The use of natural dyes is gaining momentum in India with designers shifting to sustainable fashion. Root, stem, flowers, leaves, bark of various plants, minerals and vegetables are all sources of natural dyes, which are considered safe for the environment. Beetroot for purple, turmeric for mustard, and marigold for golden hue are good examples.
“We use nature-based dyes in our products. We source our primary colours like white from limestone, black from iron oxide, yellow from turmeric, blue from indigo, and green from spinach,” Neha Kabra, founder of contemporary womenswear label Maati by Neha Kabra.
Aranya Natural, a Munnar-based company surrounded by greenery and forests all around, also uses all the resplendent natural elements for its dyeing process. The company creates dyes from natural resources like eucalyptus, nilgiri kozha (also called eupatorium, is a kind of plant found in Munnar), tea waste, and pinecones harvested from the forest.
The use of natural dyes helps in preventing pollution, and the water after usage can be used in gardening. “Natural dyes are also essential for workers’ well-being. The Caring Cotton has been working with natural dyes that use bio mordant alum and iron. The dyeing process is done using Jigger machines, so the quality is homogeneous,” said Rubina Ansari, founder and director of The Caring Cotton, which specialises in sourcing sustainable fabrics with special focus on organic cotton and natural dyes.