Denim is star of eco show

A field of jeans was on display in the Winter Gardens, Sheffield.
A field of jeans was on display in the Winter Gardens, Sheffield.
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WEAR your jeans for a little too long and the result alas may be a bit of a pong.

But not these beauties - a display of denims in Sheffield’s Winter Garden came as a breath of fresh air to everyone who came in for a closer look.

For these are the world’s first air-purifying jeans, created as part of a project between the University of Sheffield and London College of Fashion.

Titled Field of Jeans, the exhibition was part of Catalytic Clothing, a venture which aims to explore how clothing and textiles can be used to freshen up the air we breathe.

Thirty pairs of jeans donated by the public were treated with a substance that enables them to break down pollutants from the surrounding atmosphere.

The jeans were mounted on cane and grouped together first in the Peace Gardens and later throughout the Winter Garden.

Catalytic Clothing is the creation of unlikely collaborators Professor Helen Storey MBE, a practising artist and designer at London College of Fashion, and Professor Tony Ryan, a scientist at the University of Sheffield.

It is hoped the fusion of fashion and science will produce extraordinary results.

Prof Ryan said: “Field of Jeans is the latest product of Catalytic Clothing and a beautiful manifestation of a deeply technical process.

“There are more pairs of jeans than people on the earth. We are developing something using both of them, that is both user-friendly and technically excellent, to improve the urban environment.”

With the shared purpose of tackling some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems and the desire to improve the quality of our lives and those of future generations, the radical idea for Catalytic Clothing emerged.

Prof Storey added: “Catalytic Clothing is the most challenging, globally relevant project I have ever attempted.

“Behind almost all human advancement lies a science. Through my work, I try to share and involve the public with these possibilities.”

The work links in with the University’s Project Sunshine, which aims to unite scientists across both pure and applied sciences to harness the power of the sun.

It aims to tackle the challenge of meeting the increasing food and energy needs of the world’s population.