Questions for ‘Scientists find a ‘greener’ way to make jeans blue’

rolled up pairs of blue jeans of varying shades bunched together

Dying denim their signature blue can release a lot of pollution. A new chemical treatment could prove “greener” to the environment.


To accompany feature “Scientists find a ‘greener’ way to make jeans blue


Before Reading:

1.  Blue jeans, sometimes known as dungarees or Levi’s, have a long and storied history. They became a patented product in California in 1873. Do you have any blue-denim apparel? If so, how many pieces and what is its appeal to you? If not, why?

2.  What gives jeans their characteristic blue color?

During Reading:

1.  What are two reasons blue jeans can be hard on the environment, based on what you read?

2.  What gives jeans their classic blue hue?

3.  What is cellulose and how does it differ from nanocellulose?

4.  What is a hydrogel and what role does it play in the new denim-dyeing process?

5.  How does the nanocellulose mesh’s surface area affect the new dye process and its  dyeing efficiency?

6.  What is chitosan? Where does it come from? And why is it important to the new dye process?

7.  What is the most water-hungry step that goes into making blue jeans, according to Robert O. Vos? What does he offer up as two ways that people can reduce the environmental cost of blue jeans?

After Reading:

1.  Most people do not consider the environmental costs of fashion when shopping for clothes. In fact, the production and discarding of many articles of apparel can be hard on the environment. Why do you think that’s true? Working with a friend, design a campaign with a slogan, art and at least three compelling arguments with the aim of moving your classmates’ attitude toward building a “greener” wardrobe.