Fastener business YKK is developing an “Eco-Dye” that aims to reduce to almost zero the amount of water used in a zipper’s dyeing process.

Part of the company’s environmental activities at its YKK Kurobe (Japan) factory, the technique uses supercritical fluid dyeing (SFD) technology in an effort to reduce water usage and eliminate wastewater in the manufacturing process.

The technology uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as a dyeing medium, reducing water usage to nearly zero and avoiding issues with wastewater, as well as allowing the collection and re-use of the CO2.

YKK said another advantage of the process was that no drying was required, contributing to the reduction of energy use. No date has yet been set for the commercialisation and release date of any Eco-Dye products.