The simple act of turning a shirt from white to another colour requires 25 litres of water and enough harmful chemicals that every clothing manufacturer should be looking for safer methods. Adidas has started using this fantastic CO2-based DryDye technology -- and it doesn't require a single drop of H2O.
But it's not like the colour dyes are blasted at the shirts with a pressurised CO2 canister -- although that would be pretty awesome. The fabrics and chemical dyes are actually placed in a large sealed chamber, and CO2 is pumped in to a pressure of about 74 bar. The tank is also heated to 31C, at which point the CO2 behaves like a gas and a liquid, allowing the coloured dyes to thoroughly permeate the fabrics without the use of excessive chemicals.
The DryDye process uses about half the chemicals as traditional water-based dying methods, and it requires about half the energy too. So it seems like an all-around better way to go about tinting clothing. Adidas has already made 50,000 shirts this year using this safer process, and it's banging the drum so everyone knows how awesome they are for doing so. [Adidas via Gizmag]