A new initiative that once again transforms competitors in the fashion supply chain into collaborators.
On Tuesday, global accelerator Fashion For Good, which focuses on innovations in sustainability, launched D (R) YE Factory of the Future, a consortium project that aims to accelerate the shift from wet to predominantly dry textile processing. “Dry” textile processing refers to technologies that use little water, less energy and are free of effluents.
Textile processing is a major contributor to carbon emissions in the supply chain. A recent report from Water Witness International (WWI), a UK-based organization focused on sustainable water management, found evidence of water pollution in some African countries that support the global fashion supply chain. The river flow was tainted with a pH comparable to household bleach and a blue tint that reflected nearby manufacturing sites.
According to Katrin Ley, CEO of Fashion For Good, an industry-wide shift to dry machining is critical to the path to net zero, and collaboration is key to achieving that status.
“Given the interdependencies in the processing stages, self-assessment of solutions is not enough,” said Ley. “By validating a combination of technologies, we can unlock the full potential of these solutions. This is why this project is so fundamental “.
Led by Fashion For Good and its partners Adidas, Kering, PVH Corp., Arvind Limited and Welspun India, the consortium brings together eight innovators, many of whom have previously participated in one of Fashion For Good’s accelerator programs: Alchemie Technologies, which uses digital fluid jet technology for dyeing polyester and cotton fabrics; Eco2Dye, which uses “supercritical carbon dioxide”, or carbon dioxide in fluid form, to dye polyester and wool yarns; Indigo Mill Designs, which uses a foam dyeing process that produces zero water discharge and minimal dye waste; Imogo, which has developed digitally enabled spray dyeing and finishing technology; and Stony Creek Colors, which creates natural indigo free from hazardous chemicals.
Other companies include Deven Supercriticals, which dyes polyester, cotton, and cotton-polyester blends using supercritical carbon dioxide; GRINP, which replaces traditional pre-treatments such as whitening with its proprietary atmospheric plasma technology; and MTIX, which has developed a multiplex laser surface enhancement system for textiles.
Together, the companies are tasked with creating innovative pre-treatment and coloring solutions, with a specific focus on innovations for denim, cotton, polyester, blends and wool. Fashion For Good estimates that the selected innovations have the potential to reduce emissions by up to 89% and reduce water consumption by between 83% and 95%.
The innovations of the project will be evaluated and the results will be published in a report by the end of the year. Fashion For Good will also work with attendees to help implement solutions at selected manufacturers.