A process that can create a pair of jeans while producing up to 87% less cotton waste is being developed by chemical company Clariant.
The Advanced Denim process uses up to 92% less water than conventional methods - jeans usually require 2,500 gallons - and 30% less energy.
The development was unveiled at the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Washington, US. Textile engineer Miguel Sanchez said that Clariant was in talks with leading jeans manufacturers.
Advanced Denim production methods use a single dying vat compared with the usual 15 plus an array of potentially harmful chemicals. And it uses a new generation of liquid sulphur dye that requires only a single, sugar-based reducing agent.
If just 25% of the world’s denim jeans were dyed using this technology, engineers say it would save water for 1.7 million people a year.