Advance Denim's bold investment in environmentally friendly production is paying off. After three years of continual testing and invention, the denim producer unveiled its most eco-friendly dyeing method- BioBlue Indigo.
BioBlue Indigo is a denim dyeing method that is designed to eliminate the hazardous chemicals that polluted wastewater after the denim dyeing process.
BioBlue's indigo dyeing method converts powdered indigo colors to liquids without the need for sodium hydrosulfite, a volatile and unstable chemical that is difficult to transport. In the denim production process, sodium hydrosulfite generates a high concentration of ions, which are difficult to remove from wastewater and harmful to the environment. Sulfates can build up in wastewater from this chemical, and in high enough quantities, they can emit toxic gases that can affect the environment.
Since 2018, the denim company has lowered its energy and water use per yard of fabric by 42% and 58%, respectively. In just two years, the firm raised its Higg carbon footprint verification score from 49 to 81.
While these are significant achievements, Advance Denim is most proud of launching Big Box dyeing in 2020. Without compromising the uniformity of conventional rope-dyed indigo denim, Big Box dyeing saves up to 98% of water during indigo dyeing. Big Box dyeing allows denim to keep its typical wash and color consistency while saving substantial quantities of water in an industry that values sustainability. And, of course, less water equals less affluent.
However, Advance Denim's general manager, Amy Wang, wanted to take it a step further. She wanted to use less water, energy, and chemicals while dyeing indigo, as well as clean up the chemicals that were already being utilized.
Furthermore, Advance Denim understood that while it was investing in environmentally beneficial materials like recycled fibers, Tencel, and organic cotton, it didn't make sense to bathe those fibers in harmful chemicals during the indigo dyeing process.
BioBlue Denim is a more environmentally friendly technique of reducing indigo and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals to color sustainable textiles. Advance Denim resorted to Amanda Cattermole of chemical management consultant Cattermole Consulting Inc. to investigate BioBlue Indigo to back up its own results.
BioBlue was a more ecologically responsible means of lowering indigo without utilizing sodium hydrosulfite, according to Cattermole, an expert in both sustainability and textile chemical management with more than 30 years of expertise in denim innovation and textiles.
Cattermole added that it's no secret that sodium hydrosulfite is bad for the environment because it creates toxic effluent that has to be treated before it can be discharged. If the effluent is not treated, some of the chemicals, such as salts, along with the high PH necessary in dyeing, pollute the environment.”
After examining the data, she came to the conclusion that the BioBlue process' effluent contains less salt and has a lower chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) than the incumbent sodium hydrosulfite process.
COD determines the amount of oxygen required for bacteria to break down organic chemicals in wastewater, whereas BOD calculates the amount of oxygen required for bacteria to break down organic chemicals in the water.
In comparison to the incumbent method, the BioBlue process lowered COD levels by 71% in the dye bath and 34% in the first wash bath. In the dye bath, BOD levels were reduced by 60%, and in the first wash, they were reduced by 46%. The smaller the totals, the more effectively the procedure removes potentially hazardous compounds.
As with previous Advance Denim developments, the firm stressed the importance of the resultant denim having the same deep, dark blue hues that have been popular among manufacturers. The yarns do, however, maintain brilliant, white cores that make lasering BioBlue Indigo simpler, proving that it is compatible with existing sustainable wash techniques.
Advance Denim factories in Shunde, China, and Nah Trang, Vietnam will be stocking BioBlue Indigo. Advance Denim intends to keep developing with BioBlue Indigo, with the objective of producing the world's most beautiful denim in the most sustainable way possible.
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