Stony Creek Colors

Press

GreenBiz 2018: Feeling Blue? How This Entrepreneur Revitalized a Natural Dye Industry

"An estimated 1.2 billion pairs of jeans are sold each year worldwide. The magic behind this timeless piece of clothing is none other than the 50 shades of blue — indigo to be precise.


Indigo is a color, a plant, and a specific molecule. And while there are 5,000-year-old traditions of using natural indigo in places such as India, Japan, and Guatemala, most indigo on the market today is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels — and thus unsustainable.


But Tennessee-based Stony Creek Colors (SCC) is changing that. Started in 2012 by Sarah Bellos, SCC is the first company in the United States to grow the indigo plant at a scale usable by the commercial denim industry."

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Racked 2017: Our Jeans Are Ruining the Planet but, This Company Wants to Fix That

"Here’s how you make the indigo that gives most denim its signature blue: like many things in peak-oil America, you start by drilling down. Extract petroleum from the earth and then subject it to high-heat, high-energy conditions in order to break it up into its component molecules. One, called benzene, is isolated and then mixed with a host of other chemicals, including cyanide and formaldehyde. The process produces ammonia as an off-gas. “It takes over half a pound of cyanide to make a single pound of indigo,” Sarah Bellos, the CEO and founder of Stony Creek Colors, explains."

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