Bachelor of Studio Arts with a focus in Photography and a background in Fashion.
The photo series, Indigo, brings the water usage and pollution of the denim industry into focus. By printing cyanotypes onto natural (unbleached) denim, simulating the dyeing process, this series introduces one of the main issues of denim manufacturing. My hope is that Indigo will convince more denim companies to reduce waste and raise conscientious consumers.
1,800 gallons of water are used just to make one pair of jeans, notwithstanding the water used to create the denim itself. 1.3 trillion gallons of water are used each year for fabric dyeing alone, denim being one of the most popular fabrics. 85 percent of the water used in textile dyeing often becomes runoff, and pollutes nearby water sources. Fortunately, denim companies such as Levi’s and G-Star Raw have changed their production process to lower their water usage as well as pollutants.
The cyanotype blue is created by the mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. This mixture is then brushed on to the natural denim. Each denim piece must dry for 12 hours before exposure due to its porosity. After the pieces dry, I then lay them over my enlarged negatives of glaciers, water textures, and water landscapes on a UV light box and expose them for 25-30 min to burn the images into the dried cyanotype solution. The denim then needs to be be rinsed with water to wash off the extra chemicals and finish the cyan print.