Have you ever dyed clothes yourself with chemical textile dye? I can tell you, it’s a really messy business, toxic and it wastes lots of water. Especially with the black dye (and even more so when your plastic gloves have a hole and your hands and nails are black/grey for quite some days). Now, have you ever heard of the kids who dye and sand down your jeans? If not, take a moment for some research on the internet. Not only it’s child labour/abuse/enslavement, but also very very bad for their health. And imagine all the water pollution this process causes!
Go, buy some black or jeans-blue dye, dye one single jeans, and then think about the misery you cause to this world and its inhabitants.
That’s one of the reasons why I try to buy as many clothes as possible secondhand now. Of course sometimes I’d rather buy a brand new pair of jeans or pants, but then I ask myself why/if I need them (and if I can afford them, haha). Most of the time the answer in my head is “no, I don’t really need them”. If I really need something for a very special occasion (or in the future, when I’ll be working in a real job, when I might need some “dressy” office wear), I will buy a piece of new clothing, but I’ll try to chose a good quality with as little misery in tail as possible.
I don’t know a good solution for the whole dyeing issue now, but I’ll do some research on natural dyes when I’ll be done with moving apartments. Of course there is no natural black dye, but I’m fine with brown clothes ;) I like dyeing clothes and I like colours, but realizing all the toxins I expose other people (and myself) by this love makes me shiver. If you don’t believe me, go to a store and sniff up a cheap pair of jeans. Do you smell the chemicals? Ugh. Bleeh. The fumes give me a headache in many clothes stores.
Next time anyone tries to convert me to vegeterianism or veganism because of the “unhappy animals”, I’ll ask them where they got their clothes. Yes, it is our duty to take care of this planet and all the animals, but still I think that child abuse and contaminating this planet with toxins is worse than eating animals who lived a not-so-nice but still pretty healthy life. (Of course we shouldn’t kill animals for fun and I think it’s important to consume only a reasonable amount of meat and leather goods!)
If you have any experience with natural, non-toxic dyes, I would be more if you would share them with me!