The goal of the ClimaDye2 project is to commercialise biofibre dyes that will help build a foundation for sustainable textile production. This is a Climate-KIC Pathfinder project, a continuation of the successful 2017 ClimaDye ideation project conducted by Chalmers University of Technology.
Textile production is currently unsustainable. It uses 5 trillion litres of water each year just to dye fabric. In 2015, it generated 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases, which was more than all international flights and maritime shipping that year.
The ClimaDye project investigate the use of Supercritical CO2 on cotton fibres. Supercritical CO2 is a green solvent that is already used to dye polyester without water, process chemicals or waste. Global brands including Adidas, Decathlon, Mizuno, Nike and Peak Performance were among the first to sell apparel made from water-free dyed polyester. The ClimaDye2 challenge is to find out how it can do the same for biofibres like cotton, viscose and lyocell made from recycled cotton, wood and forestry products.
The idea had a solid potential, but it needed to produce and test supercritical CO2 adapted dyes and conducts a climate impact analysis to quantify the benefits in term of decreased use of water. This is the main target of this project with EIT Climate-KIC.
The project already involves the demand side as IKEA is one of the partners for instance which allows feedbacks and help from the business. If proven beneficial, this process will attract investment and further stakeholders’ attention.