Synthetic dyes are colored substances that adhere to fabric.
Natural dyes don’t like sticking to fiber and fabric, which means they need to be tricked into it through the use of extra chemicals, water and energy. Synthetic dyes were designed to stick to fiber and fabric so that color could be applied to all the various materials that go into textiles around the world, including our own products.
The engineering efforts poured into designing synthetic dyes have led to more efficient dyes (also called colorants) that use less water, fewer chemicals and less energy when they are applied to materials, while also yielding first-quality color and improved performance. Patagonia products are known for their supreme color quality—a result of using high-performance synthetic dyes.
Patagonia continues to explore the most recent innovations in the colorants by evaluating everything from high-performance dyes to low-impact dyeing technologies and beyond. We challenge ourselves to seek out pioneering coloration processes and technologies that reduce both carbon emissions and water pollution, without compromising the color performance we require in the gear we make.
We continue to challenge the industry to devote research to moving the needle farther from petroleum as a raw-material input for manufacturing colorants. We ask the hard questions and get granular in our discussions with industry partners. Ultimately, we want to minimize the environmental impact of dyeing.