Every two years the world uses a Mediterranean Sea’s worth of water to dye clothes. In many countries, textile production is exhausting local clean water supplies and expelling pollutants into the environment. This dire situation has inspired textile innovators, the Yeh Group, to develop a radical alternative.
It usually takes 25 litres of water to dye a single t-shirt but with Drydye™ Technology, the Yeh Group’s latest innovation, the need for water is eliminated. This technique uses fluid carbon dioxide (also know as supercritical carbon dioxide) instead of water and chemicals to dye materials. Under heat and pressure, CO2 becomes a supercritical, and has the ability to transport pure dyestuff into the fabric, a process traditionally done with water and chemistry.
We need to have colour… but I can see that we’re going to be applying colours in different ways.
This new Drydye™ Technology method marks an incredible breakthrough for environmental responsibility. It eliminates the need for water, reduces energy consumption by 50% and stops our reliance on harmful chemicals by only using pure dyestuffs with no additives. At present, the process can dye polyester, however the Yeh Group is working at the research and development level on other fibres and is expecting to introduce other materials soon.
The AEG documentary film highlights the pioneering thinking that is happening around what we wear and how we sustain what we produce.
See the film
Biocouture is exploring more sustainable ways to make clothes by fermenting fabrics to create garments from completely organic material.
Find out more
Also concerned about the environmental impact of manufacturing, Patagonia, asks consumers not to buy and rewards recycling.