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Nike Waterless Dye

February 14, 2012

While Nike might not be the first name to come to mind when thinking of responsible companies, the truth is that they have been consistently coming up with innovative ways to meaningfully reduce their environmental impact. From soles made of upcycled old sneakers, to soccer jerseys made with used plastic bottles, and even an awesome commercial completely made out of recycled ads, Nike has really stepped up their green game.

Their latest, and possibly greatest, greennovation (see what we did there?) comes in the form of a waterless dye. That’s right, Nike has partnered with a Dutch company called DyeCoo that pioneered a textile dyeing method that uses absolutely no water. Zilch. Nada. How exactly can they do this? By using supercritical CO2. (For those of you who aren’t exactly into physics, supercritical CO2 is achieved by heating and increasing the pressure. This gives the CO2 the properties of both a liquid and a gas.) Anyway, the process not only eliminates water consumption, but it also reduces air emissions, energy use, and chemical release. Oh, and the CO2 that is used can be recycled and used again.

When you take into account that textile coloring and treatment is responsible for between 17 percent and 20 percent of global industrial pollution, and that it releases many toxic chemicals into waterways, Nike could really make a huge difference here, especially if it inspires other companies to follow suit.

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