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According to the World Bank, 17-20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. 72 toxic chemicals in our water come solely from textile dyeing, of which 30 cannot be removed. According to a study done by the research wing of China’s state council, the biggest source of water pollution in the textile manufacturing process is the runoff from synthetic dye that flows directly into the environment, deeming China’s drinking water unsafe. Rivers run red, or chartreuse, or teal, depending on what color is in fashion that season with untreated toxic dyes washing off from mills.
It also decreases light penetration and photosynthetic activity, in turn leading to damage in the aquatic environment. Synthetic dye workers are also exposed to highly toxic, carcinogenic dyes that can be absorbed in the skin after prolonged exposure.
At Kateson, hand dyeing in beneficial botanical/herbal dyes is the foundation of our philosophy. Our dyeing process offers an ecologically friendly alternative to synthetic dyes since they come from plants, which are renewable non-toxic resources and biodegradable. The dyes are also literally living color - yielding subtle, complex, glowing hues that belong to nature alone.
Perfect for babies
Babies chew and suck on anything in proximity. What we put on their skin should be pure enough to eat, because the skin, as the body’s largest organ, will absorb it. Not to mention, a baby’s skin is thinner, more porous and more absorbent than an adult. What touches their skin should be as natural and safe as possible for their well being and the health of our planet. Not only should the natural fiber they wear be 100% organic, but the dyes should be safe enough to consume. After the dyeing process, the dye water should be used to nourish the land it came from. In South India, newborn babies are wrapped in fabric dyed in our chosen botanicals, acting as an antibacterial barrier for the baby. Clothing is used as a means to protect and heal.
“In India the sensitivity to colour has expressed itself in painting, poetry, music, and in the costumes worn both by peasant and emperor. Raga was the word used both for mood and dye. Colours were surcharged with nuances of mood and poetic association. Red was the colour evoked between lovers: a local Hindi couplet enumerates three tones of red, to evoke the three states of love; of these, manjitha, madder, was the fastest, for like the dye, it could never be washed away. Yellow was the colour of Vasant, of spring, of young mango blossoms, of swarms of bees, of southern winds and the passionate cry of mating birds. Nila, indigo, was the colour of Krishna, who is likened to a rain-filled cloud. But there is another blue, Hari Nila, the colour of water in which the sky is reflected. Gerua, saffron, was the colour of the earth and of the yogi, the wandering minstrel, the seer and the poet who renounces the earth. These colours when worn by peasant or emperor were but a projection of the moods evoked by the changing seasons. The expression of mood through colour and dress was considered of such consequence that special colours were prescribed to be worn by a love-sick person and a person observing a vow.” Pupu Jayakar, textile scholar, Marg (XV,4,1962)