PureDenim and Sonovia Collaboration Inches Towards Eco-Friendly Dyeing Technology

The commercialisation of the tech collaboration between fashion-forward Italy’s PureDenim and alpha geek Israel’s Sonovia to minimise use of water and enhance dye durability is expected in H2/2023. A texfash.com report.

Long Story, Cut Short
  • The Sonovia technology claims a reduction of >70% in water, energy, chemistry.
  • The dye chemistry is proprietary to Sonovia.
  • PureDenim is making the product.
The commercialisation of the high-profile tech collaboration between fashion-forward Italy’s PureDenim and alpha geek Israel’s Sonovia to minimise use of water and enhance dye durability is expected to see the light of day in the second half of the coming year.
Clean Denim The commercialisation of the high-profile tech collaboration between fashion-forward Italy’s PureDenim and alpha geek Israel’s Sonovia to minimise use of water and enhance dye durability is expected to see the light of day in the second half of the coming year. Puredenim Srl

The world of denim has been eagerly awaiting that eco-friendly dyeing technology that should mark a big jump towards eliminating, or at least minimising to a great extent, water consumption.

The commercialisation of the high-profile tech collaboration between fashion-forward Italy’s PureDenim and alpha geek Israel’s Sonovia to minimise use of water and enhance dye durability is expected to see the light of day in the second half of the coming year.

The agreement that was announced earlier this year, had generated keen interest in the denim industry. The traditional methods of indigo dyeing used by the global denim industry—which is expected to touch $76.1 billion by 2026—are known for their excessive use of water and energy, as also low resistance of the dyes to washes. This collaboration is a step to solve all these issues with the help of disruptive technology, and hence the keen interest.

With this, Sonovia, an alumnus of the Fashion for Good accelerator, specialising in ecofriendly ultrasonic textile technology, had marked its entry into the dyeing industry. The size of the annual indigo colours market is estimated at $1.3 billion a year. Sonovia's antimicrobial ultrasonic fabric treatments have been used in products such as Sonomask, a popular facemask during the epidemic.

A publicly traded company at the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange since December 2020, Sonovia has been known known for its antimicrobial ultrasonic finishes.

Talking about the dyeing technology, Roy Hirsch, the CBO at Sonovia tells texfash.com:  “As of the data that we have now, we are able to eliminate the scouring, reduction and oxidation processes, and all hazardous chemistries that are involved with these processes, and to then reduce the amount of dye baths from what is used today (8–12 dye baths) to only two dye baths, while using very pure and clean chemistry. This means a reduction of >70% in water, energy, chemistry.”

The dye chemistry, he continues, is proprietary to Sonovia. “In terms of durability, in some cases we need to enable the wash effect post dyeing, and we can control how durable or less durable we wish the dyeing to be.”

Sustainable Alternative

Sonovia, previously Nano Textile, offers a sustainable alternative to binder chemicals normally used to attach finishes onto a fabric. Its technology embeds fabric finishes directly into fabric using a process called Cavitation and can apply to a range of products such as antibacterial and anti-odour finishes or water repellence. The elimination of binders reduces the amount of chemicals used in the finishing process, while the very strong impregnation protects the end-user and the environment from the leaking of hazardous chemicals. The wet process method has the capacity to revolutionise the wet textile processing industry and transform the textile industry into a vastly more sustainable and greener practice.

Coating Technology

Sonovia has developed the most durable, versatile, safe and effective anti-bacterial coating technology for textiles, and the only technology to be able to positively address the very strict demands by the hospital sector. Academic evidence suggests that the metallic nanoparticles at the core of Sonovia’s technology could be an effective shield against the growing epidemic COVID-19. Currently, the company is working towards creating protective equipment by partnering with manufacturers across the globe, in hopes that it will be able to design effective, reusable, anti-viral utilities such as facemasks and hazard suits.

The ones making the denim is PureDenim, which was among the first to endorse Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign way back in 2014 for a chemical-free production system.

As the denim industry struggles to rid itself of toxics, the just-concluded COP27 and the aggravating energy crisis in Europe add other dimensions to denim’s battle for survival.  And denim has, for a while, been in the dock for its usage of water, dyes and energy—all now again under the spotlight.

So, how does PureDenim plan to cut down on all these by 2030? Luigi Caccia, the Founder & CEO of PureDenim, responds: “We are not developing this technology due to a climate crisis, if that is the case or not — we are not scientists in this field and cannot determine that. We are developing this technology to dramatically reduce the pollution caused by the conventional dye method, and as far as we know, Sonovia is the only viable technology that can lead to a reduction of over 70% in all key elements, be it water, energy or chemistry.” It’s close to being the proverbial silver bullet.

The energy crisis, adds Caccia, is affecting all manufacturing sectors. Textiles, in this case, is a sector that uses large amounts of energy and gas. Rising sales prices are significantly reducing turnover. It is at historical moments such as these that new energy-efficient technologies are needed to deal substantially with current crises and those that will arise in the coming years.

Yet, still enough, what is PureDenim planning to do so as to stay ahead of the times? Remarks Caccia, “PureDenim's production processes and products already comply with the new EU directives. Since 2014, PureDenim has undertaken a policy of re-engineering products and technologies that have enabled us to present innovative production processes worldwide, such as SmartIndigo technology (reduction of indigo to the leuco state through the use of electrochemical cells).

PureDenim’s handiwork was present at the just-concluded Denim Première Vision in Milan. On showcase was the Outside Denim Lab’s new Ecouture line created by PureDenim.

As the denim industry struggles to rid itself of toxics, the just-concluded COP27 and the aggravating energy crisis in Europe add other dimensions to denim’s battle for survival. And denim has, for a while, been in the dock for its usage of water, dyes and energy—all now again under the spotlight.

Richa Bansal

RICHA BANSAL has more than 30 years of media industry experience, of which the last 20 years have been with leading fashion magazines in both B2B and B2C domains. Her most recent position was at the helm of editoral affairs at Fibre2Fashion

 
 
 
  • Dated posted: 29 November 2022
  • Last modified: 29 November 2022