A More Efficient Way to Produce Natural Indigo Dyes Using the Indigo Plant
Synthetic indigo dyes are used to give jeans their hue, but that was not always the case. Only two countries, China and Germany, currently manufacture the dyes that are used to color jeans. A Small Business Innovation Research program grantee, Stony Creek Colors, located in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, has found a more efficient way to produce natural indigo dyes using the indigo plant, which avoids the environmental contamination that results from synthetic dyes and also creates jobs in America. The company’s goal is to replace 2.8 percent of synthetic indigo dye with natural dyes in the next ﬁve years. To achieve that, Stony Creek Colors will need to produce 15,000 acres of indigo here in the United States.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2015 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.