POWERING CHANGE: WOMEN IN INNOVATION & CREATIVITY

sally fox, natural coloured cotton, 1980

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Sally-foxIt takes a persistent and driven person to understand a problem exists and invent a solution that will benefit everyone. Sally Fox is one such inventor. Naturally coloured cotton could only be spun by hand.

This was a long and laborious process, and businesses instead chose to take white cotton, bleach it, dye it and spin it on a machine. The unfortunate side effect was pollution from the bleaching and dyeing process.

In the early 1980s Sally was working as a cotton breeder in California when she stumbled upon some brown cotton seeds.  She began to consider ways to produce more natural cotton fibres that would not need to be dyed or bleached.  She picked out only the best seeds that produced long fibres, replanting them year after year. Eventually two naturally coloured strains developed that could be spun on a machine.

By the early 1990s, Sally owned a business worth $10 million dollars, producing her invention – Foxfibre cotton. Sally’s invention is environmentally friendly and profitable, with eight shades of natural colours in use today.

Trademark Attorney, Dawn Logan Keefe, explains why Sally Fox is her inspirational women innovator.

 


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