Dye-Filled Bacteria Could Replace the Fashion Industry’s Dirty Dyeing Habits

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The modern global textile and fashion industries rely on many chemical dyes to create patterns and colors, but these often produce toxic wastewater. Engin Akyurt / Pixabay Fast fashion has been called the second dirtiest industry in the world, next to big oil , and how we color our clothes is a large part of the problem. Now, Colorifix , a UK biotech company founded by Cambridge University scientists, has developed a new way to dye clothes that doesn’t harm the planet. Historically, natural dyes extracted from plants and flowers were used to color fabrics. The production of modern chemical dyes uses more than 8,000 chemicals, solvents and additives to create different colors and effects on fabrics, reported Pure Earth and CNN . Many, like sulfur, arsenic and formaldehyde, are harmful to wildlife and humans, and end up in industrial wastewater from the dye production process, reported CNN. In less developed Asian countries, where a large share of today’s clothes is produced, weak regulations and/or enforcement allow textile manufacturers to dump toxic substances directly into local waterways, reported CNN. This has caused the dyeing industry to become one of the most environmentally harmful in the world. In fact, according […]

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