Archroma, a global leader in colour and speciality chemicals, recently announced it’s first-ever collaboration with Kathmandu, the well-known New-Zealand born and based outdoor brand. Kathmandu selected Archroma and its EarthColors range of plant-based dyes to create a new capsule collection of the brand’s signature hoodie.

Archroma’s EarthColors range recently came to public attention for being the Gold Winner of the OutDoor Industry Award 2017, Sustainable Innovations category, where Kathmandu also presented their first hoodies just off of the production line. Archroma’s EarthColors is a line of patented plant-based dyes, sourced from up to 100 per cent renewable resources. Archroma developed EarthColors using non-edible waste products, from agriculture and herbal industries, to replace petroleum derived raw materials; which are the conventional raw materials used to synthesize dyes currently. This gives brands an alternative when looking for more natural ways of dyeing garments.

Archroma and Kathmandu teamed up to create an exclusive “vintage casual” look. The colours available in the capsule collection: Slate blue, burnt olive and burlwood rose, are made from the non-edible parts of nutshells, almond shells, rosemary, saw palmetto, bitter orange and beetroot, left over from agriculture industry or herbal extraction.

“We are very proud and grateful that Kathmandu selected Archroma’s EarthColors for their first incursion into the world of nature-based colours,” comments Paul Cowell, Head of Brand Marketing in Archroma’s Brand & Performance Textile Specialties business. “Kathmandu will surely inspire other brands and retailers to explore and adopt eco – advanced innovations. With the help of Kathmandu, Archroma is again showing the apparel industry the way to go, one collection at a time. Because it’s our nature!”

“We have been using recycled materials for over 20 years and we are constantly looking for new technologies to develop more sustainable outdoor gear, adds Manu Rastogi, Textile R&D and Responsible Materials Manager for Kathmandu. “Dyeing techniques using plants have been around for centuries, but they require adding huge amounts of mordants* and fixatives**, which could lead to water pollution.

They also tend to have poor light and wash fastness which is undesirable for the consumer and does not promote article longevity. So when we heard about Archroma’s EarthColors, we were immediately excited by what are probably the first technology allowing colours to be synthesized from plants rather than petroleum while keeping similar performance.”