Water Detox: How the future sports industry dyes

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NTX has announced the production-readiness of its revolutionary waterless dyeing technology - NTX Cooltrans. This is another important industry step towards decarbonization and reducing the insatiable demand for water. And Adidas is the first major customer to come on board.

Wasser aus einem Schuh wird auf eine Pflanze gegossen
Adidas also focuses on sustainability with the "Clean Classics" collection

Adidas already confirmed that results of their first production runs with NTX Cooltrans will be landing in the upcoming 2022 autumn and winter collections. This is a much-needed step forward for the fashion industry, which now uses almost 80 billion cubic metres of water per year in a world with nearly 2.7 billion people affected by water scarcity. 

On March 10, 2021, Adidas announced their "Own the Game" strategy and commitment to decarbonization. Waterless technologies were identified as key enabler in achieving these ambitious sustainability goals. The company selected NTX Cooltrans as the first such technology to be integrated at scale into its supply chain.

"For decades now, our industry has been chasing the elusive goal to reduce the startling amount of water and energy required in the dyeing process of textiles. We are proud to say that with the launch of NTX Cooltrans, we have finally turned the corner," says Kalvin Chong, Chairman and Co-founder of NTX. "The really exciting thing is the cost-competitive aspect of implementing NTX Cooltrans into the value chain for our brand partners. The savings associated with lower energy requirements and water usage allow us to bring this game-changing innovation to ecology conscious consumers around the globe without impacting the manufacturing-costs of the final products."

The benefits of the new technology: to accurately and precisely dye almost any fabric material without heat, reduction of water consumption by up to 90 per cent and 40 percent reduction in dye use. All while at the same time retaining uncompromising colour fastness, hand feel and functional performance of the textiles. This breakthrough in dyeing technology is the result of merging innovations in chemistry and mechanical engineering.

Polyamide Material
Top 10 ISPO Textrends Street Sports: sharp definition of the graphics
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It isn’t just Adidas who recognized the potential of NTX Cooltrans, but also the ISPO Textrends jury, who awarded two of the company's developments in the Top 10 for Street Sports. The sharp definition of the graphics appealed, combined with the base layers, a plain weave recycled polyamide with wind resistance and a polyamide lightweight ripstop. The jury was extremely impressed by the water and energy savings, which were not at the expense of creativity.

Recyceltes Polyamid
Top 10 ISPO Textrends Street Sports: recycled polyamide
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The introduction of NTX Cooltrans also completely transforms the way dyeing works, opening up a whole new spectrum of materials for fashion brands to work with. The colouration process with NTX Cooltrans no longer resembles the millennia-old hot-temperature dye baths that require mixing of cloth to achieve the desired result. Because the tension and strain are eliminated, the process is perfect for finer, lighter and more delicate materials.

The new technology is also a huge improvement for on-the-ground personnel involved in the colouration process and the surrounding communities. By meeting or exceeding the strict mRSL and ZDHC guidelines for restricting substances in chemical formulations used in the raw material and product manufacturing processes, the difference between the equipment and traditional dyeing plants is like night and day. Plants utiizing NTX Cooltrans technology are quieter, require less energy and eliminate the need for hazardous chemicals, making the facilities much safer and more comfortable to work in.

All products selected by the jury can be found in the ISPO Textrends Trendbook.

ISPO Textrends Trendbook Otoño/Invierno 23/24
El libro de tendencias de ISPO Textrends ya está disponible. Repleto de las últimas novedades en materia de rendimiento para el otoño/invierno 23/24, así como de las tendencias textiles y de color de la temporada, es una herramienta de trabajo indispensable. Ahora disponible en formato impreso o digital.
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