For fashion brands, adopting sustainable practices, such as using natural dyes, is no longer just a marketing point, but a necessity. According to reports, the fashion industry is responsible for anywhere between 8-10% of global carbon emissions. At least 50% of these emissions are from the dyeing process. Moreover, synthetic and Azo dyes have been found to be carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and endocrine disruptors (they disturb the hormonal balance in the body). They have also been known to cause skin issues such as allergic contact dermatitis.
Natural dyes, on the other hand, are mostly sourced from waste material, which translates to a much lower carbon footprint. In fact, data suggests that manufacturing natural dyes incurs anywhere between 40 to 50% less of a carbon footprint. Natural dyes also do not let effluents into the water bodies, reducing the impact on water bodies. The water treatment or ETP cost could go down by up to 80%, when companies switch to natural dyes. And that’s not all. The sources for these dyes are all renewable and the final products are biodegradable. Besides, these dyes are all non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Promoting natural dyes also benefits rural farmers by generating greater demand for crops. Fun fact: The production of 1kg of bio indigo provides employment to 2 rural farmers. Plus, being a legume crop, it’s better for the ecosystem!