Second most wasteful industry

The fashion industry is the second most wasteful in the world, and people are starting to notice. One area of noticeable inefficiency is the textile dyeing process. This process requires enormous amounts of water, using over six trillion litres of water per year. This is shocking, as the only other industries that use more water are agriculture and energy. Other water supply issues affected by the dyeing process include contamination and pollution of waterways. Waste water from the dyeing process is pumped out and contains a number of harmful chemicals, and accounts for up to 20% of industrial water pollution. This is significant as the Textiles industry is a $3 trillion-a-year industry, with up to 60 million people thought to be currently employed.


This is where NRP-based company Colorifix come in. They aim to exploit developments in synthetic biotechnology to address this problem. Colorifix have won awards for their ambition to improve the sector, most recently they won 30,000 euros and the ANDAM Fashion Innovation Prize in Paris. The company also get access to the ANDAM Fashion Technology network, and further funding. The ANDAM, is the National association for the Development of the Fashion Arts. It is supported by private and institutional partners, some sponsors this year included Chanel, Swarovski and Galeries Lafayette.


Colorifix will receive mentoring from Clarisse Reille, who is executive director of DEFI who help fashion business start-ups. The mentoring is for one year and will help the Colorifix team to develop their business structure. The main prize was 250,000 euros and two years of mentoring. This went to the the fashion label Atlein, founded by Antonin Tron.

Colorifix get inspiration from the palette of nature when developing their dyes, and in turn use microorganisms to help produce them much more sustainably. To do this, they will use 10 times less water than traditional dyeing methods. Colorifix will biologically produce their dyes, in a safe and more environmentally friendly manner. A key feature of the dyeing process Colorifix have innovated, includes no need for heavy metals or acids. This will make their process much less harmful than the current standards.


This ANDAM Fashion prize, is just one of many fashion opportunities coming through for Colorifix. Currently, Colorifix are exhibiting in the Victoria and Albert museum in London as part of the Fashioned From Nature Exhibition. This exhibition features a Stella McCartney dress was dyed using ColoriFix technology, and is on display until January 2019.


Overall, this shows how the fashion world is ready for innovation, and open to it. It show how innovators like Colorifix can help make fashion more sustainable and environmentally friendly.




Read more about opportunities on Industrial Biotech in the GioBio report here