Waterless dyeing technology is the future (we hope!)

Dutch Company, DyeCoo, has launched a revolutionary dyeing machine that uses supercritical carbon dioxide and not a single drop of water. This new technology could not have been invented soon enough, as every two years the textile industry uses the same amount of water that’s in the Mediterranean Sea just to dye clothing. In fact, textile dyeing and treatment are responsible for 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution, according to the World Bank. This new dry dye method uses 50% less energy and 50% fewer chemicals, to boot!

For a long time now, it’s no secret that our fair little planet is slowly but surely running out of fresh water. The sad reality being, while we take it for granted to a point of excess (many times over), our consumption and demand for it are disproportionally growing in relation to its steadily declining supply. Along with the advancement of the industrial and consumer sectors, we found a place for water to serve more than our basic human needs. While it can serve the environment in aid of clean energy generation, most times we waste it – a lot of it – in manufacturing processes, such as the dyeing of fabrics. According to Popsci, it takes between 25 and 40 gallons of water to dye 2.2 pounds of fabric. Multiply that by the millions of T-shirts, track pants, and other textiles made each year, and you get two huge environmental problems: millions of tons of chemical-laden wastewater and depletion of freshwater.

While most cradle themselves to sleep every night in the bliss of ignorance or the mindset that “humanity will cross that bridge when we get to it”, DyeCoo Textile Systems took a less cynical approach to this issue. This innovative company cared enough to develop a waterless process of dyeing fabrics with carbon dioxide. What advantages would that have, you ask? The answer is quite astounding; namely (as previously mentioned), this process does NOT use water – that’s 100% savings on water consumption. Also, this will produce up to 60% less emissions of CO2 itself (quite amazing, given that CO2 is the core, which the dyeing process revolves around). Finally (for all you cost-efficient people out there), this here process will save your fabric dyeing costs by between 30% and 50%! We are sold! So are Nike and IKEA GreenTech (a venture capital division of IKEA), which invested in DyeCoo, for the company’s use of recycled carbon dioxide, and quite frankly on account of DyeCoo’s attractive, ingenious idea.

“DyeCoo’s waterless dyeing technology is a truly innovative system that could bring real environmental and costs benefits for the textile industry by reducing water and chemical use,” said Christian Ehrenborg, managing director of IKEA GreenTech, in a release. “IKEA will help to speed up the development and availability of the technology.”

Thanks to investments from these large corporations, there is a real chance for DyeCoo to make a tremendous positive change within the textile industry, and as such have a positive impact on the environment. We’re hoping to see DyeCoo nominated for INDEX: Award 2015!

Adidas was the first brand to introduce DryDye, in collaboration with DyeCoo. See their video below:


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