Zeefier is a startup based in the Netherlands that researches, develops and produces natural dyes made from seaweed for the textile industry. They are proud to show a part of their colour palette at MaterialDistrict Utrecht 2022.
Textile is a large and polluting industry. Especially synthetic dyes are a threat to our health and environment because of the dangerous chemicals that they often contain. Zeefier believes seaweed is an answer to this problem since it doesn’t require fresh water, agricultural land, or chemicals to grow. It purifies CO2 and produces oxygen. Different industries understood this potential and have started to use this beautiful material, like in food and cosmetics.
This results in large amounts of waste streams or by-products. Designer and artivist Nienke Hoogvliet has worked on the perfect recipe for artisanal and circular textile dyes from seaweed since 2014. Nienke knew it could be used circularly and turned it into dyes for textiles. This research was visualised in the SEA ME Collection (purchased by the Central Museum) and the book Seaweed Research (now sold worldwide). Nienke’s work has been exhibited in museums such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Victoria & Albert Museum (London).
Her dream has always been to radically change the textile industry. That’s why she joined forces with Anne Boermans and together they established the company Zeefier. They are working with natural dye professor Dorien Derksen and a team of experts on upscaling the processes to make them available to the whole industry.
Phonetically, Zephyr is pronounced in Dutch as ‘zee’ and ‘fier’, meaning ‘sea’ and ‘proud’. Zeefier is proud of all the beauty the seas and oceans have to offer. Therefore, Zeefier is determined to use and nourish that beauty to its full potential by replacing as many dangerous synthetic dyes as possible with natural seaweed dyes.