Cotton is a 100% natural cellulose fiber, unlike synthetics produced from petroleum and other man-made processes. After cotton is harvested and ginned, every part of the cotton plant is used—fiber, seed, and byproduct. Worldwide, there are more than 3 million tons of plant byproduct per year including burs, stems, sticks, leaves, and dirt. This byproduct is used in a range of applications including livestock feed, compost, and erosion control products. Now, byproduct can also be used as a component in dyestuff for cotton textiles.


Archroma’s EarthColors® are a responsible solution to dyeing textiles with up to 100% petroleum-free and bioeliminable dyestuff created from agricultural byproducts. This collaborative project has resulted in a sulfur dye that uses nearly 100% of the cotton plant byproduct to create a biosynthetic dye without harmful chemical waste during processing.



EarthColors® are suitable for woven and knit garments. They can be used to dye yarn and fabric through continuous processes or garments by exhaust. Because the dyes are sulfur-based, they work well with other finishing processes such as laser, enzyme washing, ozone treatment, or hand abrasion techniques.


Colorfastness, lightfastness, and wash fastness properties of EarthColors® are comparable to traditional sulfur dyes.