ColorDry, a low waste and low impact dyeing technology, is NIKE’s newest initiative toward sustainable manufacturing.
We’ve been keeping close tabs on NIKE after our interview with the company’s VP of Sustainable Business, Hannah Jones. We’re glad to see that the activewear giant is setting an example for other large brands and paving the way for smaller ones to produce apparel with a significantly lower impact dyeing technology. NIKE has partnered up with Dutch company Dyecoo to create a sustainable dyeing method called ColorDry that eliminates the use of water and chemicals from the process.
The ColorDry technology has been put to use at Far Eastern New Century Corporation’s manufacturing facility in Taiwan, which is subcontracted by NIKE. DyeCoo’s revolutionary engineering resulted in a dyeing method that replaces the water conventionally used in textile dyeing with recyclable CO2, which consequentially reduces the amount of energy used and eliminates the need for certain toxic chemicals.
It’s estimated that about 25 to 40 gallons of water are needed to process around 2 pounds of textiles in the current industry. It adds up to a lot considering that about 39 million tons of polyester alone (not counting all the cotton, viscose, nylon and so on that are also dyed) is colored in this way annually. The ColorDry process actually creates textiles with more saturated, intense and consistent color that the factory’s managers have ever seen, all the while reducing dyeing time by 40 percent, energy use by 60 percent and the carbon footprint by at least a quarter.
NIKE‘s COO Erik Sprunk sees the partnership with DyeCoo and the Taiwanese facility as a step in the right direction: “NIKE, Inc. innovates not only in the design of our products, but also in how they are made. We see sustainability and business growth as complementary and our strategy is to prioritize relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies.”
Hopefully more companies and nations will begin to utilize this revolutionary technology, making it more accessible to apparel producers of all calibers, and spurring on the development of even more sustainable methods. We hope to see the need for toxic chemicals and water waste eliminated in textile dyeing eliminated in the year future, as it affects our environment and health in more ways than many of us can even comprehend.
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Interview: NIKE’s VP of Sustainable Business Hannah Jones