The simple act of turning a shirt from white to blue—or any color—requires 25 liters of water and enough harmful chemicals that every clothing manufacturer should be looking for safer methods. Like this fantastic CO2-based DryDye technology that Adidas has started using which doesn't require a single drop of H2O.
But it's not like the color dyes are blasted at the shirts with a pressurized CO2 canister—although that would be pretty awesome. In reality, the fabrics and chemical dyes are placed in a large sealed chamber, and CO2 is pumped in to a pressure of about 74 bar. The tank is also heated to 88 degrees fahrenheit at which point the CO2 behaves like a gas and a liquid, allowing the colored dyes to thoroughly permeate the fabrics without the use of excessive chemicals.
The DryDye process actually uses about half the chemicals as traditional water-based dying methods, and requires about half the energy too, so it seems like an all-around better way to go about tinting clothing. Which is probably why Adidas has already made 50,000 shirts using this safer process this summer, and is banging the drum so everyone knows how awesome they are for doing so. [Adidas via Gizmag]