From the field to the plant: Shrubs of Indigofera US-grown by Stony Creek Colors.
(Photo: ©Stony Creek Colors)
Archroma, a global leader in specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions, and Stony Creek Colors (“Stony Creek”), a trusted manufacturer of traceable natural indigo dyes, today announced that they have entered a strategic partnership to produce and bring to the market Stony Creek’s IndiGold™ high-performance plant-based pre-reduced indigo at scale.
Stony Creek extracts its dye from proprietary Indigofera plant varieties grown in partnership with family farms as a regenerative rotational crop.
Stony Creek Colors developed the new IndiGold™ concept as the world’s first pre-reduced natural indigo dye, which was then developed with Archroma to offer the first-ever plant-based alternative to synthetic pre-reduced indigo. The dyestuff will be sold at a 20% concentration in a soluble liquid form that displays similar performance to comparable synthetic indigo products available on the market.
Stony Creek Colors evolved into an innovative leader in plant-based indigo due to its complete development of an improved agricultural value chain, from seed breeding and production to biomass harvest and extraction. The company has been selling its US-grown indigo to denim mills since 2015.
From the field to the plant: Archroma’s indigo plant in Salvatierra, Mexico.
The pre-reduced plant-based indigo partnership took root in 2020 when Stony Creek was looking to work with like-minded partners to produce the new dyestuff at scale. Archroma emerged as the ideal partner as the company is well known for its expertise in indigo manufacturing and application, as well as for its commitment to transforming the denim industry towards creating better blue jeans.
Archroma continuously introduces eco-advanced indigo innovations such as the first-ever aniline-free* synthetic pre-reduced indigo or the Archroma x CleanKore technology for aniline-free* potassium permanganate-free* spray and laser booster for white abrasion.
Archroma immediately offered to support the idea of Stony Creek Colors with extensive pilot-scale manufacturing trials and engaged with its network of denim machinery manufacturers to test the first samples in industrial conditions. The trials showed excellent coloration and the typical indigo wash down, as with synthetic indigo. Archroma will produce the first batches of IndiGold™ in Salvatierra, Mexico, and has other locations where the product could be made. The company will support Stony Creek Colors through its manufacturing and logistics capabilities, and its expertise in denim dyeing with customers using pre-reduced indigo.
While this development was underway, the global innovation platform Fashion for Good selected Stony Creek Colors as an innovator in its global Innovation Program. The program connects brands with innovators to work together to test, validate and ultimately scale disruptive innovations in the fashion industry to drive positive impact. Through the program, Fashion for Good facilitated a collaboration between brand partner Levi Strauss & Co. and Stony Creek Colors which was announced in December 2021. The partners will pilot the use of IndiGold™ in denim mills at scale, with the goal of unlocking key learnings around shade application and other efficiencies of this new dyestuff.
“For years our consistent powder and paste products have been able to fill a void in the marketplace for denim mills needing verifiable plant-based indigo. We, along with many in the industry, see IndiGold™ as the holy grail for indigo dyeing and are ecstatic to now be bringing it to life with such a reputable partner as Archroma. The coupling of our two technologies allows us to fulfill the ultimate desire from our customers for an easy-to-use, pre-reduced liquid formulation that stems from a 100% plant-based supply”, said Sarah Bellos, CEO, and Founder of Stony Creek Colors.
“I am very proud that Archroma supports Stony Creek’s project. We shared the same vision that plant-based pre-reduced indigo can be scaled up and color the nature-friendly collections that denim brands & retailers have been dreaming of, and we are pleased to help bring it to the market,” comments Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO of Archroma.