We only use natural plant dyes for all our linens. Here’s why.
Our aim as a sustainable business is to make homewares that don’t just look good, but also do some good.
We chose linen for our textile tablewares because it’s strong, lovely to look at and great to touch, but also because of its sustainable qualities. Linen needs around 75% less water than cotton to grown and emits ¼ of the carbon per pound. Natural linen is also completely biodegradable (it can actually degrade in just a few weeks). It’s only when you add synthetic dyes to the mix that the problems really begin.
If you look around your home and in your wardrobe it’s likely that the majority of your textiles and clothes have been coloured using synthetic dyes. Because synthetic dyes are both toxic and non-biodegradable, sadly our love for having a rainbow of hues in our homes and on our backs has caused devastating pollution to our waterways and soil.
There’s also been a huge impact on human health, especially for those working directly with specific synthetic dyes. These dyes contain chemicals which don’t dissipate, but actually evaporate into the air we all breathe and can be absorbed in to the skin. Not only has this issue been linked to certain skin irritations and conditions, but to potentially increasing the risk of cancer.
Our linen is only ever dyed by hand using plants. We work with small natural dye houses in Indonesia who have been making dyes this way for years. They only use the leaves, flowers, bark or fruits of plants and trees, never the roots. So they can keep the lifespan of the plant or tree going for as long as possible, making their work as sustainable as possible.
We knew from the start that plant dyes were special, but experimenting and working with them gave us a whole new appreciation for just how beautiful they are. The colours and finish are different to synthetic dyes in the best way. They look richer and more textured, not flat and perfect. And no two batches of colour will ever be exactly the same, meaning your linen from us will be truly unique.
As always, there’s still room for improvement. Our goal for the future is to work with the dye houses on making Zero Waste dyes using byproducts from local businesses (like restaurants and food companies), as well as finding other ways to make our dye process even more sustainable.