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Scientists make discovery that could transform sustainable fashion

by Dana Andersen. Published Wed 05 Aug 2020 11:26

One of the worlds largest sources of wastewater comes from dyeing clothes and other textiles, but that could be about to change.

Scientists have discovered a way to grow coloured cotton, in pink, black, or gold, which could heavily reduce the amount of textile dying necessary in clothing production.

This is huge news for the future of sustainable clothing, especially the process of how clothing is made.

Fast fashion has a variety of negatives, such as contributing to landfills, and usually having poor work environments for those making the clothes, but one of the major climate issues to come from it, is the amount of water wasted.

Waste water is water that has been contaminated by human use, and the waste water from fashion usually has a variety of chemicals, micro plastics, and other biological pollutants.

According to the UN Environment Programme, 20 percent of wastewater comes from textile dying, and its the 2nd largest polluter of water.

Even worse, around 80 percent of waste water world wide is discharged into the environment entirely untreated, leading to widespread water pollution.

Being able to grow cotton already in the desired colour, would totally remove the need to dye any of the clothing being made.

Many fast fashion items also continue to impact the environment after they’ve been made, but before they’re thrown away, by releasing micro plastics and chemicals when they’re washed.

Having cotton items, that have not been dyed, would also heavily decrease the release of harmful additions to water, when they’re washed.

The discovery has come from a team of scientists at CSIRO in Australia.

These scientists have found a way to engineer cottons molecular colour code, by adding genes to make the plant produce a colour.

Its thought that this discovery could cut the waste that comes from dying clothes by up to 90 percent.



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