Stony Creek Colors


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."


Wallpaper Mag 2018: True Blue

"Glossy plants with distinctive purple-green stalks and knots of compact magenta flowers crowd together in a sprawling field outside Nashville. Mosquitos dart around in the Tennessee dawn as a huge machine harvests a crop of natural indigo. It’s a gathering not seen in this area for over a century, a sign of how America, the natural home of denim, is mapping out a sustainable mass-market future using small-scale, artisanal ideas."


NSF 2018: Rapid Assay Opens Door for Natural Indigo Dye and Other Bio-Based Chemicals

"For millennia, civilizations have extracted indigo dye from plants, creating a product that by the 18th century had become a driver of global economics. But, as the 20th century began, global output of natural indigo fell by over 90% as synthetic indigo took its place. With recent trends toward naturally derived alternatives for synthetic materials in processed foods, consumer goods, and other markets, the $427-million global market for indigo dye — whose synthetic building blocks include benzene, formaldehyde, and cyanide — represents an opportunity. Natural indigo dye and its parent agricultural crops could benefit from more than 100 years of advances in chemistry, chemical engineering, and agricultural science."


The Smithsonian 2018: Have Scientists Found A Greener Way to Make Blue Jeans

"Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are trying to make the process of making blue jeans greener, by engineering bacteria to produce the indigo dye responsible for jeans’ characteristic hue. “Indigo dying for denim is, unfortunately, a pretty dirty process,” says John Dueber, a professor of bioengineering who co-led the research, recently published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology."


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