A pair of jeans can help save the environment | world | Hindustan Times
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A pair of jeans can help save the environment

world Updated: Oct 22, 2012 00:24 IST
environment protection

Eureka! You could do your bit to save the environment by simply wearing a pair of jeans.

Researchers have come up with 'super cleaner' denims that work the same way as catalytic converters in cars.

The catalytic jeans were conceived by Professor Tony Ryan and fashion designer Helen Storey, who discovered that when denim is covered with tiny particles of a mineral called titanium dioxide, it reacts with air and light to break down harmful emissions in the air.

The pollutants - produced by traffic and factories - are then neutralised and simply washed away when the garment is laundered.

So in theory, jeans wearers of the future could help to clean the dirty air around them simply by walking about in their favourite pair.

With toxic emissions killing an estimated 1.3 million people a year worldwide, the resulting improvement in air quality could significantly reduce deaths and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

Storey, of the London College of Fashion, renowned for dressing stars such as Madonna and Cher, "re-discovered science" after meeting Ryan, from Sheffield University.

The pair started working on a green science and fashion collaboration called Wonderland, which developed into Catalytic Clothing.

Their eureka moment came when they realised that microscopic particles of titanium oxide, which is contained in glass, paving stones and sun cream, worked as a pollution-buster when sprayed on clothes.

They found that the particles were able to grip on to the millions of fibres in the material and had a greater effect due to the constant movement of the fabric while being worn.