These are independent reviews of the products mentioned, but TIME receives a commission when purchases are made through affiliate links at no additional cost to the purchaser.

Jeans are a perennial fashion favorite, with more than 4.5 billion pairs sold every year. But their synthetic indigo dye takes a toll on the environment, contaminating water with toxic chemical runoff. Biotechnology company Huue has specially engineered bacteria that turns natural sugars into indigo-identical dye—without the environmental impact—by mimicking how enzymes in plants create colors. In September, the company partnered with the cell-programming platform Ginkgo Bioworks to scale up production, and plans to start shipping to denim designers by the end of the year. —Aryn Baker


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at