When textile materials are dyed in this way, chemical use is reduced by more than 90%
Conventional dyeing means weaving or stitching a white fabric and then dyeing it to the color you want in a large, hot color bath. This consumes a lot of energy and water and requires adding a lot of chemicals. Unless properly cleaned, it also severely pollutes the local environment.
But there is a dyeing technique that has been around for a while where you add the pigment already at the fiber level, instead of weaving or stitching a white fabric, and then coloring it in a big color bath.
We call it solution dye; however, it can also be called spin dye and top dye. No matter the name, when textile materials are dyed in this way, water use is reduced by more than 50%, chemical use by more than 90%, and energy use/climate impact by more than 60% compared to traditional dying. Another benefit is improved color fastness, as the material has the same color all the way through, and that you can make it more durable because you don’t need to create a surface where a pigment added later can stick.
A downside is that minimum quantities needed for production are much higher, so it requires more unification of colors and materials used.
Another coloring technique is to digitally print the upper of the shoe. This also reduces the need for water and chemicals significantly.
Icebug is using solution dye and/or digital printing for most of the shoes, approaching 100% of the textiles used in our collection.