People throughout the world are delighted by the diversity of tulips. As the world’s largest producer the Netherlands exports some 1.2 b flower bulbs per year. Here the bloom – the most beautiful part of the flower – is merely a waste product. Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven has developed a smart process to give the flower petals an economic use.

Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven is famous for its innovative solutions. Rethinking product design and value added chains from the raw material to the consumer is the strength of this Dutch company. The advancement of sustainable developments is a constant focus of the studio which they achieve by resource-saving processes.

The new raw material from Tjeerd Veenhoven, the tulip, is an icon of Dutch culture. Thousands of hectares are cultivated annually with this plant for worldwide export of the flower bulbs. The bloom itself however has surprisingly little added economic value and is solely a pretty photographic object for tourists. High time this changed.

For eight months now Studio Veenhoven has been working on extracting the pigments from this purported waste product. In a mechanical and biochemical process the colour of the petals is extracted. An area measuring 11,000 hectares used for tulip cultivation produces some 800,000 plants. This translates as 800 kg extracted organic pigments. This offers immense opportunities for eco-friendly dyeing processes.