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Love the rainbow but want to avoid toxic dyes in your clothes? These 10 brands are creating naturally dyed garments safe for your skin and the planet.
What are ‘natural dyes’?
Many of us don ourselves in all shades of the rainbow as a form of self-expression, often without thinking twice about how our clothes were coloured. Unfortunately, in the age of fast fashion, consumer demand means 90% of our clothes are dyed synthetically and require incredible amounts of water and often toxic chemicals in production. While numerous traditional dyeing techniques have been used around the world for thousands of years, due to the sheer scale of clothing production today, many of them are not viable on a commercial scale.
However, some brands keep the tradition alive—or embrace modern innovation—by dyeing their garments with what are commonly referred to as “natural dyes”, which are usually made from plants, seeds, barks, lichens, minerals, or even insects. And while natural dye doesn’t automatically make a garment ethical or sustainable (harmful chemicals are still often used to bond dyes to fabric), there are ways to do it in a way that is kinder to your skin, workers, and the planet. Read on to discover the brands that are ethically and sustainably incorporating naturally dyed clothing into their conscious collections.
Note: Some naturally dyed garments’ colouring may shift and fade over time depending on the processing. Be sure to wash with like-colours and embrace the unique looks natural dyeing produces.