Companies like Taylor Home & Fashion and Lenzing are working on reducing water use. Taylor Home & Fashion’s GiDelave line uses cellulosic fabrics and yarns such as cotton, linen, Tencel and modal. The company colors its yarns using 98 per cent less water than traditional dyeing methods and does not discharge harmful chemicals. A direct colorization method called Color Diffusion radically reduces water, chemical, infrastructure and energy consumption over traditional package dyeing.
For Lenzing, a breakthrough for water savings comes in the creation of Modal Black, a spin-dyed fiber that introduces color at the pre-extrusion level. The black color pigment is incorporated into the Modal fiber at the dope level. This coloring of the fiber, instead of dyeing it on the surface, not only creates greater penetration and longevity of the color, but creates a more sustainable product. This dope dyeing leads to 64 per cent less water use, 90 per cent less chemicals and 20 per cent energy savings.
The textile industry accounts for one-fifth of the world’s industrial water pollution, using as many as 20,000 chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. Much of this water is used in the coloration and finishing of fabrics. Yarn dyeing and colorization are among the worst culprits in water use and discharge of hazardous chemicals.