trützschler has innovative technologies and significant experience that support spinners with applications that involve recycled waste fibers. Our experts have a deep understanding of the decisive role that fiber and spinning preparation stages play in the quality of the final yarn. In partnership with Valérius 360, we explored the possibilities to make their project a success.

Testing at the Trützschler Technical Center
The team from Valérius 360 wanted to find ways of improving the processes for yarns made from 50 % recycled and 50 % virgin cotton. In particular, it was seeking ways to reduce thick and thin spots, which disturb the appearance of the textile surface.

At the Trützschler Technical Center in Mönchengladbach, we conducted special trials that showed that using a direct spinning process for this application delivers much better results than a process with a draw frame passage for rotor yarns.

In direct spinning, the sliver from the card is directly drawn in the draw frame which is integrated in the can stock. This involves one less process step than using an autoleveller draw frame, while also saving space and giving staff more time for other operations.

Direct spinning showed a clear capacity to reduce the number of faults in the yarn. As a result, the yarn breaks were 30 % lower and the Total IPI 38 % lower. The direct spinning process also has a positive effect on energy consumption: Compared to the process with a draw frame passage, for a medium plant size, a savings potential of 5 % is achieved with direct spinning. At an energy price of 0.2 €/kW, the savings amount to over 5,000 € per year.

On-site support from Trützschler Customer Service

The team from Valérius 360 also received in-house training from the Trützschler Customer Service department. Together, they analyzed and significantly improved the process at the Valérius 360 production site. This helped to bring yarns made from recycled raw materials up to the required level of the 50% Usterstatistics. This is the reference level for yarns made from virgin raw materials. Accordingly, 50 % of all yarn producers with raw cotton for rotor yarns and comparable yarn counts produce a poorer quality.

Trützschler is deeply committed to supporting its customers on the journey to a more sustainable textile industry. This case study shows how customers can improve the processing of recycled materials by using preparation systems from Trützschler. This includes plant concepts for fiber preparation, such as T-Blend or the TC 19iR. It also includes concepts for spinning preparation like direct spinning with the unique IDF from Trützschler. These innovative systems help customers to maximize the full potential of the material they are processing – because quality is decided in the preparation stage!

“We believe that right now the fashion industry is in a position to actively play a pioneering role in restoring the environment and thus restoring humanity, and we want to make our contribution to that,” said Patrícia Ferreira, CEO of Valérius Hub. “We are very grateful for the great support that Trützschler has given and continues to give us at all levels – from machine configuration through to product development, assembly and customer service”, adds Miklós Pál Nagy, Manager at Valérius 360.

Posted: November 30, 2022

Source: TRÜTZSCHLER GROUP

Zero-Waste Textile Producer Launches Upcycling Project

SOUTHAMPTON, England — November 25, 2022 — Kingly Ltd. is one of only 52 GOTS-certified sock producers in the world. It also is the first zero-waste textile company that creates sustainable products for the promotional industry. The company just introduced its “Upcycling project” which intends to retrieve textile waste not for recycling but for using it to create new products.

“One of earth’s biggest polluters is the textile and apparel industry and its environmentally detrimental activities that are contributing to the declining health of our planet,” said Rob Armour, CEO and founder of Kingly. “Recognizing that we are at an important crossroad, my team and I are dedicated to providing the best sustainable earth-friendly products.

“We are proud to announce a new initiative we call ‘The Kingly Upcycling Project’. The mission is to inspire and educate people on upcycling and repurposed design and how to do it on a larger scale.”

Production produces waste

During the manufacture of socks, small factory offcuts are produced. They’re a mixture of cotton, nylon, Lycra, elastane, and materials like polyester, polypropylene, and other fibers. It is impossible for these offcuts to be recycled as there is no way one can separate the different fibers. For this reason, they would normally go to landfill.

Offcut waste is now retained and re-used

However, based on their commitment to a better, cleaner environment, and in line with our ISO 14001 Environmental Policy, at Kingly, waste fibers are now retained. The leftover fibers find a new life as stuffing for printed pillowcases and for furniture.

Resource preservation

The demand for sustainable alternatives to the most popular textile merchandise products is raising. Kingly already help giants like Google, Samsung and Coca-Cola reduce their environmental footprint and save vital resources. Until the end of October 2022, Kingly’s clients have saved astonishing 25 075 314 litres of water by choosing their award-winning upcycled socks in compostable bags as corporate gifts. Moreover, 93 592 kW/h of energy have been saved, the carbon footprint has been minimized by 38 397 kg, and the company has prevented 4 235 m2 from turning into landfill.

A case study from 2021 shows that Kingly has helped Google save more than 24 million liters of water with a single order of socks. In addition, energy consumption has been reduced by 90.168 KWh and the process prevented the use of 1,826 kg of pollutants. Kingly has also partnered with the developers of Polygiene, a technology that enables textiles to stay fresher for long, to reduce the frequency of washing and allow further resource savings.

Kingly’s upcycled cotton socks in compostable bags and GOTS organic cotton socks have just been shortlisted for the BPMA’s Product Awards 2022-2023.

November 29, 2022

Source: Kingly

 

UNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™

GREENSBORO, N.C. — November 28, 2022 — Today, Unifi Inc., makers of REPREVE® and one of the world’s innovators in recycled and synthetic yarns, announced a major expansion of its innovative Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ program. The initiative is designed to collect and recycle polyester-based fabric waste, including both pre- and post-consumer fabrics, and transform it into REPREVE® – the leading recycled performance fiber that powers top brands and sustainable goods worldwide.

With millions of tons of textile waste discarded each year, Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ aims to transform the industry’s take-make-waste model by providing a sustainable way to recycle landfill-bound textiles and create new products. Through UNIFI’s proprietary process, the Company transforms dyed and undyed polyester-based textile discards into recycled resin through an innovative material conversion process. The recycled resin is then converted into REPREVE® fiber, or it may be blended with recycled bottle material to achieve desired specifications. The material then begins its life cycle again and avoids a trip to the landfill. By focusing on sustainable solutions that create a closed-loop circular system, Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ from UNIFI serves as an actionable step towards addressing the industry’s waste footprint.

“UNIFI has always seen sustainability as a movement – not a moment,” said Eddie Ingle, Chief Executive Officer of UNIFI. “We are thrilled to expand Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ to provide our partners with a sustainable solution that helps to create a more circular supply chain for all.”

As an industry leader and legacy company, UNIFI has championed sustainable innovation since 1971. As the makers of REPREVE®, UNIFI has transformed more than 35 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new apparel, footwear, home goods, and other consumer products. Initially piloted in 2011, Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ will include an expanded global footprint and product application scope, making a sustainable solution for waste accessible to partners at scale.

“Finding new ways to help our partners meet their sustainability goals is always top of mind,” said Meredith Boyd, SVP of Technology, Innovation & Sustainability of UNIFI. “By expanding our Textile TakebackUNIFI, Makers Of REPREVE®, Announces Major Expansion Of Textile Takeback™ initiative, we are one step closer to shaping a future where waste is the exception – not the rule.”

Posted: November 29, 2022

Source: Unifi Inc.

Sustainability And Circularity In Dye-Sub Printing

TW Special Report

Nowadays Textile Printing industry faces a huge challenge: to carry out a sustainable production chain, thus ensuring a cost-effective printing output. Textile industry consists of an extremely complex and lengthy supply chain, which involves many different processes and various partners. Manufacturers and retailers have been focusing in reducing the environmental impact of the textile industry, still sustainability and circularity require a lot of shared commitment of the players involved in every single stage of the process.

This positive evolution of the full production chain requires time. We find ourselves to be at a turning point as different technologies rise such as  textile printing with pigment inks. In the meantime, there are some immediate and effective actions to do, one of them is to consider dye-sub printing.

Dye-sub is an opportunity for digital textile printing and numbers confirm this statement. Dye-sub enables around 40-percent gas saving and around 20-percent electricity saving1 thanks to: a short process, no-padding, dry heat, no-washing and no-steaming. That’s why dye-sub formulas will continue to be extremely popular. In 2026 this ink type is forecast to be the dominant one with more than 6,000 metric tonnes2.

In 2020 the annual production of around 57 million metric tons3 of polyester had a market share of approximately 52 percent of the global fiber production. Recycled polyester is a fast-growing trend, with an increase of around 500 percent from 2019 to 20224. Dye-sub printing enables around 99 percent water savings, because around 98 percent of the water used in paper production is recycled after being used. Recycled polyester is an almost closed virtuous circle, whose effectiveness is demonstrated by the public commitments of Textile Exchange members. Various globally known brands are already committed to recycled polyester, many more are on a path leading to the use of recycled polyester or polyester coming from more sustainable sources, accordingly to the data provided by Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 20215.

Paper is an almost completely virtuous circle. Paper can be 100 percent recycled after the use and this alone is a huge advantage. In addition, using low weight paper reduces the carbon footprint of 40g/m2. In order to produce paper, you need 3.7L/kg, but around 98 percent of the water used in the process is re-used6. It’s a circular process inside another circular process. So, in dye-sub printing: two of the main raw materials involved have a relatively low environmental impact and they have an almost ideal circularity in their processes.

But this is not all that is necessary. To carry out a sustainable production chain it is important to manage and track the suppliers and the chemicals by partnering with suppliers and by removing hazardous substances from the manufacturing process, and the increase in talks about traceability seems to confirm this tendency.

This is exactly what J.K. Group does for its inks, which are environmentally friendly, since we put a lot of effort in research and development to innovate more and more and reach top-tier certified quality, complying with regulatories (such as GHS), ZDHC MRSL PARAMETERS L3, brand owners’ standard MRSL lists, ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX®, together with constantly updating already existing inks’ formulas to always be aligned with regulatories.

MS Printing Solutions also puts a lot of effort in carrying out a sustainable production chain, choosing a supplier that understands the importance of sustainable machinery certification is essential to achieve an energetical and environmental performance, an eco-efficient value of the machine and a lower carbon footprint in working condition. MS Printing Solutions is perfectly aware of this, that’s why it joined the “Sustainable Technologies” project launched by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers. The gold standard of this project is the Green Label: a voluntary declaration by Italian textile machinery manufacturers designed to highlight the energy and/or environmental performance of a given machine, calculated in reference to a production cycle defined by the manufacturer for labelled machinery. Without internationally recognized standards for classifying energy and/or environmental performance for textile machinery, Italian manufacturers highlight some machinery performance data.

New times call for new strategies and today, more than ever before, a sustainable approach must be adopted in every stage of the entire supply chain. We find ourselves at a tipping point and we must act for our industry’s green future.


References:

1 Data source www.sublitex.com
2 J. Link, Ink market review forecasts modest contractions, WTiN, 2 September 2022, on www.wtin.com
3 Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021 on www.textileexchange.org
4 Data Source LARIOTEX
5 Data accessible on www.textileexchange.org
6 Data source www.beaverpaper.com


This sponsored content was provided by JK Group


November 22, 2022

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