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Open source access for Ecofast Pure

Cationic dyeing process significantly reduces the amount of water, chemicals and energy required for cotton dyeing.

14th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  United States


Dow and Ralph Lauren Corporation have released a detailed manual on how to dye cotton more sustainably and more effectively than ever before using the Ecofast Pure sustainable textile treatment.

The two companies are open-sourcing this improved dyeing process to encourage adoption in the textile industry and help standardise a more sustainable and efficient cotton dyeing system for positive environmental impact.

Ecofast Pure is a cationic cotton treatment developed by Dow with existing dyeing equipment. Ralph Lauren, the first brand to use it, partnered to optimise and implement the technology in its cotton dyeing operations, as part of its new Color on Demand platform.

Pretreating fabric with Ecofast Pure helps significantly reduce the amount of water, chemicals and energy needed to colour cotton, by enabling up to 90% less process chemicals, 50% less water, 50% less dyes and 40% less energy without sacrificing colour or quality.

“As fashion supply chains look to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, there is a critical window to build more sustainable practices into production processes,” said Mary Draves, chief sustainability officer at Dow. “By collaborating today to scale a less resource-intensive dyeing process, we can help address pressing challenges like climate change and water resiliency in the longer term.”

“We have to create scalable solutions that have never been considered before,” added Halide Alagöz, chief product and sustainability officer at Ralph Lauren. “This requires deep and sometimes unexpected collaboration and a willingness to break down the barriers of exclusivity. We are proud to have partnered with Dow on this innovation and to share it openly with our industry, with the hope that it will help transform how we preserve and use water in our global supply chains.”

Ralph Lauren began integrating Color on Demand into its supply chain earlier this year and first launched product using Ecofast Pure as part of the company’s Team USA collection for the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020. Designed to help address water scarcity and pollution caused by cotton dyeing, Color on Demand is a multi-phased system aiming to deliver the world’s first scalable zero wastewater cotton dyeing system. By 2025, the brand aims to use the Color on Demand platform to dye more than 80% of its solid cotton products.

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