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The Sustainable Dyearies: The Core of Dyeraid Part 3

Here we are friends, back together again to get real personal about all things Dyeraid. If you have a minute and want to catch up to speed, check out Part1: the History of Natural Dye and Part 2: Natural vs. Synthetic Dye. Reading those may help you understand this entry more.

So far we have defined what Natural Dye is, discovered how Synthetic Dye came to be, compared & contrasted Natural vs. Synthetic Dye and explained why Natural Dye is more sustainable (phew I am tired 🥵.) Now, we have dig deeper and get vulnerable. This entry will be focused on why it matters, why I chose natural dye specifically and some of the future impact plans I have for Dyeraid.

Why It Matters

When I say "it", I mean making conscious decisions that positively affect planet and people. Did you know that the global apparel market reached a value of 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020 (Shahbandeh, 2021)? That is10x Elon Musk's net worth! This affluent industry employs more than 75 million workers worldwide (Global Garment and Textile Industries, 2018)). WOAH. With this large of an industry, every decision in the supply chain has a large ripple affect (P.S. supply chain is just a fancy term for all the steps involved in order to get that free people dress to you!) The global apparel market is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry (Rogerson, 2017).

Remember the photos of the Citarum River? Ever seen a clothing landfill? These are two examples of the negative effects that supply chain decision making in this large of an industry has on our planet.

The Citarum River. (Tarahita and Rakhmat, 2018)

The Dandora Dumpsite (Rogerson,2017).

Guys, we haven't even talked about the fact that only an estimated 2% of those 75 million fashion workers are paid a livable wage ("oh man Kara, another day, get on with it") (Able, 2021). Long story long, making conscious decisions in production that benefit planet and people is crucial.

With such a large industry at our fingertips, we can make decisions that help to create a brighter, more sustainable future for people and planet.

Why I Chose Natural Dye

Natural Dye is only one of the many decisions that can make a large impact on sustainability when implemented properly. After ongoing curiosity and years of education on the unethical supply chain I knew I wanted to challenge the culture of the fashion industry by creating impact & transformative opportunities. I am kept awake at night wondering how we can use this $1.5 trillion industry to fuel meaningful change in the world and for our planet.

One day, I went to the drawing board. You can read the full story on the Genesis of Dyeraid another time. To keep it short and sweet I found myself with a lot of free time and inspiration to do something valuable with it. I decided to investigate methods of natural dyeing and found there are so many amazing ways to create color in a more sustainable way for the consumer - check out the chart below 😉. Now, I get to educate you guys on more sustainable and environmentally friendly efforts that are available in the products you love and want to fill your lives with.

- said chart -

All in all, synthetic dyes solved more surface level issues about what fashion "should" look like, while creating horrible repercussions on the environment & its habitants. That exchange is not worth it to me; so, I set out to build a company on a "Net Positive" infrastructure. What does that mean? Dr Katrina ole-MoiYoi at Kering defines Net Positive as, "a new way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and global economy than it takes out (Hollender, 2015)." This is where our goals for the future come in.

Future Impact Plans

Listen, Dyeraid is far from perfect. Knowing that, I want to be honest & transparent with you because I value you as my supportive community of sustainable doers and dreamers. Guys this is where we get personal! I want to share the list of our current sustainable practices and a few of our new sustainability objectives so you have a better picture of the mission and vision of Dyeraid.

C u r r e n t S u s t a i n a b l e P r a c t i c e s:

- Commitment to using 100% Sustainably Sourced Dyes.
- Assurance all workers who extract our Dyes Earn a fair living wage.
- Guarantee of no use of toxic mordants or dyes in our Dyeing process.
- Committed to pollution reduction from using only natural dyes and optimizing water consumption.
- Low/ No Fabric Waste - all scraps are being used to create new collections of products
- No synthetic fiber use, only naturally occurring fibers used to create all Dyeraid products.

S u s t a i n a b i l i t y O b j e c t i v e s:

1. All Cotton products sourced to be 100% Organic or CMIA (or equally) certified.
2. Holistic sustainability initiatives with tailors/ seamstresses that sew our products to include education, employment etc.
3. Complete and full traceability and transparency of product to origin.
4. Receive Fair Trade Certification by 2025
BIG REACH GOAL: Achieve a zero-net output of water.

That's the list. I almost feel slightly naked. It is very vulnerable sharing these things with you, but if I don't then I have no one to hold me accountable and you remain uneducated on your purchases, and no one wants either of those.

I truly hope our steps can eventually produce Net Positive results for the planet. I am always learning, as we all always should be learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of those before us. The important thing is not to stop at learning, but to act. Act toward creating a brighter more sustainable future.


Kara Jo



"About ABLE." ABLE. Web. 18 May 2021.

GLOBAL GARMENT AND TEXTILE INDUSTRIES Workers, Rights and Working Conditions. Solidarity Center, 2018. PDF.

Hollender, Jeffrey. "Net Positive: The Future of Sustainable Business (SSIR)." Stanford Social Innovation Review: Informing and Inspiring Leaders of Social Change. 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 May 2021.

Rogerson, Caitriona. Dandora Dumpsite. Nairobi, Kenya.

Charpail, Mathilde. "Environmental Impacts of the Fashion Industry." SustainYourStyle. 2017. Web. 18 May 2021.

Shahbandeh, M. "Topic: Apparel Market Worldwide." Statista. 2 Jan. 2021. Web. 18 May 2021.

Tarahita, Dikanaya, and Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat. "Indonesia's Citarum: The World's Most Polluted River." – The Diplomat. For The Diplomat, 28 Apr. 2018. Web.

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