Thinking outside water-based manufacturing

For centuries there has been no alternative to water. Humans have been working with textiles in water for that long. So it’s not surprising that we occasionally encounter individuals who can’t imagine any other approach but water-based manufacturing. 

Also consider this: for centuries there was no alternative to many natural fibers. Shortages, primarily during wartimes, inspired materials innovation that produced many synthetic fabrics we use today. In the current textile industry, both natural and synthetic fibers play an important role in apparel, and are increasingly blended to deliver new fabrics.

Apparel innovators around the world now find themselves inspired by new shortages – shortages of natural capital. Water scarcity, declining water and air quality, and rising energy demands increasingly challenge the manufacturing outlook of the global apparel industry.

What resources will be available? How much will they cost? How long will communities stand for irresponsible consumption and waste?

For this reason, we have joined with innovative partners who want to step outside the existing paradigm to see if there’s another, cleaner way to manufacture apparel.

Liquid carbon dioxide doesn’t behave like water, and we think that’s important. Water is not likely to disappear from apparel supply chains entirely, but we believe new and inspiring things are possible when working with liquid carbon dioxide…

Imagine eliminating water from raw wool cleaning – we could leave more than 500,000 liters of water daily in local watersheds if LCO2 were used in just one standard scouring facility…

Imagine the cost savings from eliminating wastewater from operations by using the TERSUS closed-loop LCO2 platform…

Imagine the durability of technical coatings if apparel products are coated using an innovative process and effectively cleaned for…

LCO2 can replace water, and it can achieve things water cannot; we believe there’s an appropriate application for each.

It took time for early 20th century fiber and fabric innovations to take hold with designers, brands, and individuals. We’re experiencing the early days of 21st century apparel innovations. We’re glad to see more companies stepping outside the bounds of water-based thinking to introduce the next generation of apparel innovation.