Ralph Lauren launches sustainable cotton dyeing method
The textile industry is a glutton. Annually it consumes about 93 billion cubic metres of water. The majority of the water used for dyeing fibres ends up polluting the groundwater. Treating this wastewater is not just a costly affair but also a lengthy one. Finding alternative models is something the fashion industry is working hard on. For example, the Ralph Lauren Company, which has just presented «Color on Demand». With this innovation, the fashion label aims to reuse all the water used in its dyeing processes and initiate the world's first scalable cotton dyeing system. The goal is to reduce not only water and energy consumption, but also the use of chemicals.
For the first time ever, it’s now possible to dye textiles at any stage of production and not just at the beginning. This reduces lead times and gives fashion labels more flexibility when it comes to making colour decisions and responding to customer needs. In turn, this reduces surplus stock and shelf warmers.
To put its money where its mouth is, the Ralph Lauren Company is involving four companies – each of which is the best in its field. In a first step, the label is improving the pretreatment of cotton textiles with the sustainable materials company Dow. In combination with existing dyeing machines, the optimised pretreatment solution Ecofast Pure reduces the use of chemicals by 85 per cent and water consumption by up to 40 per cent. In addition, the company aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions by 60 per cent. The first products are to be launched as early as this year. By 2025, the fashion label strives to produce more than 80 per cent of its cotton creations sustainably with the help of «Color on Demand».