It’s no secret that the process of dyeing fabric is not always safe or particularly attuned to conserving our natural resources, so it is always cool to learn about new ways to do it. One such innovation comes from industrial designer Tino Seubert.
Taking inspiration from the ancient Egyptian practice of using carbon dust to make inks, Seubert sought to apply this idea to design in a contemporary way. For his dyestuff, the designer chose something particularly unusual: air pollution.
Utilizing what is quite possibly a completely untapped resource, Seubert collected soot from diesel particulate filters to apply color to various objects, including fabric.
Seubert chose to color outdoor sportswear in particular, to draw a parallel between the dyestuff and the place from which it came from, namely, the streets.
The resulting garments allude to several concepts, the most obvious being air pollution itself. The fact that it is so potent and readily available as a resource for this kind of application is a physical reminder of the severity of environmental issues.
Not to mention, it is a bit of a wake-up call as to just how close in contact we are with pollution in our day-to-day lives.
Additionally, this dye process is a step in the right direction for sustainability in the fashion world. While the use of smog might be impractical for mass production (and may be met with some resistance by consumers who find it a bit gross), the idea of utilizing what is typically viewed as waste as a material for a garment is exactly what will help move the garment industry forward.
What do you think of this dye method? Would you ever wear a piece of clothing dyed with air pollution?