To look into the challenges and feasibility of scaling this project up into industry, we talked to an expert involved in the dyeing field. We contacted Jesse Genet, the CEO of Lumi®, to seek advice on the challenges on scaling up our project and possibly taking our product to the market .
Lumi is a Los Angeles-based company founded by Jesse Genet and Stéphan Angoulvant producing a photographic printing process for textiles. The process is based on a photo-reactive vat dye manufactured by Lumi called Inkodye that develops its color through exposure to UV or sunlight. The process was designed to provide a simple do it yourself alternative to screen printing.
During our interview with the CEO of Lumi®, we asked several questions about general consumer trends and manufacturing considerations to take into account when bringing a dyeing process to market. Here are some of the key points we learned:
The general public is becoming more aware about the huge ecological footprint of the clothing industry. While there is awareness, most decisions in industry are still made according to financial reasons.
The issue of whether consumers would pay more for an ecologically friendly pair of jeans compared to a standard one ultimately comes down to price. People like green products, but only a small group of people would actually pay much more for a pair of jeans that is eco-friendly.
The denim dyeing industry is already well established, and companies are very averse to making drastic changes unless there are compelling reasons. Thus, in order to successfully integrate a new method into industry, we need to not only sell our point of being more ecologically friendly, but also be able to compete financially with the existing process of dyeing denim.
One method to bring validation to our method and for industry to take interest in our biological process is to have a pilot test. By having real people try our biological dyeing method from home, we can increase awareness of the method, while adding legitimacy to the process.