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Showing Nature’s Colors With Plant-Based Dyes

For the SS22 season, among many other innovations, we chose to introduce fully natural, plant-based dyes in three models – Acácia and Amora for Grown-Ups, Amora Play for Kids.

This represents further conscious steps towards sustainability for us, as we have so far used plant-based natural fibers like hemp, linen and organic cotton as well as GOTS certified pigments to dye these fabrics, yet we had yet to experiment with naturally dyed fabrics.

We are conscious about the coloring of our shoes, often opting to buy fabrics raw and dyeing them ourselves to not only achieve the best and most consistent tone possible, but also ensure the dyeing processes are up to GOTS – and our – standards. That is what we hope to do in the future with naturally dyed fabrics, tackling several issues such as waste and water consumption, while making beautifully colorful shoes.

So how are natural dyes different from GOTS certified pigments?
So far, we have used GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified pigments. These are mostly non harmful pigments of natural, even organic origin, but much like other organic products, they can still have an impact on the environment at large, and a small amount of chemicals may be in their composition.

Modern natural dyes are, as the name suggests, derived from strictly natural sources and aim at having a positive impact on the environment, by using materials that would otherwise go to waste and natural stabilizers to create even, vibrant and stable colors that can be both vegan and free of chemicals, synthetics or other pollutant components.

This ensures that they are non-toxic, maintains the integrity of the textile fibers and since the dyeing is done through immersion in most cases, they can be water efficient, and more importantly, leave a positive impact for the environment.

The Beauty of Nature
Achieving colors through plants can be a fascinating process, as natural colorings can take on different hues, tones and color intensity depending on the quantity of each material that is used, the kind of binding agents, temperature during the process and other factors. This is the reason why the final result can be much different from the color you expect to see, but it’s the beauty of it – at least for us.

An evolved Ancient process
But while this is new for us and our barefoot shoes, the use of natural dyes is a long-standing tradition in various areas of life and society such as art, decoration, makeup and of course, textiles, with reports of natural pigments derived from plants, insects and other natural sources dating as far back as Ancient times.

The practice of using natural dyes continued exclusively until the 19th century, with colors often being a symbol due to their rarity in certain areas, which made them scarcely accessible for the working class. With the 20th century, however, came synthetic pigments, often considered, at first glance, safer and more sustainable, not to mention more stable and vibrant on their own.

So why bring this back now?
With climate change and environmental concerns growing over the past decades, there is a renewed interest for natural dyes and to reinvent them, so that they are vibrant, stable and environmentally friendly, furthering our efforts to make a better world for the present and future generations.

These efforts include using waste from other industries to make the dyes as well as eliminating the chemical stabilizers previously used to make the colors brighter, more brilliant and long-lasting, not to mention making the process more water efficient (something we’d already did with our Obsidian models), thus turning them into a truly natural source of color.

Our relationship with natural dyes is just now getting started. We hope you come join us in this adventure, discovering the beautiful colors to be found in nature, just like we have embraced the plant-based fibers that make up our minimalist shoes for kids and adults.

Natural dyes are vegan, environmentally friendly & produce beautiful, unique hues.

The Beauty of Nature
Achieving colors through plants can be a fascinating process, as natural colorings can take on different hues, tones and color intensity depending on the quantity of each material that is used, the kind of binding agents, temperature during the process and other factors. This is the reason why the final result can be much different from the color you expect to see, but it’s the beauty of it – at least for us.

An evolved Ancient process
But while this is new for us and our barefoot shoes, the use of natural dyes is a long-standing tradition in various areas of life and society such as art, decoration, makeup and of course, textiles, with reports of natural pigments derived from plants, insects and other natural sources dating as far back as Ancient times.

The practice of using natural dyes continued exclusively until the 19th century, with colors often being a symbol due to their rarity in certain areas, which made them scarcely accessible for the working class. With the 20th century, however, came synthetic pigments, often considered, at first glance, safer and more sustainable, not to mention more stable and vibrant on their own.

So why bring this back now?
With climate change and environmental concerns growing over the past decades, there is a renewed interest for natural dyes and to reinvent them, so that they are vibrant, stable and environmentally friendly, furthering our efforts to make a better world for the present and future generations.

These efforts include using waste from other industries to make the dyes as well as eliminating the chemical stabilizers previously used to make the colors brighter, more brilliant and long-lasting, not to mention making the process more water efficient (something we’d already did with our Obsidian models), thus turning them into a truly natural source of color.

Our relationship with natural dyes is just now getting started. We hope you come join us in this adventure, discovering the beautiful colors to be found in nature, just like we have embraced the plant-based fibers that make up our minimalist shoes for kids and adults.

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