Innovation That Matters

Huue has developed an indigo dye for denim | Photo source Claire Abdo on Unsplash

Biosynthetic indigo dye for denim is chemical and petroleum-free

Fashion & Beauty

The dye has potential for further applications in food and cosmetics

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Spotted: Denim is the most commonly used fabric in the world, so fundamentally altering the production footprint of the industry is a massive step in improving global environmental health. California-based Huue replicates naturally occurring colour creation processes to build synthetic and sustainable versions for industrial use. Indigo is the company’s first colour due to its widespread use. And its first target is the denim industry.

Huue’s colours are built with sugar rather than toxic chemicals such as cyanide and formaldehyde. The company’s proprietary bioengineering process creates microbes that, when consuming sugar, make the desired colour.

Capable of being used as a direct replacement for the traditional dyes already found in production processes, Huue’s colours also reduce fossil fuel consumption. With 75 kilogrammes of petroleum required to produce a single kilogramme of traditional indigo dye, the use of Huue’s colours greatly reduces pollution. The lack of toxins in the new dyes also lessens water pollution as no chemical reducing agents are needed to dilute the liquids before releasing the waste.

Having recently raised more than $14 million in Series A funding, the company plans to expand its commercial production capabilities, seek out fashion industry partners, and explore additional opportunities in industries including cosmetics and food.

Other healthier, more sustainable colour innovations spotted by Springwise include a t-shirt cooloured using black algae that absorbs carbon, and a blue food colouring made from red cabbage that is suitable for use in food and drink.  

Written by: Keely Khoury



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