Deakin REACH industry partnership with Xefco could be a game-changer for environmentally-friendly fashion
- Jeans are one of the most worn garments in the world, but they are also one of the least environmentally friendly, using around 75 litres of water to dye just one pair.
- A partnership between Deakin’s REACH and Geelong company Xefco is set to transform how our clothing, including jeans, gets its colour.
- It is exploring if a waterless manufacturing process can replace the water intensive processes the clothing industry has used for hundreds of years.
Deakin has signed a partnership agreement with Geelong-based company Xefco as part of its Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH) to conduct research to transform how our clothing, including jeans, get its colour.
Jeans are one of the most worn garments in the world, but they are also one of the least environmentally friendly, using around 75 litres of water to dye just one pair.
With funding through Deakin’s REACH, supported by the Australian Government’s Trailblazer Universities Program, Xefco’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hussey and Deakin scientists Associate Professor Alessandra Sutti and Dr Frank Chen from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials will explore if a waterless manufacturing process can replace the water intensive processes the clothing industry has used for hundreds of years. The technology in development is called ‘Ausora’.
The Deakin Research team for the Xefco REACH project (from left): Research Fellow Frank Chen, Research Fellow Marzieh Parhizkar, Research Engineer Amol Patil, Research Fellow Surya Subianto and Associate Professor Alessandra Sutti.
Associate Professor Sutti says it’s exciting to be on the commercialisation journey with Xefco, working with the company to discover what is possible and hopefully reduce the world’s fashion footprint.
‘If successful, the Ausora technology, which colours fabrics without the need for large quantities of water, will put us a step closer to more efficient and sustainable clothing manufacturing,’ she says.
Xefco CEO Tom Hussey says the company’s new pilot plant, housed at Deakin in Geelong, will test different materials, including specialised fabrics, such as waterproof items like outdoor jackets and jeans.
‘This is the first stage of Xefco’s vision for the technology, with the REACH project focused on demonstrating the commercial viability of the technology at pilot scale and developing processes so it can be scaled up for commercial production,’ he says.
‘Together, Deakin and Xefco will push the limits of innovation and see what is possible.’
Founded in 2018, Xefco now employs 17 people and its products are already making a difference across the world. Its XReflex technology, which reduces consumption of insulation materials, is being used by some of the world’s leading apparel brands including The North Face.
Backed by a $50 million grant from the Australian Government’s inaugural Trailblazer Universities Program, with industry and university support taking the total project value to $380 million, REACH is facilitating the development of greener supply chains and accelerating business success as markets move from a throughput economy to a circular economy.
The Xefco and Deakin research teams working on the project.
If you have a great idea about how Deakin could help you create greener supply chains and accelerate the move to a circular economy, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Imagine if you could feel less guilty about the clothing in your wardrobe, knowing it was environmentally friendly? A Deakin REACH industry partnership with Xefco could be a game-changer for the fashion sector, transforming how our clothing, including jeans, gets its colour. Pictured above, Xefco CEO Tom Hussey.