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Water pollution from dyeing

Global textile production is estimated to be responsible for about 20 percent of global water pollution resulting from the dyeing and finishing of products. Overall, the global textile industry uses about 93 cubic meters of water per year; enough to meet the annual needs of five million people. Dyeing a single kilogram of textiles using conventional processes consumes 60 to 150 liters of water.


After weaving, normal fabrics are exposed to various liquid substances depending on the color. This actually works much like dyeing a T-shirt at home in the washing machine. The fabric is placed in a tank together with various liquid substances, depending on the color.

The dyeing process alone consumes about 90% of the water used for all fabric production. Thus, regular dyeing is the most resource-intensive and environmentally damaging part of the entire fabric manufacturing process.

New colors for a polluting industry

A much more resource-efficient process is spin dyeing (dope dyeing), which eliminates most water and chemicals. Here, pigments are incorporated directly into the melt-spinning process to produce colored yarns. This saves a lot of resources.


- 90%
- 50%
- 50%
- 80%




Conventional dyeing process
Dope Dye
Dope dye -
the color of sustainability
In addition, the color fastness is improved by abrasion and fading during extended exposure to sunlight. In fact, similar to a carrot, the color is evenly distributed throughout the material. With the conventional dyeing method, the color distribution is only on the outside, like a red radish.
Frequently asked questions about textile dyeing processes

Why is the conventional dye process so harmful to the environment?

Global textile production is responsible for 20% of the water pollution caused by dyeing and finishing products. Dyeing a single kilogram of textiles by conventional processes consumes up to 60 - 150 liters of water. It is the most resource-intensive process of textile production and even releases microfibers.

More Information: The impact of textile production and waste on the environment European Parliament, 2023
Kant, R., Textile dyeing industry: An environmental hazard, Natural Science, Vol. 4, p.23

Why is dope dyeing more sustainable?

Because of its resource-saving process. Dope dyeing (spin dyeing) eliminates most of the water and chemicals. Pigments are incorporated directly into the melt-spinning process to produce colored yarns.

The savings are huge - water consumption is reduced by up to -90%, chemical consumption by up to -80%, energy consumption and CO2e emissions by up to -50%. UV stability is also significantly better, as is color fastness to rubbing.

More Information:
Bluesign Academy, 2023

Why is dope dyeing not used on all textile products?

In 2021, only 3.5% of textiles used dope dye. The reason is that high order minimums of around 10 tons per color and yarn are required. Other brands often use lots of different fabric colors throughout their product range. This makes reaching the minimum order quantity for the dope dye process hard.

That’s why we only use black as the secondary shell material and grey as the inner material.This minimalist approach is much more sustainable.

Mehr Information: Lucintel's Market Report, Global Dope Dyed Yarn Market Trend