Where do our clothes come from and what are they made of? Modern textile dyeing focuses on vibrant, consistent, durable color by using synthetic dyes and finishes. What are synthetic dyes made of? toxic heavy metals, aniline, and APO’s. Fabrics are treated with formaldehyde to make them more resistant to stains and keep colors brighter. All of these ingredients put both the consumer and production workers at risk because of exposure to hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals. Synthetic dyes are not only a problem for the wearer, but also the communities and local ecosystems surrounding dye houses.
Where do these chemicals end up?
Every year, 9 trillion gallons of synthetic dye waste is dumped into global waterways. The impact is also seen on the people who work in dye houses, as long term exposure to liquid toxins eventually causes their skin to peel off. The Washington Post recently wrote a piece about workers in synthetic dye houses making the transition to natural.
Natural dyes are an ancient method of dying fabrics and yarns and are experiencing a resurgence in use due to an awareness surrounding environmental disruption of synthetic dyes and their toxicity . They provide wellness benefits and unlike synthetic dyes are beneficial to the local ecosystems. We’ve partnered with a local dye company that takes their environmental impact seriously. First, a cistern is used to collect rainwater for use in the dye process. The natural dyes are all locally foraged or sourced from fair trade partners. Finally, the exhausted dye baths are used as fertilizer for local crops and the dye stuffs are composted so as nothing is gone to waste.
What better way to provide a better future to our children, then to dress them in responsibly made clothes that benefit everyone!
Shop our naturally-dyed pieces here.