Indigo and denim are pretty much synonymous with one another. But, as the denim industry continues to lead the way for sustainable innovation, it always seems a little paradoxical that indigo remains one of the biggest challenges we have to solve in creating an eco-friendly jean. But, as Marian, founder of DAWN Denim told me, “you’re only as good as the problems you solve,” and that’s exactly what The Blue Revolution by DAWN x Prosperity Textile is all about.
On a mission to solve the indigo problem, Marian worked with Andy, from Prosperity Textile Mills, to develop DAWN’s new collection using Revelation Blue - a new innovative dyeing technique that saves 72% water, eliminates aniline, and is hyrdosulfite free.
These terms might sound intimidating, but one question I hear a lot is: ”What do brands mean when they label their jeans ‘free of toxins’? Not all chemicals are bad, but aniline and hydrosulfite have been a nasty component in making jeans up until recently.
The majority of the industry still uses powder indigo, which needs hydrosulfite (a toxic substance) and caustic (bleach) to be produced. This also means that the water used in the dyeing process cannot be recycled! It is estimated that 65,000 tons of salt is produced from indigo every year, so it is inspiring to see brands like DAWN, with the help of Prosperity Textile, to lead this Blue Revolution.
Another potential problem of the dyeing process is the use of aniline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified it as a Group B2 human carcinogen. So how much aniline is too much? I’d rather not find out and choose aniline-free just to be safe ;)
Aside from our personal health benefits, Revelation Blue significantly reduces the environmental impact of dyeing denim. The traditional dyeing process usually takes 19 dips in different dye boxes, but Revelation Blue only uses 7. As you can imagine this creates huge savings while still achieving a deep dark blue. What’s that in numbers? Before Revelation Blue, there was the traditional Royal Blue that used 41,300 liters while Revelation Blue stops the show with 9,800 litres!
This collaboration between Marian and Andy shows us how problems are solved. In DAWN’s search for providing you with the best jeans possible, working with friends from the industry, sharing knowledge and making strategic partnerships was the answer to tackling the holes that needed to be filled to create a “clean jean.” Marian and Andy plan to continue working on and improving Revelation Blue’s process with hopes to expand into other colours, as well.