A color-changing T-shirt that identifies water contamination

- Mar 20, 2019-

A color-changing T-shirt that identifies water contamination


Today's T-shirts are becoming more functional than simple clothes. Have you seen a T-shirt that will change color? Perhaps you have seen it, but the color-changing T-shirt can also identify water pollution. Have you seen it?


Find a white T, then buy a purple cabbage, you can make a T-shirt like this. London's creative materials studio The Unseen, in partnership with the British lifestyle company The Lost Explorer, launched a t-shirt that will change color on World Environment Day on June 5, 2017.

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                  When you encounter water with different pH, the color of the T-shirt will change.


Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen, washed three T-shirts with London tap water, acid rain and water from the Dead Sea, which turned into light purple, pink and light yellow. Of course, this T-shirt can also change more colors. For example, water with a pH of 3.5 can turn it into deep purple, and in water with pH values of 8 and 9, it can turn into fading. The blue color and the forest green.

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The secret behind it is the dye of the garment, the juice of purple cabbage. Purple cabbage contains a large amount of anthocyanins. This natural pigment is a pH indicator. It exhibits different colors when it encounters liquids with different acidity and alkalinity. It is roughly summarized, from acidic to neutral. In the alkaline range, the pigment will change between red, purple and green, respectively. When the pH is greater than 12.5, yellow will appear.


After washing in water with a different pH value, this dark purple T-shirt will start to change color. David?de Rothschild, the founder of The Lost Explorer, wore such a T-shirt, deliberately squeezing a whole lemon juice into the clothes in front of people. The people around him just thought he was crazy, but soon their critiques changed. “It’s like watching bee pollination, the process of color change is very beautiful and harmonious, and they can’t understand whether this is Why," said David.


Thus The Unseen and The Lost Explorer believe that when people can travel to different cities with such T-shirts, they can be washed with local water to detect water pollution.


In Lauren Bowker's view, this is a powerful way to connect people with environmental issues through fashion: "Trump announced that the United States has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, which is very shocking, but people really understand what it means? Maybe not, because not everyone knows politics...but if I see a car that passes through (splashing water) or water that is too acidic to survive in the frog, let a T The shirt has changed color and I will understand."


We hope that people can make such a dress by themselves, always pay attention to the environment we are in, and people are connected with nature. The basis is the theme of this year's World Environment Day, "Connecting to Nature."