Our mineral dyes
At Spiridon, we have chosen to use environmentally friendly dyes, we explain why.
Dyeing in the world of fast fashion
For centuries, textile dyes came mainly from plants. Of course, we were far from the bright colors that we can find today in fast fashion stores… The process was much more respectful of the environment. Things started to change at the beginning of the 19th century with industrialization.
“We can predict the next fashionable color, by looking at the color of the rivers in China”.
This chilling quote from Orsola de Casto, co-founder of fashion revolution, is close to reality. This is what we can see in the documentary RiverBlue , in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the waters are hyper polluted, the aquatic biodiversity has been completely destroyed, because certain toxic products prevent the survival of any living species.
There are many examples like the one in Dhaka, India, China… The Li River in Xiantang, once dubbed "Pearl of China", due to the use of lead and mercury for dyeing jeans, today today, it is impossible to fish or to consume the water of the river.
Thousands of chemicals are used to make the dyes, sometimes they use tar derivatives or heavy metals. This necessarily and intrinsically has an impact on the health of the people who make these clothes and fabrics, with hormonal imbalances or even cancers. And if these products have a direct and obvious impact on workers, it also has an impact on consumer health.
Labor and environmental protection legislation in Asia is sometimes non-existent. It is for this reason that many fast fashion brands decide to manufacture in these countries, because “everything” is allowed there, to increase profits.
If some brands are not sensitive to these issues, it is unthinkable at Spiridon to offer sportswear that is dangerous for both people and the environment.
Faced with the challenges facing our society and our planet, we have chosen to favor mineral dye.
Mineral dye, a sustainable and ethical solution
As you will have understood, the consequences of fast fashion are disastrous. Given the values we have held since the creation of Spiridon , it was impossible for us to create sportswear without respect for the environment and people.
When we looked for workshops to make our clothes, we discovered mineral dye at our partner Pératex.
This ancient technique was used mainly in Asia and Africa, the oldest clothes found and dyed with minerals date from the 6th century.
We have selected a workshop with a responsible practice that respects the life cycle of soils, uses natural materials such as clay, natural salts and earth minerals.
Compared to chemical dyeing techniques, mineral dyeing consumes much less water, energy and toxic products, and if certain chemicals are used, they are GOTS certified .
Also, mineral dye is much less dangerous for the planet and health, and we LOVE that!
Mineral dye has another advantage, it is resistant over time to washing, water, perspiration, friction and light...
Well, it was important for us to talk about this subject and to inform you about the impact of dyes. Alternatives exist, each brand can offer techniques and solutions, regardless of the size of the structure.
At Spiridon, we have decided to go even further in our ethical and eco-responsible brand objectives, which is why we have chosen mineral dye for our new cotton collection.
The origin of mineral pigments, some examples.
LAPIS-LAZULI: metamorphic rock composed of lazurite and calcite, it is one of the main sources of blue pigment.
AZURITE: high quality blue pigment. copper carbonate
CALCANTITE : high quality copper sulphate blue pigment.
HEMATITE: the ocher red color comes from this mineral.
CINABRIUM : less intense red pigments intense red pigments are obtained from this mineral
REALGAR : less intense red pigments intense red pigments are obtained from this mineral
MALAQUIT: one of the minerals used to obtain green dye.