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Patagonia Invests in Sustainable Textile Processing Through $20 Million & Change Fund

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has invested in a new platform for textile processing that uses zero water, less energy and generates very little waste.

Patagonia announced the strategic investment in startup CO2Nexus, Inc. Monday and said it would incorporate the company’s sustainable processing method for cleaning, disinfecting and coating textiles and garments using liquid carbon dioxide.

The investment was made through Patagonia’s $20 Million & Change fund, launched in 2013 with the aim of helping innovative companies develop solutions to the environmental crisis.

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said, “Quite simply, processing textiles and apparel requires huge amounts of energy and water — and both are in crisis.” She added, “CO2Nexus is a great fit for $20 Million & Change — it’s a young company using business and innovation to bring about positive benefits to the environment.”

CO2Nexus’ system, called TERSUS®, can process textiles using the same CO2 used for carbonation in beverages. With quick twenty to thirty minute cycle times that don’t require a separate dryer, the energy savings are significant.

According to a CO2Nexus statement, “Outdoor and other apparel items processed with the TERSUS® system emerge with minimal impact compared to traditional water or solvent-based cleaning methods. Over the course of repeated washes, benefits include down loft enhancement, water repellency, and color/size/fit consistency.”

Water conservation will be key to sustaining the textile industry, which consumes up to 100 gallons of water for every pound of textiles processed and the Patagonia CO2Nexus collaboration is expected to provide opportunities for eco-improvements along the textile value chain.