To tackle the problem, we first needed to understand the true scope of it in relation to our own products.
Supported by Research England’s Knowledge Exchange, we teamed up with Lecturer and researcher, Charlotte Warren of Arts University Plymouth to initiate ‘dye mapping’ within our supply chain.
One of the key areas we have been looking into is how much dye is currently lost during our processes. Across the industry, typically 25% of dye is lost in waste effluent, but this can be as high as 60% for some dye classes.
We kicked off the project with two of our biggest suppliers investigating the environmental impact of colour decisions at the design stage. We looked at the type of dye used, chemical compound and application method, the waste treatment systems in place and the efficiency and uptake of dye on different fibre compositions within our collection.