The story behind the most sustainable hoodie we've ever made

Presented with a unique technology, our designers set themselves a unique challenge: “What is the most sustainable hoodie we can create?” The answer — so far — is the Earthcolors hoodie.

A decade ago, global textile dye and chemical manufacturer Archroma were in their infancy of developing non-toxic, sustainable dyes. Eager to incorporate the technology into our products, we waited 10 long years for the dye to become ready for commercial use.

Now, Kathmandu is the first in Australasia to use Archroma’s patented, non-petrochemical dyes — Earthcolours.

While most dyes are made from petroleum, Earthcolors is an organic dye that utilises the natural colour found in fruits, nuts and seeds. By using agricultural waste, Archroma can ensure they only use inedible organic matter like nut shells, beet skins and leaves.

The organic material is ground into a fine powder and the colours transferred to fabric using Arcroma’s patented process.

The best part? There’s almost no waste.

Jo wears the Earthcolours hoodie in Japan
Jo wears the Earthcolours hoodie in Japan

A garment worthy enough

With our design and sustainability ethos in mind, our designers were keen to celebrate this step forward. It wasn’t enough to simply incorporate the dye — we wanted to create a garment worthy enough of 10 years of development and sustainable technology.

The challenge was thrown down. What was the most sustainable hoodie we could design?

With 16 years of experience in the fashion industry, Kathmandu Apparel Designer Keb Brabazon wasn’t just ready for the challenge — she was ready to push sustainability to the forefront.

“As a designer, you’re always concerned about the environmental and social impact of what you’re creating,” Keb said.

“I came to Kathmandu because I didn’t like what was happening in other areas of fashion … I wanted to do something that would help to push sustainability forward…”

“The design process has been about transforming an ordinary hoodie into a ground-breaking garment –— one that will open doors for more sustainable practice across the entire industry.”

Design down to every detail:

As a result, every detail was questioned — from eyelets to trims to packaging. The Earthcolours Hoodie has a number of sustainable design features including:

  • Trims for the Earth Hoodie are made from bluesign® approved materials.
  • Fabric made from a blend of BCI cotton and REPREVE® recycled polyester.
  • And a low impact dye logo print.
Every detail scrutinised in the new Earthcolours hoodie
Every detail scrutinised in the new Earthcolours hoodie

The hero of course, is the Archroma dye. And thanks to smart technology, Earthcolour dyes are fully traceable – from natural waste material to store.