2017年8月22日

Nike盛讚的環保科技 桃園看得見

水資源日益匱乏,紡織業要如何在染整時少用、甚至不用到水?遠東新世紀「無水染色」科技不但節省資源,更解決了污水排放、環境危害的風險。

又濕又熱、滿地污水的染整廠,能變得像無塵室一樣乾淨?

五年前,遠東新與Nike、荷蘭的DyeCoo公司合作,在桃園廠架設台灣第一台、全世界第二家企業,能以「二氧化碳」取代「水」的新型染色機,不僅讓染整廠變乾淨,也變環保了。

今年「天下CSR企業公民獎」大型企業組,遠東新世紀在環境永續上取得高分,進步頗多,成為第16名。

這個台、美、荷跨國合作的新技術叫做「無水染色」。Nike執行長帕克甚至公開表示,無水染色是顛覆性的創舉。

「顛覆之處在於,2000多年來人類始終只能用水染布。但問題來了,水資源的匱乏已是全球共同危機,飽受質疑的國際品牌與紡織產業,必須找出新方法。」

這個新方法,是把二氧化碳加壓,讓氣體呈現近乎「液態」的狀態,二氧化碳就能取代水,成為染料的載體。

以二氧化碳取代水有幾個好處。第一是減少用水;第二是減少化學助劑的使用;第三是改善染整廠的工作環境。

傳統的染色方法,每一公斤的布料,要耗費100到180公升的水,還要使用0.2公斤的化學助劑,才能把染料附著於布料上。而無水染色技術不需要水或化學助劑,染料的使用量也僅有原先的三分之一左右。

過程中使用的二氧化碳也不會浪費。DyeCoo亞洲分部董事總經理駱聖德(Kasper Nossent)說,使用過的二氧化碳,把雜質去除後,95%都能回收循環再使用。建置成本雖然比傳統高,但因為省下水、染料、助劑等,營運成本能減少40%。

此外,地上也不會因為污水滲出而顯得髒亂,「用氣體染色,染房比較像無塵室,而不是傳統的染整廠,」駱聖德說。

6000多次測試 尋找最佳製程

但新技術的最大挑戰是:如何把布料的外觀、手感、色牢度,做到與以前完全沒有差異。

遠東新說,光調整製程,就花了四年時間,經過6000多次的實際測試,才找到最佳製程。

但敢投資環境設備,有助於台灣企業加強與國際品牌間的戰略伙伴關係。

駱聖德說,世界各大品牌面對永續環境議題,若把遠光放遠,率先投入新的友善環境技術,便可提高在供應鏈中的價值。

今年六月,遠東新也訂購了第二套設備,要擴大無水染色的產能,遠東新說,「我們希望有更多企業投入,節省染整過程中的大量用水,避免染整廢水污染環境的初衷才能實現。」

文章出處:天下雜誌629期
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Toward Greener Apparel: Sustainable Dye & Recovered Yarns

“The textile dyeing industry has made the cloth beautiful, but turned the clean water black.”

So said Sunyun Yao, an official in Shaoxing County, China, back in 2010. There wasn’t much exaggeration in the statement: China’s textile industry has reportedly discharged 2.5 trillion liters of wastewater into its rivers annually, according to a 2012 report from the non-profit Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs.

Sunyun’s observation and the wastewater figures highlight an inescapable fact about the apparel business, to which everyone in the promotional products industry is connected. And that’s this: The traditional process of making fabrics can have a detrimental impact on the environment, devouring water and polluting.

But in recent years, pioneers in the apparel industry have been working to revolutionize the fabric creation process, making it more sustainable. We recently highlighted Spinnova, a start-up in Finland that makes eco-friendly yarns from wood fibers. In doing research for an upcoming Counselor feature article, we also discovered two other companies, DyeCoo and Hilaturas Ferre S.A., whose efforts could help create a greener – and even more profitable – apparel industry in the decades ahead.

DyeCoo is a Dutch company that uses reclaimed CO₂ instead of water in a patented process to dye textiles. With DyeCoo’s method, no process chemicals, water or wastewater is required, which means wastewater treatment isn’t needed. Rather, the Dutch innovators employ CO2 reclaimed from existing industrial processes as part of a closed loop system to infuse vibrant colors into textiles using 100% pure dyes. “Short batch cycles, efficient dye use, (and) no wastewater treatment all contribute to significantly reduced operating costs,” DyeCoo says.

Apparently, the company is on to something: Nike, Adidas and Peak Performance have products featuring DyeCoo technology. “We are convinced that this trend will continue as more and more brands will increase their demand,” the company says.

In Spain, Hilaturas Ferre S.A. is upcycling textile waste into recycled yarns. The company cuts the waste into consistent smaller pieces and then shreds it to reclaim the longest possible fibers. From there, a “colorblend” process enables consistent color-matching of cotton fibers without the use of dyes. A finishing process involving the infusion of carrier fibers and spinning results in high-quality, color-correct yarns that are used to make apparel, accessories and home textiles. Through its “Recover” process, Ferre saved 42.3 billion liters of water, 6.8 million pounds of pollutants, and 130 million pounds of CO2 emissions in 2016 – numbers verified by Universitat de València and UNESCO. (Yowzers!)

While such sustainable products and processes are not yet the standard, apparel industry insiders expect them to become more pervasive. One day, promo apparel suppliers say, sustainable apparel could become a strong selling point in the branded merchandise industry, which has already experienced a rise in eco-friendly items, such as shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. “The emphasis on sustainability is going to grow,” says Andrea Lara Routzahn, senior VP of portfolio and supplier management at Top 40 supplier alphabroder (asi/34063). “Millennials are gaining greater buying power, and they’re not walking away from sustainability.”

Original Article: ASI
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