Scientists find eco-friendly way to dye blue jeans

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The process of dyeing jeans is one of the top sources of pollution within the fashion industry. New research found a more eco-friendly alternative. Credit: Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA Flared or skinny, distressed or acid-washed—we all love our blue jeans. But those coveted pieces of denim are wreaking havoc on the environment. That’s why researchers from the University of Georgia developed a new indigo dyeing technology that’s kinder on the planet. The new technique reduces water usage and eliminates the toxic chemicals that make the dyeing process so environmentally damaging. And to top it off, the technology streamlines the process and secures more color than traditional methods. “The textile industry is a classic example of an environmental polluter, and one of the major causes of pollution in the industry is coloration,” said Sergiy Minko, corresponding author of the study and the Georgia Power Professor of Fiber and Polymer Science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Originally, natural indigo was used to dye textiles. Introduced to the Colonies in the 1700s, indigo was an important cash crop for early America. But the discovery of a way to produce synthetic indigo almost entirely wiped the natural indigo market off the […]

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