Nike recently opened a water-free dyeing facility featuring high-tech equipment to eliminate the use of water and process chemicals from fabric dyeing at its Taiwanese contract manufacturer Far Eastern New Century Corp. Nike has named this sustainable innovation ‘ColorDry’ to highlight the environmental benefits and unprecedented colouring achieved with the technology.
Dyed fabric emerges from the ColorDry dye vessel. The opening of this unit follows the company's February 2012 announcement that it had taken a strategic stake in Dutch start-up, DyeCoo Textile Systems, a company that invented a technology to replace water, normally used for dyeing, with recyclable CO2, reducing energy use and eliminating the need for added chemicals in the process.
On average, an estimated 100-150 liters of water is needed to process one kg of textiles today. Industry analysts estimate that more than 39 million tons of polyester will be dyed annually by 2015. Nike's Chief Operating Officer, Eric Sprunk, believes that as businesses recognize the need to reduce dependence on constrained resources, manufacturing innovation can play a key role. Consumers can expect to see Nike ColorDry products in the market from early 2014.