The fashion industry is the second greatest world polluter (after the oil industry), contributing deleteriously to toxic water pollution, emissions of noxious greenhouse gases, depleting non-renewables, and unethical treatment of workers in developing countries.
According to an article by Bloomberg, the environmental and social impacts of selling cheap clothes have come under scrutiny, with fashion designer Stella McCartney calling on business leaders and politicians to help the industry reduce its environmental impact.
Leading the charge towards ethical and sustainable behaviour in the fashion world is Twine. This Israel-based company has developed technology which dyes a single raw off-the-shelf white thread to any requested length and in any of the millions of colours and shades and gradients required.
The designer selects the colour he seeks from a virtual inventory, and a spool of white thread fed into the printer-like system comes out in the requested shade, Bloomberg revealed.
The company, which doesn’t use water at all, just closed a funding round that included HP Tech Ventures and the U.K.-based thread manufacturer Coats Group Plc.
According to Twine’s press release, the company’s sustainable digital waterless thread dyeing process saves 70 litres of clean water per 1 kg of dyed thread. Dyeing it the traditional way uses a large amount of water in order to steam in the colour, to rinse the thread and to colour-fasten the dye. The run-off from the dyeing process is filled with toxic chemicals. As much as 50% of dyed thread is disposed of in the textile industry before it is even used.
In contrast, Twine’s system dyes exactly the amount needed in a highly sustainable process while also reducing waste and air emissions. The Digital Thread Dyeing System allows clothing manufacturers to colour plain white thread by feeding the raw materials into a textile-specific digital printer only as needed, producing only as much as is required. The resulting digitally dyed threads can be used across sewing, knitting and embroidery, without producing any waste products.
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