A good pair of denim jeans is a classic you’ll find in just about anyone’s wardrobe. However, more and more consumers around the world are discovering that the process of making this piece’s signature indigo blue color is achieved with toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde and carbon-emitting petroleum and a huge amount of water, making it an extremely detrimental process to the planet. And this isn’t just the case for denim blue, but also with plenty of other colors that are used to dye garments.
Enter Huue. A synthetic biotech company that has set out to change the old ways of dyeing clothing, swapping them for more eco-friendlier processes. The company has started out its quest by tackling indigo blue, making sure any dangerous chemicals are left in the past.
“The world can’t wait for sustainable solutions, and consumers are starting to hold their favorite brands accountable to using eco-friendly materials in their products,” explains Michelle Zhu, CEO and co-founder of Huue. “At Huue, we’ve developed a way to tap into biology’s artistry to create clean color solutions – without the environmental impact and harmful chemicals.”
Using bio-based technology, Huue has developed a dyeing process that simulates how colors are created in nature, creating dyes that are just as effective but 100% more sustainable for the planet. This is also the first solution that can fit seamlessly into the existing denim manufacturing process, reducing possible hurdles when it comes to implementing it.
It has recently finished a Series A funding round that garnered a total of $14.6 million USD, which was headed by Material Impact with the participation of HSBC Asset Management’s Climate Tech VC, and previous investors.
“At Material Impact, we seek out deep tech innovation that has the capacity to solve meaningful world problems,” said Corinna Chen, Partner at Material Impact. “Huue’s breakthrough approach to bio-based dye manufacturing is a true gamechanger for industries under mounting pressure to minimize their environmental footprint. Huue’s market entry is perfectly timed, and we are thrilled to be partnering with this talented team to scale up and commercialize the dye of the future.”
This new financial boost will contribute to speeding up the commercial growth of Huue’s sustainable indigo for fashion industry partners, and venturing into possible uses in the food and cosmetics industries
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to accelerate our mission with support from existing and new investors, Material Impact and HSBC Asset Management’s Climate Tech VC Fund, who share our vision for a sustainable and scalable future for consumer goods,” Zhu continues.
If you think about how denim is probably the most worn textile in the world, it brings into perspective how the impact this new methodology will have may be incalculable. With such an exciting first venture, it’ll be exciting to see how Huue will expand its range and venture into next.