A new thin, flexible synthetic material mimics nature’s brightest colors--think butterfly wings, peacock feathers, and opal. Because the material’s color comes from the microscopic particles that comprise it, rather than pigments, the color doesn’t fade over time or run. These properties make the material a candidate for incorporating color in textiles without the use of dyes. The material is also responsive, changing color when pulled, twisted, or strained, which could be useful in applications having to do with sensing weight or tension applied to a material.

Relying on the material’s structure, rather than added pigments, this material constitutes a sea change in how we think about color. How can your industry or company re-think the very structure of its products in order to eliminate the use of some materials, thereby enhancing resource performance?