Natural dyes : better for you and global waterways
While we spend a lot of time thinking about our health, how much do we think about our skin? Our skin is our largest organ, protecting our other systems from the outside world. Do you ever think about what your skin absorbs? If you rub garlic on your feet (gross, I know) then ask someone to smell your breath, it will smell like garlic. Organic beauty products have become very popular in the past few years as people started reading the label and deciding that they didn’t want to lather up in a list of unknown chemicals anymore.
Where do our clothes come from and what are they made of?
The same goes for what we wear. While your little ones may spend a reasonable amount of time with no clothes on, most of us have fibers sitting on the surface of our skin constantly. Modern textile dyeing in mass market production focuses on vibrant, consistent, durable color. In order to produce these perfect hues, factories use fiber reactive dyes that contain toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals used on textile production sit on skin all day when one wears synthetically dyed fibers. We absorb what we wear. 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.
Okay, enough gross stuff. The green movement within fashion has prompted the exploration of low impact dyes, no water dyes, and natural dyes. Natural dye is a textile color made using plant material. Plant based dyes are how we colored our clothing for thousands of years before the industrial revolution. They are easy to dispel without disrupting the environment, as well as nontoxic next to the skin. Just as exciting is the variation in tone. Because the ingredients are plant based, pieces dyed in a different dye pot with the same recipe might come out slightly different, making the garments unique batch to batch.
Changing our habits is difficult. It would be impossible in the current fashion climate to throw everything we have away and only purchase and wear naturally dyed garments. However making small steps to change our habits goes a long way. You can shop our naturally-dyed pieces here.