When you think of pollution, many things probably come to mind: Hummers guzzling gasoline, oil spills in the Gulf, your local power plant continuously spurting out questionable vapors. I would assume that you did not conjure up a vision of textile treatment. The textile industry, however, is one of the largest contributors to the growing pollution epidemic. According to a study conducted by the World Bank, the textile dyeing practice contributes "to 17-20% of today's industrial pollution, [adding] 72 toxic chemicals in water supplies, 30 of which are permanent."
In order to mitigate the hazardous environmental effects of textile production, a California-based company called Colorep has provided an innovative alternative that will virtually eliminate the use of water from textile coloring. Known as AirDye, this technology uses air to dye fabric, which decreases water consumption by 95% and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals in dye baths. In addition to cutting down water pollution, AirDye is able to penetrate the fabric and subsequently color the filaments inside the fabric versus the traditional practice of dyeing the surface of textiles. Colorep concludes that "because the dye is in the fiber rather than on the fiber, bleach and cleaning agents can't get to it; so the colors look richer and last longer." Below are select images from designer collections that used AirDye to color their beautiful garments.
Designers & AirDye: