How Can *Clean Color Tech Make A Difference

 Introduction

              In our last blog post, we delved into some of the big issues plaguing the textile industry at present: huge volumes of water are being wasted in countries where water is already scarce, while toxic wastewater from traditional dyeing methods ends  up in local rivers, poisoning people and river ecosystems alike – sometimes for generations.

              It’s important that these stories are heard – most of us want to live ethically, but aren’t always fully aware of the impact our shopping habits have on others around the globe, and educating ourselves can help us make more conscious decisions.

             However, we’re also aware that these stories don’t always have a positive effect if they’re not paired with a solution, or some action you can take to help. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless, like the task of fixing everything wrong with the fashion and textile industries (or any industry) is just too big.

 

             We hear so much bad news these days that it can be easy to succumb to ‘climate despair’. But people with no hope don’t take action – so today, we’re going to tell you about what we’re doing to do our bit for the planet, in the hope that a little bit of good news can energise you to do what you can, too. It’s important to remember that there are some people pouring all their energy into finding solutions to the problems we’re facing.

How does *Clean Color Tech Work?

            The first step is finding somewhere you can make a difference. For us, that’s the textile industry. The textile industry is the third most polluting industry in the world, consuming 4% of all global freshwater every year – that’s 93 billion cubic metres, 90% of which ends up as unrecycleable wastewater. All this wasted water comes from the dyeing process, which works by soaking fabrics in huge vats of water, chemicals and salts. Clearly, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the industry.

            Our way of helping is *Clean Color Tech – a new method of dyeing that needs only a tiny fraction of the water used by traditional methods. Instead of soaking fabrics in giant vats of water, Clean Color uses rollers to press the dye directly into them, using a special carrier that encourages the dye to bond to the fabric. And since the carrier isn’t water-based, it uses hardly any water.

           One of the big problems with the traditional method of dyeing is that the dye would much rather stay in the vat of water than bond to the fabric – in other words, the dye molecules are more stable and ‘happier’ in the water solution than in the fabric. The process has to be helped along to ensure the dye actually transfers to the fabric, by adding chemicals and salts; heating up the solution; or swishing the fabric around in the vat.

           In contrast, the dye molecules are not very ‘happy’ to be inside the special carrier we use to hold the dye – so when some fabric comes along, the molecules don’t need any extra encouragement to jump ship and bond to the fabric. This is why our method is so much faster and more efficient – it doesn’t need the extra encouragement of salts, alkalis or heat to work. The special carrier can also be recovered and reused many times between dye cycles, so it’s efficient in terms of resources, as well. 

 

How *Clean Color Tech will make a big splash

            These abstract technical explanations about ‘happy’ molecules are all well and good, but what kind of impact can our technology have on the real world? Let’s start with some numbers. According to a report by the World Resource Institute in 2017, the global textile industry uses over 5 trillion litres of water per year in dyeing fabric alone. Written out in full, that’s 5,000,000,000,000 litres.

            According to independent research by BluWin, *Clean Color Tech saves up to 94% of the water compared to traditional dyeing methods. If the entire dyeing industry adopted Clean Color, this would mean an estimated saving of 4,700,000,000,000 litres of water per year. That’s a lot.

            It’s hard to conceptualise big numbers, so let’s try to visualise it. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water per day. Per year, that’s 54,788 litres per person. The population of the UK is estimated to be around 68,962,445, so if we multiply that by the yearly water consumed per person, we get about 3.78 trillion litres (3,778,279,955,438 when written out in full).

           So if dyeing fabrics uses 5 trillion litres of water per year, that’s equivalent to the water needs of the entire UK over about 16 months. In comparison, if the dyeing industry adopted Clean Color, it would use about 300 billion litres of water per year – less than the entire UK uses in just one month

Conclusion

             These are impressive numbers, if we do say so ourselves, but the best part is they’re not just hypotheticals. The technology is here already – it’s just waiting to be adopted on a wider scale. Over the coming years, we will be working with more and more fashion brands and suppliers to get clothes dyed with *Clean Color Tech in shops around the world.

             We’re using our skills and knowledge to make the fashion industry greener, but there are plenty of people in other industries making similar strides to change their industry for the better, too. If we all work to change what we can, we can make a difference.

            We read so many depressing news articles every day that sometimes the world’s problems can seem too big to overcome. But it’s important to remember that solutions are possible, and that there are plenty of people working to find them – even if you don’t always hear about it.  “