Living on a planet covered with water it surprises many people to learn how little fresh water is actually available for drinking and food production. Most of it is of course salt water and a large amount of the fresh water is trapped in ice as this video brilliantly illustrates. (Click on the image to load the video)
The pressure on this limited resource from extraction and pollution has led the World Economic Forum to declare water scarcity as the biggest risk facing society, the environment and the economy.
It is a problem that is very relevant to the textile industry; an industry which is highly water intensive both in terms of the amount used and the pollution poorly managed textile mills cause. In China, 20% of industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles with this level going up to almost 40% in Vietnam and 80% Bangladesh.
The issues in the textile industry stem largely from the process used to dye fabrics. This involves soaking the yarn in vats of dyes and fixing agents, often at high pressures and temperatures, before washing off the residues with water and cleaning agents. This process is energy intensive and generates large amounts of contaminated waste water which have to be treated, and if not managed well can end up being released to the environment.
Our Colourkind fabric uses a completely different process cutting out the dyeing and washing stages, instead adding pigments directly into the yarn right at the beginning of the yarn production process. The process uses only 10% of the water used in traditional dyeing, results in 60% fewer carbon emissions and far cleaner waste water. On top of that it produces a fibre that is coloured all the way through meaning the colour lasts for longer even after repeated washing.
This technology has huge potential in terms of cleaning up the textile industry and for that reason it won us the Outdoor Industry Award for product of high ecological and sustainable value. We are very excited about it as we make plans to roll it out across more of our collection and we hope you are too!
Check out some of our Colourkind products online.