Researchers from the University of California have developed a sustainable dyeing strategy that eliminates the need for chemical reducing agent for dye solubilization. The process combines an enzyme with lab grown E. coli bacteria, which helps stabilise an indigo precursor molecule, indoxyl, by adding it to a sugar molecule. When added to bacteria, the enzyme is turned into indican, a precursor of indigo. Indican can be stored and transformed into indigo directly on the cloth when dyeing by adding a different enzyme to the mix.