Making Futures 2021

Life Cycles of Material Worlds

The seventh edition of our Making Futures biennial international research conference will be held on 16th September 2021.

Charlotte Warren

Printed Textile Designer| Lecturer, Design Programmes, Plymouth College of Art|

The Colour of Water- How green is our dyeing process?

The textile dyeing industry contributes to approximately 20% of global water pollution. Current estimates suggest 200 billion litres of coloured waste effluent are discharged into receiving water bodies annually and 17-20% of industrial water pollution can be attributed to the textile dyeing industry. Despite recent technological improvements in many other sectors there remains little progression in reducing the damage done by the dyeing process. This research focuses on the environmental impact of Azo dyes, the most common class of textile dyes.

Following a literature review of the chemistry behind current practice, this research explores the potential for reducing the environmental impact of azo dyes; in particular, the possibility of employing local methods of removing and/or reusing dye waste. The aim is to develop these processes in practice and improve the sustainability of dyeing. and improve the sustainability of dyeing.


Charlotte is an award-winning printed textile designer and artist championing an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to textiles. She completed her BA (Hons) in Printed Textile Design from the University of Brighton and on completion was awarded a scholarship from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to further her research at the Royal College of Art. Charlotte is a lecturer on the Textile Design course at undergraduate level and the Design programmes for Postgraduate studies at Plymouth College of Art. With her knowledge of industrial textile design and working with the facilities at PCA she is furthering her research into the sustainability of the dyeing process.