Ralph Lauren and Dow join hands to transform cotton dyeing process

Ralph Lauren and Dow join hands to transform cotton dyeing process

Companies jointly launch a manual to open-source an improved dyeing process that significantly reduces the amount of water, chemicals and energy required for cotton dyeing to accelerate change in the industry.


Dow and Ralph Lauren Corporation have released a
detailed manual on how to dye cotton more sustainably and more effectively than
ever before using ECOFAST Pure Sustainable Textile Treatment. With this manual,
Ralph Lauren and Dow are open-sourcing this improved dyeing process to
encourage adoption in the textile industry and help standardize a more
sustainable and efficient cotton dyeing system for positive environmental


The co-developed, step-by-step manual details how to
use ECOFAST Pure, a cationic cotton treatment developed by Dow, with existing
dyeing equipment. Ralph Lauren, the first brand to use ECOFAST Pure, partnered
with Dow to optimise and implement the technology in its cotton dyeing
operations as part of its new Color on Demand platform.


Conventional fabric dyeing processes require trillions
of liters of water each year, generating roughly 20% of the world’s
wastewater.1,2 Pretreating fabric with ECOFAST Pure helps significantly reduce
the amount of water, chemicals and energy needed to color cotton, by enabling
up to 90% less process chemicals, 50% less water, 50% less dyes and 40% less
energy without sacrificing color or quality.


“As fashion supply chains look to recover from impacts
of the pandemic, there is a critical window to build more sustainable practices
into production processes. By collaborating today to scale a less resource
intensive dyeing process, we can help address pressing challenges, like climate
change and water resiliency, in the long-term,” said Mary Draves, Chief
Sustainability Officer at Dow.


Halide Alagöz, Chief Product & Sustainability
Officer at Ralph Lauren, added, “If we want to protect our planet for the next
generation, we have to create scalable solutions that have never been
considered before. This requires deep and sometimes unexpected collaboration
and a willingness to break down the barriers of exclusivity. We are proud to
have partnered with Dow on this innovation and to share it openly with our
industry, with the hope that it will help transform how we preserve and use
water in our global supply chains.”


Ralph Lauren began integrating Color on Demand into
its supply chain earlier this year and first launched product utilising ECOFAST
Pure as part of the company’s Team USA collection for the Olympic &
Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Designed to help address water scarcity and
pollution caused by cotton dyeing, Color on Demand is a multi-phased system
with a clear ambition to deliver over time the world’s first scalable zero
wastewater cotton dyeing system. By 2025, the brand aims to use the Color on
Demand platform to dye more than 80% of its solid cotton products.


Ralph Lauren Corporation is a global leader in the
design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five
categories: apparel, footwear & accessories, home, fragrances and
hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren has sought?to inspire the
dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. Its reputation
and distinctive image have been developed across a wide range of products,
brands, distribution channels and international markets. The company’s brand
names – which include Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren
Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph
Lauren Children and Chaps, among others – constitute one of the world’s most
widely recognised families of consumer brands.


Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and
scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable
growth. The company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer
centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to
deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science
expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics,
industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad
range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers
in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and
consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs
approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion
in 2020.