Nike water-less dye factory

Nike water-less dye factory

 Nike started  a brand-new and totally eco-friendly sportswear dye facility in Taiwan. This time, the company decided to green up its ways not by investing heavily in energy efficiency and in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but by eliminating the need to use water to dye clothing items. 

Dyecoo, which has financial backing from Nike and Ikea, uses high-pressure liquidised CO2 rather than water to apply dyes to fabrics, eliminating the need for 100 to 150 litres of water usually required to dye one kilogram of material.

Earlier this year, Nike’s president and chief executive, Mark Parker, described the process as a “manufacturing revolution” as it is expected to help the company develop a more robust supply chain in parts of the world suffering from water stress. All new clothes produced using the technique will fall under the brand name ColorDry.

The DyeCoo process is currently more costly than traditional water dying techniques but it requires less energy, significantly reduce the factory’s water consumption and reduces the need for added chemicals that can seep into the local water supply or create a hazard for factory employees.

“Compared to traditional dyeing methods, the ColorDry process reduces dyeing time by 40 per cent, energy use by around 60 per cent and the required factory footprint by a quarter,” Kuenlin Ho, executive vice president of FENC, said in a statement. "It’s also the most saturated, intense and consistent colour we’ve seen."

With industry analysts predicting Nike will dye more than 39 million tonnes of polyester in 2015, the process has the potential to save hundreds of billions of litres of water per year.

“We see sustainability and business growth as complementary and our strategy is to prioritise relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies," said Nike chief operating officer Eric Sprunk in a statement.

The factory has also provided a major boost for DyeCoo's plans to scale up the use of its technology, and it is planning to shortly open an office in Taiwan.

The company details that run-off-the-mill dye factories typically use about 100 – 150 liters of water to color one kilogram of material. 

The new plant in Taiwan does not use any water it relies on high pressure liquidized CO2 to get dye stick to the fabrics.

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