People are becoming more aware of alternate textile-producing methods. It is the world’s second most polluting industry. Indeed, clothing usage generates a large amount of CO2 and consumes an excessive amount of water. Alternatives, such as natural (or vegetable) dye, are highlighted to offset these environmental disadvantages.
Natural dyes are those that are obtained from plants (roots, stems, leaves, and flowers), insects, minerals, or organic sources. Natural dyes were once popular among humans, but synthetic dyes gradually surpassed them in terms of ease of use and versatility. However, the importance of natural dyes and why you should buy natural-dyed clothing will be discussed in this article.
Natural dyes are non-toxic to the environment since they are made entirely of natural and renewable resources. Plants, fruits, minerals, and insects are used to make them, and they use less water than synthetic colours. For example, a natural indigo vat might persist for months. Simply restock with the required components.
Contribute to rural economic development
Natural dyeing is mostly an artisanal process. There is a high demand for labour, creating chances for all those engaged in the cultivation, extraction, and processing of these colours. To get the ideal colours that will endure over time, it takes time and a lot of experimenting to develop natural dye formulations. Plants, fruits, and minerals are used to create natural hues. From one dye bathe to the next, a variable dose of each pigment might result in a distinct hue or tint. This necessitates meticulous attention to doses and dyeing times.
Non-toxic and non-allergic
It’s critical to understand that many natural colours have antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties. As a result, they’re an excellent substitute for synthetic dyes in clothing. Because the majority of natural colours do not contain any poisonous or chemical materials, they are not harmful to individuals, or their skin, or can cause health problems. Natural dyes frequently exhibit antimicrobial properties. Synthetic dyes for children’s clothing can be easily substituted. People with allergies are more interested in clothing made with natural dyes because synthetic clothing contains hazardous components.
Natural dyes absorb more UV light in the materials to which they are applied. Wearing organically coloured clothing may help to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. UV protection of naturally-dyed garments and synthetic-dyed fabrics has been compared in studies conducted at the University of Colorado. Natural-coloured materials discovered were found to be more skin-friendly. Using darker natural colours improves UV protection. Textiles coloured indigo, madder, and cochineal are examples of this. Furthermore, the greater the level of protection, the more concentrated the colour in the cloth.
Varied Colour Palette
Natural dyes for fabrics can be found in abundance. When dyed with natural dyes, each hue has harmonious nuances. Synthetic colours will never be able to compete with them. These colours are “living,” changing with time, in the shade or the sun, and the shades vary slightly. Because these plants can have a variety of dyeing principles, they work well together. Madder, for example, has 19 distinct varieties, explaining the plant’s extraordinary range of tints and colours. The synthetic simply cannot compete.
Saves Fossil Fuels
Almost all synthetic colourants are made from petrochemical sources. As a result, toxic chemical colouring processes endanger the environment. Whereas natural dyes do not harm the environment and save fossil fuels for us.
Good for sensitive skin
Plant-dyed fabrics are suitable for all skin types, including the most sensitive, such as newborns, because they do not contain any toxic ingredients. Did you know that until the age of three, a baby’s skin is considered “immature”? Synthetic colours may be extremely harmful to our skin and health, such as the carcinogenic azo dyes, which have only been banned in Europe since 2003. Furthermore, it is almost certain that certain currently legal items will be prohibited in the future because they are too dangerous.
Natural colours are made entirely of biodegradable materials, which is beneficial to the environment. Synthetic dyes pollute significantly because the wastewater is dumped directly into rivers or streams near the facilities, where it is still poorly recycled. It is still necessary to emphasize the importance of recycling dyeing water, as is the case with GOTS-certified materials, for example. Even the water used to make natural colours, if used in large quantities, must be recycled because, while the chemicals are biodegradable, they are still harmful to the ecosystem, which would never receive this volume of goods naturally.
We hope that all of these factors have increased your awareness. We strongly support natural dyes and other alternatives to protect the environment, which is currently in grave danger. Natural dyes are a nice idea, but they have a cost. Your textiles and clothing require a lot more attention. Natural-coloured clothing, for example, will last longer if washed with eco-friendly detergent. Natural dye is also not suitable for all types of clothing. Natural-coloured loungewear, close-fitting clothing, and undergarments are permitted, but natural-coloured athletics are not.