Introduction to Ethical Dyes and Finishes

Introduction to Ethical Dyes and Finishes

Stephanie Steele Tuesday, 1 February 2022

The dyeing process is one of the most polluting parts of the fashion supply chain. An estimated 17-20% of all industrial water pollution comes from fabric dyeing and treatment. When sourcing ethical fabrics, it is crucial to consider the dyes, treatments and finishes used in their production to ensure a product has as little impact as possible, particularly if toxic chemicals or water scarcity are high on your list of priorities of problems to combat.

In this Lesson, we consider key areas of dyes and finishes to help support your sourcing of ethical fabrics. We look at both chemical and natural dyes, and the terminology, standards and certifications you should have on your radar when sourcing. The Lesson contains a compilation of previous tutorials to ensure a holistic overview of ethical dyes and finishes.

In this Lesson you will learn:

  • What dyeing is and how a dye lab chooses the dye they use, along with how they limit dyestuffs, energy and water
  • Why different dyestuffs are used for different fibres, and why it is prudent to understand these when sourcing ethically
  • Standards and certifications a dye lab would need to comply with for safety
  • How to work with a dye lab and encourage more sustainable practices

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Next Lesson

  • How To Source Fabrics: Textile Trade Show Calendar

    with Stephanie Steele

    We are delighted to present this Textile Trade Show Calendar.

    This matrix contains our personal research into recommeded and suggested trade shows that exhibit fabrics, materials, trims, components, manufacturers and services, and finished products. We are sharing this research because of our commitment to helping designers and makers across all industries source all the ethical textiles, materials and fabrics they require.

    Please read and respect the terms of use before contacting these producers.