An IFM team, led by Professor Xungai Wang, won the H&M Foundation’s 2017 Global Change Award, for their idea to recycle denim by turning used denim into ultrafine particles and then coating or printing the colour particles onto un-dyed new denim.

On average, the life cycle of a pair of denim jeans produces more than 30 kg of CO2 and uses around 3500 litres of water. “If even a small percentage of jeans are dyed using our new technique, the amount of water saved would have a significant impact on the environment,” said Professor Xungai Wang.

Since receiving the €150,000 award, the team has further developed the technology to create new ‘denim dyed denim’ jeans using the pigment from old, recycled jeans.