Last month, Fashion for Good announced a new campaign launched in partnership with some of the fashion industry’s giants to reduce water usage within the sector.
Named the “D(R)YE Factory of the Future,” Fashion for Good has joined forces with adidas, Kering, PVH Corp., Arvind Limited, Welspun India, and other innovators to combine different technologies to disrupt the standard processing, pre-treatment, coloration (dyeing and printing) and finishing of five different materials: cotton, polyester, denim, cotton-poly and wool.
This union came together in order to speed up the process and increase the impact of the shift to more environmentally conscious practices. Eventhough there are existing innovations in this area, most are conducted individually. This new collaboration aims to focus on developments in pre-treatment and coloration, it brings together multiple innovations to trial their solutions in combination to validate their impact and the possibility to scale in the fashion value chain. This experiment will mean that Fashion for Good is running more than 100 trials on 14 distinct fabrics, run by 9 different innovator combinations.
The traditional techniques of pre-treatment, coloration and finishing are normally carried out in large tanks or baths that require a large amount of energy, heat and water. These methods produce the highest amount of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, 52%, and release great quantities of toxins into water.
“Textile processing is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in the supply chain and a shift to mostly dry processing is crucial for the path to net-zero. Given the interdependencies in the processing stages, a stand-alone assessment of solutions is not sufficient.” explains Katrin Ley, Managing Director at Fashion for Good “By validating a combination of technologies, we can unlock the full potential of those solutions. This is why this project is so pivotal.”
To reduce these negative impacts, it’s necessary to go from the wet processes that are currently established to dry processes and other innovative processing technologies that consume less water and energy. How fast this transition comes lies in the groundbreaking solutions that contributing innovators and other emerging forces in this space develop. Compared to the traditional methods, these technologies use less water, are effluent free, reduce consumables and end up taking up less energy.
Once the project is complete, Fashion for Good will share their key findings and what the next steps are for implementation. At the same time, the company will also be working with the participating companies to ease the implementation of the solutions at specific manufacturers.