DOPE DYEING: dyeing without water
Our aim was to find a way to reduce water in the colouring process. The conventional dyeing process uses hot water and chemicals to make the colour adhere to the synthetic fiber, consuming water, energy and emitting CO2.
Dope dyeing instead diverts from traditional wet processing because of its reduced environmental impact. Typical of recycled polyester, it involves adding colour pigment “upstream”, directly to the melted plastic solution before the fiber is made. Unlike traditional processes where yarns are produced and then dyed, with dope dyeing the pigments are trapped inside the recycled plastic after it cools to a solid form, becoming part of the new, stronger yarn. With this approach, dyeing can be done by hot transfer without immersion in water.
We partner with ReTraze Aqua-® solution-dyed recycled polyester yarn which saves energy, water and emissions during the process. Their source of plastic bottles is collected entirely within 20km from the seashore, and they continue to work on expanding the collection area and tracking system. We continuously try to improve water savings and look for new and more efficient dyeing technologies, which we’re striving to adopt as they become available.