Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. (“Ginkgo”), which is building the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a new cell program in partnership with Huue, a biotech startup that’s pioneering sustainable bio-based dyes for the fashion industry and beyond. Ginkgo, which recently announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG), serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biology. Huue will leverage Ginkgo’s platform to optimize microbe strains to accelerate production of its sustainable indigo dye, pioneering new models for product-focused startups to collaborate with Ginkgo.
Indigo is the dye responsible for giving denim its iconic blue. However, manufacturing the dye that powers the billion pairs of jeans produced annually is responsible for over 1.4 million metric tons of CO2 and utilizes toxic chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde, and sodamide.
Using its proprietary biosynthetic dye-making process, Huue produces indigo that’s just as effective as conventional solutions — without the environmental impact and harmful chemicals. By leveraging Ginkgo’s microbial engineering platform and its strain optimization capabilities, Huue expects to accelerate the production of its dyes for its first partners in 2021 and 2022.
“We are thrilled to welcome Huue onto our platform to enable them to bring sustainable practices to historically toxic manufacturing processes,” said Jason Kelly, CEO at Ginkgo Bioworks. “We believe that synthetic biology has incredible power to help virtually any industry reimagine how they approach product innovation, and we are honored to be able to support innovators like Huue to grow their apps.”
“We’re excited to work with a sustainability-minded company like Ginkgo Bioworks to bring the world’s first sustainable and scalable indigo to the denim industry,” said Michelle Zhu, CEO and co-founder at Huue. “The planet can’t wait any longer for sustainable solutions, and it’s through partnerships like this one that we’re accelerating the production of our bio-based dyes for the industries that need them the most.”
Organizations, government agencies, and companies across numerous industries use Ginkgo’s cell programming platform to find more effective, environmentally friendly ways to create products including food ingredients, fragrances, cosmetics, medicines, and more. By enabling the design of organisms that can produce valuable biological products, Ginkgo helps accelerate the development of innovative, bio-based solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.