YnFx Sustainable Conversations

Matiias Nordin – SVP of Product Management & Sustainability at Coloreel

Our recent interaction with Matiias Nordin, SVP of Product Management & Sustainability at Coloreel- talks about their groundbreaking technology for embroidery that not only reduces waste but also assists the textile industry in moving toward more sustainable production.

Coloreel offers technology to make embroidery more sustainable & creative

2023-02-17 14:10:34 – Sweden

Coloreel is a Swedish textile innovation with ground-breaking embroidery technology that allows high-quality coloring of textile thread on demand.

Coloreel employs technology to advance embroidery while preserving its fine craftsmanship. It uses only a single thread and needle, which means it also significantly improves quality and efficiency, allowing for an immediate start-up and faster delivery. 

There is no wastewater produced while coloring the thread directly; thus, there is no water pollution. Additionally, using just one reel of thread reduced microfiber pollution and thread waste.

Our recent interaction with Matiias Nordin, SVP of Product Management & Sustainability at Coloreel- talks about their groundbreaking technology for embroidery that not only reduces waste but also assists the textile industry in moving toward more sustainable production. 

YnFx: What is the story behind Coloreel?  

Nordin: Coloreel began as an innovative company with the goal of developing groundbreaking technology for global industries. A few years in, our founder Joakim Staberg succeeded in creating instant thread dyeing. Since then, the company has been working to perfect the technology and develop the first product. In late 2019, pilot products were released to customers, and to date, the company has delivered to 15 countries on three different continents. When Coloreel launched its technology for digital thread dyeing, the aim was to streamline an embroidery industry characterized by slow processes, difficulty in creating complicated designs, and excessive use of resources.

YnFx: What is unique about Coloreel technology?

Nordin: Coloreel’s technology is unique in that it offers instant thread coloring, allowing for greater design freedom compared to traditional embroidery methods. This technology, in combination with Coloreel's special effects such as gradients, stripes, and noise, provides a wide range of possibilities for custom designs. Additionally, Coloreel’s technology utilizes a waterless dyeing process, resulting in minimal wastewater and thread waste. Furthermore, the product is digital, making it highly efficient in a production environment with minimal setup time and no need to replace thread reels.

YnFx: What is the environmental footprint of Coloreel technology and how is it contributing to the industry’s journey towards sustainability? How Coloreel technology helps in reducing waste and water consumption?

Nordin: The technology is designed with a strong focus on sustainability, and with the goal of reducing the environmental footprint of the textile industry. By dyeing post-consumer recycled polyester thread in real-time, we significantly reduce water consumption compared to traditional dyeing methods. In fact, by using the ink jetting technology we’ve developed with our partner Ricoh: In fact, Coloreel reduces water consumption by at least 97%, when compared to traditional dyeing methods. Additionally, the technology significantly reduces thread waste.

To demonstrate the environmental benefits of Coloreel's technology, we have published a complete life cycle analysis (LCA) and an environmental product declaration (EPD) in the international database Environdec. These documents have been verified by a third party, the Swedish consulting company Miljögiraff. Through these documents, a comparison can be made between Coloreel's technology and one of the world’s leading thread manufacturers. According to their public sustainability report, traditional thread dyeing produces 50 times more wastewater than Coloreel’s direct dyeing process.

By dyeing the thread as it is being used, Coloreel technology reduces thread waste and eliminates the need for storing pre-dyed thread reels or discarding half-used or outdated thread reels.

YnFx: What were the major technical challenges faced by the company?

Nordin: One of the major technical challenges faced by Coloreel has been integrating the various components of the technology to produce a high-quality dyed thread that meets all important quality standards, including washability. We have put a lot of effort into this area, and to date, Coloreel has 90 patents and 120 patent applications pending. This suggests that the company has had to overcome many technical obstacles in order to achieve our goals.

YnFx: What are the key milestones achieved by Coloreel to date? 

Nordin: Creation of the original innovation: Coloreel’s instant thread coloring technology.

Development of the technology and creation of the first product

Partnership regarding the ink jetting technology with Ricoh.

Release of pilot products to customers in 2019

Building a strong distributor network and delivery of the Instant Thread Coloring Unit to customers Coloreel integrated into full-scale production for leading fashion brands

Fully integrated on-demand web solution released with Printful.

YnFx: What are the future plans of the company?

Nordin: Coloreel is currently in the early stages of establishing ourselves as the industry standard for embroidery. However, we recognize that our instant thread coloring technology has potential applications beyond just embroidery. We are actively exploring other areas, such as special sewing and knitting. Additionally, Coloreel has a strong commitment to sustainability and reducing the overall environmental impact of our products, and we plan to continue working towards this goal in the future.

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