Vollebak uses leftover almond shells to garment dye new leisurewear collection
One of many recent innovative ideas by the Dutch brand that is nuts for fashion-tech.
7 Nov 2023

A five-year research initiative from Vollebak has culminated in the introduction of an environmentally sustainable dye derived from almond shells, demonstrating a viable alternative to traditional petroleum-based dyes.

The Dutch brand’s research team has explored a variety of organic sources for dyes, including a pioneering use of black algae, various fruits, and minerals. In a significant stride, they have now turned to the substantial by-product of the almond industry — the shells. California alone amassing an excess of 800,000 tonnes of almond shells annually, traditionally left to decompose or to be burned.

The application of this novel dye is showcased in a newly launched leisurewear line. The collection, which includes a range of five pieces from hoodies to t-shirts, is dyed exclusively with almond shell pigment. The process not only imbues the fabric with the shells’ inherent colour but also enhances the softness of the garments.

Each item undergoes a dyeing process with a specifically formulated almond shell pigment bath, requiring approximately 450 grams of pigment per garment — the equivalent of 150 almond shells.

Vollebak is no stranger to innovative clothing production, and the transition to the use of almond shell dye underscores a commitment to environmental responsibility and resource efficiency that can serve as a model for future industry endeavours.