Compared to traditional dyeing methods, Nike’s ColorDry process reduces dyeing time by 40%, energy use by around 60% and the required factory footprint by a quarter.

Today’s opening follows Nike’s announcement in February that it had taken a strategic stake in Dutch start-up, DyeCoo Textile Systems, a company that invented a technology to replace water, normally used for dyeing, with recyclable CO2, reducing energy use and eliminating the need for added chemicals in the process.

Speaking in February, Nike’s CEO, Eric Sprunk, said that waterless dyeing is a significant step in the company’s “journey to serve both the athlete and the planet”.

“We believe this technology has the potential to revolutionise textile manufacturing, and we want to collaborate with progressive dye houses, textile manufacturers and consumer apparel brands to scale this technology and push it throughout the industry,” added Sprunk.

On average, an estimated 100-150 litres of water is needed to process one kilogram of textiles today. Industry analysts estimate that more than 39 million tonnes of polyester will be dyed annually by 2015.

Commenting on today’s opening, Sprunk said: “Nike innovates not only in the design of our products, but also in how they are made. We see sustainability and business growth as complementary and our strategy is to prioritise relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies”.

Meanwhile, Netherlands-based DyeCoo has announced that it will soon open an office in Taiwan to service increasing demand for its technology.

DyeCoo’s Geert Woerlee said: “I see enormous possibilities to reshape the dyeing industry and adjacent industries as we work together to expand the application of our technology beyond polyester”.

Nike ColorDry products will enter the marketplace in early 2014.

Leigh Stringer

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