Pangaia Lab has just announced the second release from its innovation platform. The Pangaia Lab powered byColorifix capsule features limited-edition PANGAIA tracksuits coloured with biology-based dye technology from Colorifix. As the first commercially-available application of the technology, Pangaia Lab makes it possible to wear the future of colour with the bioengineered dyes of Colorifix.
With a mutual mission of driving innovation through materials science, Pangaiaand Colorifix collaborated to apply innovative, lab-grown dyes. The capsule was created to promote the use of climate-conscious materials, and demonstrate how we can harness the power of nature to manufacture responsibly. Colorifix unlocks nature’s pigments into beautiful colours you can wear. The revolutionary dyeing process will help the textile industry reduce its environmental impact by following nature’s own circular model to make and apply colour without harsh chemistry.
About the technology
Colorifix identifies naturally occurring pigments and uses DNA sequence data to identify the genetic code of that pigment. Through synthetic biology, Colorifix builds and inserts the DNA code into a microbe that can be used to not only produce the pigment, but also transfer and fix the colour onto fabric. The technology turns natural pigments into colourful industrial dyes at scale with zero petrochemicals and none of the hazardous substances necessary in conventional dyeing. Furthermore, compared to the conventional dyeing step for cotton, the Colorifix technology reduces water consumption by at least 49 per cent, electricity by 35 per cent and CO2 emissions by 31 per cent.
“Pangaia is committed to using the most advanced technologies which work to augment natural processes and Colorifix’s cutting edge approach manifests the true potential of biotechnology to bring positive change in the fashion industry. Harnessing the power of micro-organisms to create natural dye is only the beginning of how biofabrication can fundamentally transform manufacturing,” Dr. Amanda Parkes, Pangaia, Chief InnovationOfficercomments when talking about the new innovation.
The latest Pangaia capsule is dyed with two naturally occurring pigments: blue and pink. The pigments have remarkable origin stories: one is produced by ancient bacteria in and around colourful geysers and the other is found in silk production waste. The pigment is inspired the limited-edition graphic tracksuit design.
What does the future for bio dyes look like?
AMA Herbal, a pioneer in this space, also has Bio Indigo® to their credit, the only powder form of Indigo certified on GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD (GOTS) Version V by highly renowned Control Union of Netherlands. Every gram of its consumption benefits planet earth. Speaking about making bio dyes a commercial option and probably a must within the industry, Yawer Ali Shah, CEO, AMA Herbal Laboratories Private Limited mentions, “The concept of natural dyes is not new to the consumer or the industry and there has been some significant work done in this direction to make natural dyes popular and an integral part of the industry. However, what lacks is the consciousness and accepting the bigger good in comparison to the cost we have to pay to go natural.”
As opposed to synthetic dyes, the carbon footprint left behind by natural dyes is insignificant and it does not weigh heavy on the environment in the long run. However the cost of natural dyes in comparison to synthetic ones is more and that is because it involves a very tedious process, which is labour-intrinsic. However, this cost is nothing in front of the long-term cost one has to pay towards the environment when using synthetic dyes.
“it is all about knowledge sharing and gaining more depth about the use case. Sustainability is no more an option, but a must and it is a two-way process. Brands need to educate the consumer about the natural processes and why it is adding up to the cost and consumer has to be conscious and question. The idea of sustainability cannot survive in one dimension, but it will have a very big future, if brands involve consumers in to the narrative. That’s why we have a list of tags and consumer can use these tags to know the dyeing process, how much of carbon footprint it caused, amount of water used. The best part is we are also empowering the tags with QR codes, which the end user can scan to know the source of the dye too,” Yawer adds.
He mentions that it is all about perception and the consumer does not get much effected about the price tag, if you can convince them about the value and that’s where brand’s like Pangaia or a Madura stand out and are able to sustain within the fast fashion category even with niche processes. Bio dyes are going to be the next big shift and it is only time to realise the depleting resources and harmful effects on the planet to make that transition possible.