Problem: Water Usage and Pollution Caused by Dyeing Textiles
Textile dyeing is estimated to cause 17-20% of the global industrial water pollution. Until recently, little attention was given to the environmentally harmful effects of the dyeing process, when it comes to chemicals, waste, and water usage.
Technology: “10 Awesome Innovations Changing the Future of Fashion” by Melissa Breyer
- A new technology, AirDye developed in California by Colorep, works with proprietary dyes to transfer color with heat from paper to fabric in a one-step process.
- Basically, it has created a software that “computes color recipes that reproduces the specified color reflectance curve on a target substrate”.
- This process has the potential to save between 7 and 75 gallons of water in the dying of a pound of fabric. It can save energy and produces no harmful chemical by-products.
- Furthermore, the technology uses 85 percent less energy than traditional dying methods.
- AirDye tech engineers/designers
- Colorep engineers
- Technological partners
- Fashion designers
- Clothing retailers
- In order to implement this technology on a large-scale, a number of investors need to be introduced
- Fashion designers must begin to use the technology to introduce the innovation to the public and encourage its usage down the supply chain i.e. factories and low-end designers/retailers. For example, AirDye has become a vital component to the designers Costello Tagliapietra and Gretchen Jones and was used for their Fall 2012 collection
- Governments in countries that manufacture dyed textiles should subsidize this technology to consumers (factories and managers who buy it) so that it can bring down the price, encourage product development, establish familiarity of the product, ensure future customers and therefore be more easily implemented in the thousands of dyeing factories around the world.
One thought on “Water and Pollution in the Textile Dyeing Industry”
Thanks for this, Rebecca!
It brought to mind another article I read (http://www.gatewaygreen.org/waterless-dyeing-can-massively-change-the-textile-industry-pollution/) which also discusses AirDye and 2 other competitors – DyeCoo and ColorZen. As you mentioned the challenges these technologies face in moving toward large-scale adoption, include high costs (DyeCoo’s machines cost between $2.5 to 4 million). However, industry giants such as Adidas and Nike with the ability to afford these technologies, have taken the necessary initial steps to test and confirm the positive benefits associated. The technology offers a huge potential for future collaborative efforts to expand its application in both operational scale and possible materials.
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