With Botanic Dyes, Sustainable Denim Takes On Limitless Possibilities

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With Botanic Dyes, Sustainable Denim Takes On Limitless Possibilities

Advance Denim wanted to create a dye that—unlike many synthetic dyes—produces no harmful waste through this specialized extraction process.

CREDIT: Advance Denim

Advance Denim has the distinction of being the oldest denim manufacturer in China and has dedicated its efforts since its inception around the core values of innovation, service, quality and people.


We have focused not only on fiber and fabric innovation, but on producing a wide range of indigo and yarn dyes in the most safe and sustainable way possible. We have looked deeply into our own manufacturing processes and made significant and meaningful strides in water consumption, chemical management and emissions.

Over the past two years Advance Denim has also made serious investments in our indigo dye process to produce the most sustainable and safe true indigo denim possible. Advance was the first denim mill in China to adopt Archroma’s aniline-free indigo. Aniline is a toxic chemical that is one of the building blocks of synthetic indigo, and we feel that aniline-free indigo fits our commitment to safety and sustainability.

This year we have also introduced the truly game-changing Big Box dyeing. Big Box dying is a revolutionary indigo dye range that condenses the usual 15 to 20 dye boxes and wash boxes into one box. Big Box Dyeing reduces water consumption by 85-90 percent and energy consumption by 25 percent; wastewater is  completely reduced. We truly feel that Big Box dyeing is the future of sustainable true indigo dyeing.

Advance Denim is now continuing it sustainable focus by introducing a groundbreaking sustainable dye process called Botanic Dyes.

Botanic dyes

In the search for safer and sustainable dyes, Advance Denim partnered with ChangZhou University, Nanjing University of Science and Technology and DongHua University to develop a method to extract pigments from naturals plants using both advanced cycle extraction and membrane separation technology.

The goal was to create a dye that is not only derived from nature but also is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Advance wanted to create a dye that, unlike many synthetic dyes, produces no harmful waste through this specialized extraction process.

Botanic dyes can help advance denim sustainability

Botanic dyes use a variety of plant material to create its spectrum of colors, including chestnut shells, tea tree fruit shells, mulberries, pomegranate bark, green tea and tobacco. There are more than 200 different plants used to make the core 28 different shades that make up or botanic dyes, and mixing and matching these 28 shades results in endless possibilities. The botanic dye shades are soft, lustrous and very soothing.

Though we were looking to develop a natural dye, we have seen additional benefits of botanic dyes in the future. The plant materials that produce botanic dyes are harvested from many rural areas in China where the farmers live at or below the poverty line. This gives farmers in small rural villages are new opportunities to sell their local vegetation for botanic dyes. It is rare that you find a product that can both be a clean, sustainable answer to traditional synthetic dyes but also can help people climb out of poverty. The harvesting plant matter for botanic dyes will positively affect at least eight rural provinces in China. Botanic dyes are beneficial for the farmer, the environment and the consumer.

Advance Denim is proud of its pioneering efforts to become a more environmentally responsible denim manufacturer. We will continue to invest in cutting-edge machinery such as Big Box dying and explore new sustainable dyes such as botanic dyes and aniline-free indigo . We feel that we have made tremendous strides toward a more sustainable denim, and we will continue to innovate and grow in the future.


Click to learn more about  Advance Denim.