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Naturally-occurring colour pigments in purple maize have anti-inflammatory properties. Clothes, meanwhile, are rarely manufactured using natural colours.

But all that could be about to change thanks to the work of two textile engineers and their New York-based startup. The team is using biotechnology to create colourful yarn without using dye.

First, in a fermentation process, special bacteria produce natural proteins like those that give corals their colour. These are then equipped with additional enzymes enabling them to bond with fibres.

This process eradicates the use of chemicals and saves enormous amounts of water. The plan is to make the new yarn bio-based and recyclable, creating a more circular fashion industry.

Artificial intelligence can reduce waste during the fabric weaving process.

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