The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnership has awarded a one-year grant of $224,676 to Springfield, Tenn.-based Stony Creek Colors and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Creve Coeur, Mo., to help make denim manufacturing more sustainable.
The Danforth Center will work to better understand the genetics of the existing indigo plant stocks through DNA analysis. Stony Creek will use this research to develop an improved bio-based chemical derived from the renewable Persicaria tinctoria indigo crop with the goal of reducing the use of chemically synthesized indigo dye made from petroleum derivatives and harmful chemicals.
“Our bio-based dyes improve profitability and ecosystem health for farmers, while empowering designers, brands, and mills with greater transparency and traceability,” said Sarah Bellos, CEO and founder, Stony Creek Colors. “Stony Creek Colors’ research collaboration with the Danforth Center funded by this NSF grant is a critical next step in the evolution of this plant-derived chemical.”