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Garmon SpA launches safer system for denim bleaching

Garmon SpA, Italian textile chemical specialist, has launched a range of denim bleaching products that do not use permanganate, chlorine or any other halogenated chemicals for producing washed out or vintage looks in jeans. It is the first textile chemical company to have certain products certified to the ‘Greenscreen’ criteria developed by the US NGO ‘Clean Production Action’, the company also claimed.

Spraying fabrics with potassium permanganate reduces the risk of fibre damage to the cotton or other cellulosic fabrics used in denim and has become widespread. However, there is a potential for high concentrations of manganese (an essential micronutrient) to be released in the effluent, and in high concentrations this can be toxic.

Fabio Forti of Garmon said that a new, safer denim bleaching product has been launched because the use of permanganate to bleach denim is being scaled back by many large brands due to concerns about its environmental profile. ‘Avoloxy White’ denim bleaching system which is free of managanese, chlorine, iodine and bromine is presented to address this issue. It is safe to handle and produces high quality denim fabrics, he claimed.

The company is working closely with Turkish denim company Orta Anadolu, which supplies brands such as Gap, Levi Strauss and Uniqlo but Forti refused to say what the active ingredient of the new formula actually is. Garmon now has around 30 products certified to the Greenscreen criteria including enzyme treatments, resin finishes, softeners, pigments and auxiliaries such as its new ‘Avoloxy White’ denim bleaching system.

Greenscreen works with Nike to help its supply chain select safer chemical alternatives and the programme is also recommended by the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC) for substitution purposes.