Sustainable dyeing using microbiology


Colorifix has developed a revolutionary dyeing process to help the textile industry dramatically reduce its environmental impact in a cost-effective manner using a synthetic biology-based approach. Their solution relies on modifying microorganisms using Synthetic Biology such that they can produce, deposit and fix dyes to the fabric.


All aspects of Colorifix's dye production cycle are sustainable, water, energy and time efficient. Engineered microorganisms are grown using agricultural by-products. Specifically, the microorganisms are fermented using sugar molasses that are a by-product of the sugar refining industry, whilst the dye transfer agents are produced as by-product of biodiesel production. 

Unlike standard practices, which rely on high temperatures, Colorifix’s process exposes the organism to one brief high temperature cycle only in the final step, to burst the organisms and fix the dye onto the fabric. The organisms are then washed out of the fabric in a single cycle. The process is not only void of toxic chemicals, but is fully compatible with standard dye machines and operating conditions, and is effective in dyeing both natural and synthetic fabrics indiscriminately.

Key features:

  • Uses up to 10 times less water than conventional dyeing.
  • Contains no heavy metals, organic solvents and acids
  • Pollution- and toxic free.
  • Water, cost, energy and time efficient.

Possible replacement to

All forms of synthetic dyes, including azo dyes, disperse dyes, acid dyes and vat dyes. Eliminates use of heavy metals, solvents and acids.

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David Nugent

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» Technical or process solution
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