Hayleys Fabric launches new line of organic, eco-friendly fabrics to its INNO range

  • Utilises natural tea dye manufactured from refuse tea from Hayleys Plantations
  • Neem, thulasi as natural alternatives to silver-based anti-bacterial fabric coatings
  • Working with dye suppliers to develop environmentally sustainable natural dyes 

Leading textile manufacturer Hayleys Fabric PLC, announced a major enhancement to its sustainability initiatives with the launch of a new line of organic, eco-friendly fabrics manufactured using environmentally sustainable processes, in line with the Sustainability Development Goals set out by the United Nations.

Using natural tea dye produced from waste tea provided by Hayleys Plantations, together with anti-bacterial and anti-viral neem and thulasi (commonly known as Holy Basil or Ocimumtenuiflorum) treatment, Hayleys Fabric now produces a range of fabrics which offers the wearer a comfortable garment that is produced under ecologically friendly conditions and is safely biodegradable at the end of its life cycle.

“In the past, the industry has mainly focused on optimising the use of synthetic dyes in the manufacturing process. However, with the rise of the environmentally-conscious consumer, demand is rapidly increasing for sustainably manufactured fabrics that minimise the use of environmentally hazardous materials. Given this backdrop, we are proud to have pioneered a safer and sustainable alternative to the synthetic dyes and treatments. In future, we hope to expand these techniques, while exploring every opportunity to further minimise our environmental footprint,” Hayleys Fabric Managing Director/ CEO, Rohan Goonetilleke said.

The tea dye has been tested to ensure it is on par with internationally accepted standards, and is totally free of hazardous chemicals, making it safer for the wearer, environment and for those involved in the manufacturing process. 

The company also uses other natural dyes, derived from pomegranate (Punicagranatum), mulberry (Morusalba), mexican marigold (Tageteserecta) and black cutch (Acacia catechu). Additionally, Hayleys Fabric is also working with other natural dye suppliers in order to further develop its range of environmentally-friendly products for the market, according to Leonie Vass who leads this initiative within the INNO team. 

Furthermore, the neem and thulasi anti-bacterial and anti-viral treatments developed by the company are also being tested to determine the durability of protection against pathogens, and how it can be further optimised. Notably, the treatment will reduce reliance on more commonly utilised silver-based treatments in order to further reduce the risk of environmental contamination.

Commenting on the Hayleys Fabric sustainability drive, Goonethilleke said: “The new process achieves several sustainability goals set out by the United Nations, namely the twin goals of responsible consumption and production, climate action, the protection of life below water and life on land. The project also secures the goal of partnerships as we work with Hayleys Plantations, which creates a vertical supply chain cutting costs, time and energy.”

Hayleys Fabric PLC has started leading the industry through fabric innovation and by adding value to our customers,established the first fabric mill in Sri Lanka launching its own brand “INNO”. The brand was launched through the company’s innovation centre, to provide functional, fashionable and value added fabric to the current market.

Moreover, Hayleys Fabric recycles 25% of its wastewater by utilising a state-of-the-art water treatment plant to ensure that water discharged to the adjacent river is of good quality and in accordance with all applicable environmental standards. All treated water is checked in-house and regularly by external agencies such as the Central Environment Authority (CEA), the Water Board and the Board of Investment (BOI).

Hayleys Fabric PLC, a subsidiary of Hayleys PLC, is a leading textiles manufacturer in Sri Lanka, providing end-to-end solutions from the design to manufacturing of fabric made out of natural and synthetic fibres. The company was recently presented with the Bronze Award at the Asia Sustainability Awards 2019 for the Best Integrated Report Design. Hayleys Fabric was further presented with a Bronze Award at the Presidential Environmental Green Awards in 2018.

Established in 1878 by Chas. P. Hayley as a trading house in Galle specialising in import and export, the Hayleys Group has since grown to serve as a centrepiece of the Sri Lankan economy while maintaining a global presence of manufacturing and marketing offices across five regions with business interests spanning a total of 16 sectors. Today it stands out as one of Sri Lanka’s most prominent success stories, having been the first listed Sri Lankan corporate to surpass US$ 1billion in revenue and accounting for 3.3% of the nation’s total export earnings.

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