The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Dyeing processes cause major environmental damage because of the toxic chemicals in pigments. They also use up to 200 litres of water to colour just 1kg of fabric.
Colorifix solves these problems by introducing advanced synthetic biology to textile dyeing. We engineer the DNA responsible for colour in Nature into self-replicating microbes. The resulting engineered microbes produce, transfer and fix colorants in a unique and integrated process. Microbes are grown on an industrial scale using renewable feedstocks such as molasses. The process is biologically safe, uses zero toxic chemicals, reduces water consumption by 90% and cuts energy use by at least 20%.
Colorifix' target markets are very large and include sustainable high street fashion, luxury apparel, sportswear, and automotive textiles, amounting to global trade of €370 billion p.a. The provision of textile dyeing services in these markets is worth c. €10 billion p.a, and growing at a rate of c. 9% p.a.
The technology is highly scalable and low-cost compared to rival methods. This is because it avoids the cost of extracting and purifying pigments, and because the process is compatible with standard dye machines. The company will transform textile dyeing from one of the most environmentally harmful industries to an eco-friendly, sustainable process.
Commercial interest in Colorifix is extremely high. The company is already engaged in lab-scale trials with the largest global fashion brands and textile producers, including Stella McCartney, Filippa K, a global fibre producer and one of the world's largest automotive textiles producers.
The Phase 2 project will provide the capital needed to construct and operate a pilot production facility, enabling testing for customers on pre-production volumes, and preparing full commercial scale-up of the technology in textile production around the world.
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