15 November 2018

The changing fabric of fashion: the company putting the tech in textiles

During recent years, we have become much more aware of the destructive impact that our industrial activity has at a global scale. From microplastics and chemicals polluting our oceans to the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere, our efforts to support the needs of an ever-growing population are rapidly changing our ecosystem.

The urgent need to change how we make things has perhaps affected the Fashion Industry more than most. As ever-tightening regulation forces brands and manufacturers to change their requirements, there has been an increasing demand for new solutions to change the way that fabrics are made.

One company that is starting to attract serious attention on the global stage is the UK-based company, “Colorifix”.

Colorifix convert agricultural by-products into pigments and dyed fabrics using synthetic biology. Driven to help the textile industry, and at the same time reduce environmental impact, the team at Colorifix have programmed microorganisms to produce and apply pigments to fabrics, but with “No acids. No solvents. No alkalis.”

Their new biologically driven way of dyeing fabric could potentially save billions, if not trillions of litres of water as well as completely removing toxic chemicals from the dyeing process around the world. Innovators such as Colorifix need to navigate a complex value chain and create an effective international strategy to protect their intellectual property and maximize the application of their technology.

Dr Craig Titmus, patent attorney and Partner at Mathys & Squire LLP commented that: “Against a backdrop of highly polluting processes in the textiles industry, Colorifix have developed a truly disruptive technology that has the potential to revolutionise fabric dying practices across the world. I have had the good fortune to work closely with the team at Colorifix, to gain a detailed understanding of their synthetic biology, and to help devise an intercontinental IP filing strategy that is bespoke to their commercial objectives. With a ground-breaking technology and a refined commercialisation strategy, Colorifix are going from strength-to-strength, and it has been a real pleasure to have played a part in their success story”.

Dr Orr Yarkoni, CEO of Colorifix Ltd. commented, “without any shadow of a doubt, we knew we needed good legal advice moving forward. It’s such a big challenge and there’s no way we could have done it ourselves. Engaging Mathys & Squire LLP was definitely the right move. I was really impressed with the level of understanding and care with which our process has been handled, especially given the complexity of integrating biotechnology in an entirely new manufacturing process. Craig Titmus (Partner responsible for our IP portfolio) has been a life saver on more than one occasion and has always been willing to pick up the phone, even whilst on holiday.”

To discuss protecting the IP in your technology – textile or otherwise – please get in touch via our Contact Us page or email one of our attorneys.