An innovation from RedElec, a former start-up of the BioArk incubator, makes it possible to dye jeans in an eco-friendly way. Twelve years after its creation, the company succeeded in penetrating the Asian market, the leader of the textile industry, by selling its very first machine to a Pakistani company for 750,000 Swiss francs. This machine allows indigo - the "blue jeans" color - to be dissolved without any chemical compound, but through electrolysis using eight times less energy than a traditional system.
Difficult beginnings for a promising technology
This commercialization is an important step for the Valais-based start-up. It has been more than ten years since its technology was developed and two years since its pilot-device was operational in the factories of its Italian partner Sedo Engineering.
According to its designer, David Crettenand, director of RedElec, a return on investment occurs after two and a half years. According to him, this is the financial argument that seduced the Pakistani company, as the textile industry is not yet very sensitive to its environmental impact. Remotely controlled in real time, this technology will make it possible to process the fabrics needed to make 30,000 pairs of jeans every day. Nowadays, many Asian countries are moving towards strict "Zero liquid discharge" standards, which involve recycling all used water, more than 20,000 liters of water being needed to make a single pair of jeans.