Oz-One Powder is chlorine and potassium permanganate-free, and is used in a waterless process
Spotted: Bleached denim has been popular for many decades as a fashion statement, but the process used to remove the indigo from denim often involves harsh chemicals or ozone gas, both of which are very detrimental to the health of garment workers and the environment. Now, the Italian sustainable chemicals company Officina+39 has developed a treatment called Oz-One Powder. It allows manufacturers to achieve that acid-wash look in an environmentally-friendly way.
The new product is chlorine and potassium permanganate-free and is used in a waterless process that can be performed at room temperature, simply by rotating the powder in an empty washing machine with the denim. The process also does not require an ozone machine, making it more cost-effective.
The Oz-One powder works by breaking down indigo and sulphur black dyes, and will also break down Officina’s own sustainable dyes, to produce a bleached effect. Officina came up with the concept for the product while Italy was in lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic. The company felt that it would be important to maintain the denim industry’s momentum towards sustainability once restrictions were lifted.
As a sustainable company, Officina is particularly concerned that the “denim industry doesn’t walk back on some of the progress it has made to reduce its overall environmental footprint”. According to the company’s MD Andrea Venier, “It is hoped that, even in a difficult time due to the global pandemic, a new technology like Oz-One Powder will give to laundries an extra option to offer brands better and more sustainable technology, using the machines at their disposal.”
Each year, the textile industry is responsible for the consumption of more than 79 billion cubic metres of water, 1,715 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and 92 million tonnes of waste — and these numbers are set to increase by 50 per cent by 2030. Growing awareness of this problem has led to a growing number of innovations to deal with it. These have recently included renewable recycled cotton and zero-waste fashion initiatives.
Written By: Lisa Magloff