A sustainable and traceable dye for Swiss linen
To realise the first industrial production of sustainable textiles, naturally dyed with regional by-products from the food industry, we need you! The Local Colours project offers local and responsible linen products dyed with renewable raw materials, entirely made in Switzerland.
Local Colours uses only local raw materials, from plant fibres to natural dyes. Even the auxiliary materials necessary for the stability of the dye are waste products from the regional forestry and metal industries.
The Local Colours process, drawing from renewable raw materials from A to Z, recycles them for multiple use and closes the loops, following the principles of a circular economy. A transparent and traceable supply chain is ensured at every stage. Our jumper is made of 100% Swiss linen yarn, grown in Emmental, dyed and machine-knitted by our Swiss partner companies. Onion peel dye extract is the source of this light beige hue for the first Local Colours jumper. The dyeing process has been developed to be machine washable up to 40°C and fade-resistant.
A unique and innovative textile production
We offer you a jumper with a unisex and timeless design, available in three sizes, and aiming for a long life cycle due to its high quality and uniqueness. In the long run, the idea would be to re-dye and repair it.
The Local Colours process starts with a raw linen thread. To get the finished jumper the following production steps are needed:
- Preparation of the yarn for dyeing with mordants from recycled secondary raw materials.
- Extraction of dyes from vegetable waste – in this case onion peels – from the food industry.
- Industrial dyeing of natural fibre yarn with the extract.
- Transformation of the yarn into a jumper thanks to machine knitting.
The entire dyeing process was developed with the industrial chemists of the ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences) so that it could be scaled-up.
A collaborative and interdisciplinary project
The project was founded by Caroline Fourré in 2015, a sustainable textiles enthusiast who still accompanies and advises the project today. Together with chemists Tim Grandchamp, Carys Schutzbach and Achim Ecker, the industrialised Local Colours process was developed in a Research & Development project at the ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences), supported for two consecutive years by Innosuisse and the Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU). For this first production, the transdisciplinary team expanded by collaborating with the partners SwissFlax in Sumiswald (linen – BE), Mediplant in Conthey (extraction – VS), Johann Müller AG in Strengelbach (industrial dyeing – AG), Chris Müller (design – ZH) and Urs Landis Strickwaren in Turgi (machine knitting – AG).
Be part of Local Colours – with a lasting impact!
Your participation will enable us to continue this meaningful research project, including the development of other colours. Take part in the first-ever industrial dyeing of Swiss linen with onion peels using the natural Local Colours process.
Your contribution will cover the production costs of this limited collection: treat yourself to a unique and sustainable linen item for your home or wardrobe. Together with you, we look forward to playing a role on the journey to an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable textile industry.