H&M and some textile companies are about to begin an industrial scale test of this dyeing technology. Colorifix expects to launch commercially available microbial dyes in the market in 2020.
H&M, a fast fashion brand, has invested in Colorifix, a British biotechnology startup, which is developing an environmentally friendly microorganism dyeing technology.
Data show that Colorifix has put forward a color gene from birds and butterflies, and inserted it into a certain bacterium, so that bacteria can get different colors. These bacteria can serve as dyes for cloth coloring. After dyeing, these bacteria will be killed in a short high temperature. Colorifix said that this dyeing technology has many advantages in environmental protection, such as not using heavy metal chemical dyes, heating temperature is lower than traditional dyeing, according to different equipment, also can reduce up to 90% of dyeing water consumption.
According to reports, H&M and some textile companies are about to start the industrial scale test of this dyeing technology. Colorifix expects to launch commercially available microbial dyes in the market in 2020.
In fact, this is just a microcosm of H&M's environmental protection measures. Fast fashion clothes are changing frequently, and the environmental problems are very severe. H&M has to take more measures to counteract the negative effects. H&M releases sustainable fashion reports every year, awards the global change, and launches a series of clothing featuring environmental protection.
In addition, H&M's foundation and venture capital companies often invest in projects or businesses related to environmental protection. In addition to Colorifix, H&M also invested in Sweden's textile recycling company Re:newcell in 2017 and an environmental protection material innovation center in the United States called Innovators Hub.
Environmental protection has always been a serious issue of all fashion brands. Fashion textile industry is seriously polluted. The main problems include huge industrial consumption, chemical dye pollution, textile waste and so on. Besides, the use of animal fur is often criticized. According to the British Fashion Business Review Magazine, "every 1 kilograms of cotton production requires twenty thousand liters of water, which only produce 1 T-shirts and 1 pairs of jeans. At the same time, there are 8000 kinds of chemicals involved in garment manufacturing, including dyeing, washing and decoration.
Nowadays, more and more attention has been paid to the movement of clothing brands in sustainability. The British luxury brand Burberry stood at the cusp of public opinion last year because of the burning of stock clothes. The down jacket brand Canada Goose was also often criticized by animal protection organizations for using animal fur.
Clothing brands have to put sustainable development in a more important position and create a brand image with a sense of social responsibility to cater for consumers. Dozens of luxury brands such as CHANEL, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry have announced the ban on fur. In addition, in May 2018, Nike, H&M, Burberry, Gap and other brands signed a "sustainable fashion" initiative launched by the foundation for the purpose of reducing the waste of the fashion industry.