Why natural dyes?
To know why we use natural dyes, you should learn about what we are not using. Many of the dyes used for organic fabrics are known as low-impact dyes. While they are better for the environment than traditional synthetic dyes, they are not perfect. Low-impact dyes, like all synthetic dyes, are still made from petrochemicals. That means that they are not very eco-friendly and therefore not as great for the planet as natural dyes. Low-impact dyes are also known for not using much water compared to traditional dyes but even if you were to dye your own t-shirt at home with natural dyes you would still use less water than low-impact dyes do on average.
The Aral sea dried up from irrigation in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to supply food and cotton for the USSR. It is one of the largest examples of human caused environmental change in the world.
NAtural IS BETTER
Natural dyes require a different type of labor to create and use efficiently. Because they are grown crops they can sometimes require more water and energy to cultivate but there are no petrochemicals used and all of the leftover materials can be composted. We think this is a fair trade, plus some of the dyes are incredibly economic in terms of energy and water used.
The materials used for scouring and mordanting natural dyes is also safer for the environment than those used for traditional dyes and low-impact dyes. Everything used in the production of natural dyes can be safely disposed of into your home garden or even in water ways.
Perhaps most importantly to us, natural dyes can most safely be composted once the fabric has lived its full life. Low-impact dyes can also be composted but the final product is not organic unlike with natural dyes.