Textile dyeing could be about to become a thing of the past, as an Australian scientist has discovered how to grow naturally coloured cotton.
Plant bio-tech scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) believe this "breakthrough" could transform the global textiles industry.
"Cotton is naturally white, but having the cotton plant produce its own coloured fibre is a gamechanger," explains Dr. Colleen MacMillan from CSIRO.
Textile dyeing involves a lot of water and this wastewater a huge pollutant around the world. Some dyes never degrade in water, while others produce harmful substances during the process.
The scientists are working on other alternatives, including wrinkle-free cotton and an elastic-type cotton which can with synthetic fibres.