Back in the days of hippies and surfers and California-cool, jeans and hoodies were naturally bleached by a combination of saltwater and sun. Hippies didn’t wash and surfers didn’t care; everything had a ‘lived-in’ look that the world now wants to emulate. Except, now, we want gratification without having to put the work in.
Two short-cuts for that lived-in vibe were employed. First, pumice stones (hence: stone wash). Unfortunately, the appetite for stone wash naturally plundered the world’s pumice resource, which was largely imported from Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Queue big debates, a Big Pumice, and big ethical obligations. An alternative was necessary.
Hello, acid. Acid is good because on a chemical level various enzymes can partially decompose the colour fibres in clothes instantaneously, resulting in an acid wash that looks like a stone wash. Acid is also good because verbally the word is reminiscent of the same hippies who started the trend, so it’s like we’ve come full circle.
This Stone Island hoodie has been subject to the acid wash treatment and comes in an ocean-like blue. It’s also a metaphor for ocean-acidification – an environmental impact that industrial bleaching can’t avoid – right, Stone Island? Plus the badge does look really good with an acid wash on it.