http://www.sciam.com/0897issue/0897techbus3.html -- Lawrence F. London, Jr. mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGardenTitle: Scientific American: Technology and Business: FARMING WITH LINT: 8/97
FARMING WITH LINT
Lint from blue jeans as plant boosters and bricks
Imagine the dinner conversation at David Dotson's house when he told his parents he was going to put his brand-new graduate degree to good use--collecting lint. Yes, those lowly bits of clothing fiber found between one's toes and clinging to the screens of dryers. Dotson, who had just received his master's degree from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, had signed on with Livingston Associates, an environmental consulting group based in Alamogordo, N.M. And his first job would be to help El Paso, Tex., figure out what to do about its overabundance of lint.
El Paso is the garment-finishing capital of the world, where six major plants wash blue jeans for Levi-Strauss, Gap, Polo, DKNY, Kmart and others. One large finisher, International Garment Processors (IGP), estimates that it stonewashes, sandblasts and otherwise weathers some 300,000 pairs every week. That leads to a lot of