Patagonia’s venture capital arm announced a strategic investment in CO2Nexus, a company that says it has developed a sustainable method of processing textiles and garments using liquid carbon dioxide. The process reportedly uses zero water, consumes less energy than traditional methods and generates less waste.
The investment comes through Patagonia’s $20 Million & Change fund, launched in 2013 to help like-minded startup companies bring about solutions to environmental issues through business. The investment caps a Series A round of investment for CO2Nexus, based in Denver, Colo.
Traditional textile processing methods are extremely water and energy intensive, consuming up to 100 gallons of water or more for every pound of textile processed, according to industry analysis. All the while, most textile processing today is concentrated today in regions globally where water quality is low, which puts even greater strain on already scarce drinking water supplies.
“Quite simply, processing textiles and apparel requires huge amounts of energy and water – and both are in crisis,” said Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “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 that provides fizz to beverages. The process has relatively short 20-30 minute cycle times and requires no separate dryer, conserving significant energy as a result. Over the course of repeated washes, benefits include down loft enhancement, water repellency, and color/size/fit consistency, says the company.