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Bleach Without Bleach? Interview w/ Andrea Venier of Officina+39

Creating a product that bleaches without bleach is a whole challenge in itself, but creating a bleach without harmful chemicals like potassium permanganate and no water? Well, that seemed nearly impossible a couple of years ago. Officina+39 has done it again with another revolutionary product called Oz-One. Oz-One is an advanced product for garment treatments to get that beautiful worn-in look while keeping mama earth and the people behind our jeans in mind.

One of the reasons I started researching more responsible ways of manufacturing was because of how harmful sandblasting and chemical bleaches were for the people applying them to our jeans - just to get the vintage looks that we crave so badly. But luckily, lasers and ozone technology have helped us eliminate the need for those nasty traditional processes and Oz-One is coming in hot as another eco-alternative.

Oz-One works with any conventional machine, meaning NO upfront investment, and completely without water. What happens next? The Oz-One particles are released into the tumbler creating vintage and bleached effects that you would normally get by using chlorine or potassium permanganate.

Pretty revolutionary if you ask me, but I do have some questions!

Andrea, creating waterless products is an extreme task. What were some of the roadblocks you hit when developing Oz-One?

In the textile industry, we are used to using water as a vehicle for colors and chemical auxiliaries. So the first obstacle was to find a way to replace a multifaceted substance like water. Water is practically compatible with most products used in the textile industry and that’s the reason it became the best vehicle. The second was to understand how to use traditional machines, which are usually used with water, with waterless technology.

What was the solution to your roadblocks?

Passion (a lot), curiosity (just enough), and teamwork (with a touch of madness)!

Oz-One comes in powder form, what does this powder consist of?

The main components are inorganic substances of natural origin, whose entire production process is characterized by the absence of VOC emissions, toxic gases, or dangerous substances.

It can work in conventional machines, without water, releasing inside the tumbler the innovative OZ-ONE particles to produce results such as the corrosion of dischargeable dyes like indigo or the reproduction of the bleaching effect, conventionally obtained by chlorine, potassium permanganate.

Is Oz-One currently being used at any facility?

Due to the lockdown globally, our technical team cannot travel, so we had to conduct all tests internally at our R&D center in Biella-Italy. But we’re starting this month (September) to send samples to our partners and main customers worldwide. We are really looking forward to the first feedback from our customers.

How would you like to see Oz-One used by the denim industry?

As Covid-19 has had and will have a severe impact on our textile sector, we’re expecting laundries to have less capacity in the coming months and years for new investments.

So we hope this technology can help our industry follow on our path to sustainability, even in this tough time. Because it has been a very hard and complex path to achieve our first sustainability goals in recent years, we cannot afford to take steps backward.

There hasn’t been a life cycle assessment conducted yet proving this technology is “more environmentally” sound than ozone gas, but Andrea mentioned that both are based on oxidizing technology and “certainly we can say it’s a more sustainable technology than Potassium Permanganate or Chlorine.” Oz-One is also on track to receiving its ZDHC certification which will be directly verified and officially ranked within the ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module!

Oz-One is coming at a crucial time when we continue to find our footing in this crazy world. Being able to use oxidizing technology without an upfront investment means we can continue to stay committed to our sustainability goals and not let them fall to the wayside while we navigate our new normal. Thank you Andrea for giving us a look into what it was like creating Oz-One!

If you didn’t get a chance to catch my piece on Officina+39’s Recycrom - check it out here and until next time friends. STAY DILIGENT!


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