I have recently taken part in the adidas Group global material summit, a meeting attended by around 30 representatives working in various functions within the adidas Group such as material development, sourcing and quality to review and update their strategy in alignment with the Group strategy. This year, we had something special to celebrate: in fact, the adidas brand has reached 1 million yards of DryDye fabric produced! Thanks to the DryDye technology we’re able to save the 25 liters of water per Tshirt that are usually needed in the dyeing process. To mark this impressive achievement, we decided that our summit would include a visit to the Yeh Group, adidas Group DryDye fabric supplier based in Thailand.
Read on to find out more about DryDye and its development…
In case you are not familiar with the term DryDye, this is one of the key sustainable innovations for the adidas brand, and a game changer in the textile dyeing industry (find out more in my last blog post). The technology eliminates the use of water during the dyeing process, but as well reduces the use of chemicals and energy by 50%.
Think about it: it normally takes 25 litres of water to color one shirt. With DryDye, this water can be saved. We first introduced the technology to the market in 2012, with a limited collection of 50,000 t-shirts. Then, we have gradually rolled out this technology across ranges and product categories – with major water savings in the dyeing process.
For Spring/Summer 13, the majority of the fabric has been used for the adidas Performance Prime Tee, one of the best-selling, versatile, training t-shirts in the adidas sports performance range.
Over the last years, the adidas Group has actively supported the development of the DryDye technology in collaboration with the Yeh Group.
Thanks to this partnership, DryDye has made tremendous progress, especially in the last year. Applying the technology to one of our key products already means that in one year we have been able to take it to the next level as this is not a limited collection, but rather a full line of DryDye apparel that is now available globally. This is a clear sign that the production is truly scalable.
By using 1 million yards of DryDye fabric we have been able to save an impressive 25 million litres of water in the dyeing process! And this is only the beginning!
During our visit at the Yeh Group, we were able to see the process and benefits of DryDye first hand. The team built up already great expertise on this new technology. But, it is really a “learning by doing” process, as there is no other similar technology existing in the industry. The process is improved on a daily basis, literally.
It is also fascinating to see machines in full production: I have seen so many textile dyehouses in my career and they can be quite wet. The DryDye dyehouse is so clean. Other than in conventional dyeing the fabric is completely dry when released from the machine and there is no additional drying needed.
The DryDye technology is really a game changer and I am extremely proud to be part of the team that is working on this project. It was great to meet the Yeh Group team, a very passionate team, and celebrate with them such an impressive milestone.