NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today revealed another step in the vision NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker recently described at its Investor Meeting, as a “manufacturing revolution”. NIKE, Inc. celebrated the opening of a waterfree dyeing facility featuring high-tech equipment to eliminate the use of water and process chemicals from fabric dyeing at its Taiwanese contract manufacturer Far Eastern New Century Corp. NIKE, Inc. has named this sustainable innovation “ColorDry” to highlight the environmental benefits and unprecedented coloring achieved with the technology.
Dyed fabric emerges from the ColorDry dye vessel. (Photo: Business Wire)Today’s opening event follows NIKE, Inc.’s February 2012 announcement that it had taken a strategic stake in Dutch start-up, DyeCoo Textile Systems B.V., 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. On average, an estimated 100-150 liters of water is needed to process one kg of textiles today. Industry analysts estimate that more than 39 million tons of polyester will be dyed annually by 2015. NIKE, Inc.’s Chief Operating Officer, Eric Sprunk, believes that as businesses recognize the need to reduce dependence on constrained resources, manufacturing innovation can play a key role. “NIKE, Inc. 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 prioritize relationships with factory groups that demonstrate a desire to invest in sustainable practices and technologies. Our collaboration with Far Eastern and DyeCoo, to develop and scale the ColorDry process, is an important milestone on our path towards manufacturing innovation,” said Sprunk.