The Road Less Travelled
Natural dyeing at home is a fun D.I.Y project that is easy and inexpensive. Whether you want to spice up your wardrobe or want to avoid buying new clothes, this is for you. Before we start exploring some colours you can find in the kitchen, let’s make sure you are dyeing the right kind of fabric.
Natural dyes bond better to natural fibres. To achieve the best results, make sure you’re using fabric that is made up of non-synthetic fibres. There are two categories of natural fibres; protein (wool, silk, and soybean) and cellulosic (cotton, flax/ linen, and hemp). If you’re using a piece of clothing you already own, find its content label and make sure it’s made from the right fibre.
Now that we have covered what kind of fabric to dye, let’s explore the possible natural dyes you can create from items found in your kitchen.
Commonly used in curries, turmeric powder is great for attaining naturally bright yellow dyes. Be careful when using this spice as it may stain skin or other fabrics it comes in contact with during the dyeing process. The more turmeric powder you use, the more pigmented your dye bath may become.
Avocados are naturally great for dyeing. Go ahead and enjoy your guac because we’ll only be using the skins and stones (seeds) for this one. The skins and stones both create different colours. For a rosy orange, use the stones for dyeing. If you’re looking to achieve a soft red, then you’ll be utilizing the skins. By using the inedible parts of an avocado, you’re reducing your carbon footprint by creating less waste!
Time to spill the tea on tea. Teas are a no brainer for natural dyeing. They enrich your hot cup with beautiful colours and will do the same for your D.I.Y projects. Not all teas will give you the same colour as they brew, so make sure you’re choosing one that’s right for you. Black tea brews a deep brown but will create an orange dye. Rooibus brews an amber colour and creates a light brown dye.
Known as a symbol of love in antiquity, this fruit creates a love-ly natural dye. We all know how difficult it is to cut up a pomegranate, but rest assured it is easy to attain a yellow dye by using those left-over leathery skins.
This tearjerker will have you crying tears of joy after seeing the beautiful colours it can produce. Save the skins from your red onions and help yourself to easy natural rosy dyes. All those tears will be worth reducing your waste at home, so don’t sweat it!
If you aren’t already enticed by the possibilities these kitchen items have, try tie dying. Fun and easy to do, tie dyeing is a simple method to make your clothes look stylish and groovy. Shop our natural tie dyed Lismer Long Sleeve Shirt at https://www.libertyclothing.com/collections/highline/products/tie-dye-lismer-long-sleeve-shirt-1
Liberty Clothing was founded by Anne Joyce in 1989. Her dream to become a designer came true when she designed her first her first line of clothing featured recycled and reworked denim and leather. The line was an overnight success and was sold in over 170 retailers in North America. In 1992 a recession hit the North American market and many of the retail partners found themselves out of business. As luck would have it, a camp director called to inquire about designing clothing for his camp and a new market opened up for Anne and her team at Liberty. Today, Liberty Clothing is recognized as the number #1 brand in the camping market and first to market with a line of hemp clothing in the cannabis space. Some of the other markets that Liberty services are schools, corporate, retail and the alcohol industry.
After 30 years in business Anne’s gone back to her roots and designed a line of renewable and sustainable eco fashion sourced from Hemp and organic materials, every step in the production process has been thoughtfully considered. The line that she calls Liberty High LineTM has been embraced by conscience consumers that want to wear natural, organic and ethically sourced products. Plans are underway for an even more environmental line she calls Liberty ReduxTM which features reworked and repurposed fashions.
We sat down with Anne to dive deeper into what inspires her and how Liberty Clothing will help pave a greener future.
How did Liberty Clothing begin?
Well I had just sold BCBG and I was just coming out of a poor partnership. I thought that Liberty would be a great name that would work both in the U.S and in Canada to represent your freedom. Sometimes when you have bad relationships, whether it be personal or business, there’s a relief that comes from being free. So, I just thought that Liberty was suitable name for a new company.
What is the mission at Liberty Clothing?
We want to create products that will last, we want to offer a sustainable alternative to consumers. A summer at camp experience can change a kid’s life and we wanted our products to be a part of those memories of camp comradery and outdoor adventure. Camp memories can last a lifetime so why shouldn’t the clothing be long lasting as well? We also believe in reducing our carbon footprint. Our High Line collection was designed to be manufactured as eco-friendly as possible, using solar power and natural fibres to create clothing that not only feel good but are good for our planet too. Our slogan “Make everyday Count” reflects our outlook on living life to the fullest each day.
What was the idea behind utilizing hemp as your primary fabric for the High Line collection?
I had designed a line of hemp clothing in the early 1990’s and just fell in love with the fabric and the plant. But at the time hemp was still very taboo and had some bad press. Fast forward to 2015 and the Cannabis market is just starting to grow in North America. I had the opportunity to invest in some great start ups in the space and so Hemp was a natural progression for us. The Green revolution has hit the world and consumers are being educated about the benefits of hemp. We feel it can really save the world so we wanted to do our part. The fashion industry is a big polluter, so we explored alternative options, fabrics and methods to making clothes and we found hemp to be a great solution. Hemp is durable, anti-microbial, and comfortable to wear. It uses far less water than traditional cotton and it decomposes, so old clothes won’t pile up at landfills.
When did Liberty first start using hemp?
In the early 1990’s I was approached by a group who were early activists within the Cannabis industry and they wanted me to design the interior and merchandise for a retail store in Montreal. At the time hemp was really expensive and no one really understood the fabric but the product was beautiful and I learned about the many benefits of Hemp. Ultimately, the timing just wasn't right. With the passing of the farm bill in the US and legalization in Canada, and many nations, cannabis now has a wider more educated audience and has given the hemp industry new life.
Liberty Clothing gives 1% of profits to Children’s Camping charities. Why is that important to you?
A week at camp can help a kid to grow confident, make new friends, and giving them a better understanding of nature. Since camp is part of our roots at Liberty Clothing it’s important that we keep sight of this, which is why we began our give back program. 1% of our profits are donated to camp programs that send underprivileged kids to camp.
You’ve said that Liberty is offering an alternative to fast fashion, what do you see as the future for fashion?
Quality and sustainability over speed. Our design and sourcing practices are thoughtful we want to know where the yarn is coming from, where the fibre is spun, who our cut and sew team members are and how they are treated as well as how the garments are dyed and finished. No detail is too small for us, we care about the item being used for long term. Fast Fashion ends up falling apart, and then ultimately in a landfill and unable to decompose because of it’s polyester content. This is one of the reasons Fast Fashion is so environmentally destructive.
How do you see Liberty Clothing influencing the future of the fashion industry?
If we could get consumers to incorporate 50% sustainable items in their wardrobes we’d see a big change in the environment. We hope to inspire, collaborate and educate more companies and consumers to follow in our footsteps so that together we can create a better future for the next generations to come.
In a time when society becomes more in tune with climate change and eager move towards a greener future, hemp seems to be the eco-friendly alternative to replace products that are harmful to the environment such as; plastics, fossil fuels, paper and more. Hemp is a highly efficient plant for fibre production, yielding three times more fibre per acre than cotton. It also requires less than half the amount of water than cotton does, and it does not require the use of pesticides and herbicides. We also love that hemp agriculture is regenerative, meaning its production returns nutrients back into the soil for the next harvest.
In addition to being a planet friendly option for industrial products, here are six benefits to owning hemp clothing.
Hemp fibres offer natural protection from the sun’s rays with their anti-ultraviolet properties. Wearing a long sleeve hemp shirt helps reduce sunscreen needed on a hot summer’s day.
Breathable and Insulating
Hemp fabric is also breathable, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy a hot summer’s day comfortably. They also double down with insulating properties to keep you warm when the season changes.
Hemp fibres have also been found to have both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This means that hemp clothing does not hold odour so it can be worn longer before washing. This is a feature celebrate when wearing hemp all day long!
Hemp is the strongest natural plant fibre. Its anti-abrasive properties allow hemp garments to last longer, reducing the amount of landfill waste caused by the fashion industry.
Softer over Time
Hemp wears in, not out, becoming softer with each wear and wash. This means your favourite hemp tee will maintain its color and quality over time.
Hemp fibres are also biodegradable! By choosing to buy hemp, you will gain confidence knowing that your old hemp garments aren’t just sitting in a landfill somewhere.
The Liberty Clothing High Line collection features hemp and organic cotton and is inspired by our mission to create high quality sustainable fashion for our community to love and enjoy.
Shop the High Line here.