NIKE, Inc. celebrated the opening of a waterfree 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, Inc. has named this sustainable innovation “ColorDry” to highlight the environmental benefits and unprecedented coloring achieved with the technology.
Opening event follows NIKE, Inc.’s February 2012 announcement that it had taken a strategic stake in Dutch start-up, DyeCoo Textile Systems B.V., 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, Inc.’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.
“NIKE, Inc. innovates not only in the design of our products but also in how they are made. We see sustainability and business growth as complementary and our strategy is to prioritize relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies. Our collaboration with Far Eastern and DyeCoo, to develop and scale the ColorDry process, is an important milestone on our path towards manufacturing innovation,” said Sprunk.
Initial indications from Far Eastern New Century Corp. (FENC) show the ColorDry process is both more efficient and more consistent than traditional, resource-intensive dyeing methods. “Compared to traditional dyeing methods, the ColorDry process reduces dyeing time by 40%, energy use by around 60% and the required factory footprint by a quarter. It’s also the most saturated, intense and consistent color we’ve seen,” said Mr Kuenlin Ho, Exec. Vice President at FENC.
The dyehouse opening and technology demonstration was attended by NIKE, Inc., FENC and DyeCoo executives along with other NIKE, Inc. vendors and members of the Taiwanese Government, who also heard that Netherlands-based DyeCoo will soon open an office in Taiwan to service increasing demand for its technology.
“NIKE, Inc.’s commitment as an investor and technical partner is unique in supporting DyeCoo to reach its true potential. IKEA also invested in DyeCoo and both companies have connected us with supply chain partners. I see enormous possibilities to reshape the dyeing industry and adjacent industries as we work together to expand the application of our technology beyond polyester,” said Geert Woerlee, of DyeCoo.
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