Fast Fashion Industries need to take notes on Natural Dyes

As an Indian, I am very well aware of how important religious ceremonies are to us. Be it any religion, Indians love to celebrate their devotion to god. And following this devotion, there comes the immense offering.
 
When it comes to seeking blessings from a deity, Indians will spare no efforts. From peace offering some cash into the charity box, to feeding the poor, we will do anything for Bhagwan ka Ashirwad! (God’s blessings).
 
However, among all such expressions of thanksgiving, floral offerings remain the authentic ritual. Visiting a Mandir (temple) and not offering flowers?
 
Thousands of people visit temples every day. The amount of flowers received is huge and so is the waste. This waste is either dumped, discarded into the rivers/seas, or composted (if someone’s wise enough).
 

So is there a solution to this? There is. Just stop littering! Devotion should not come at the cost of nature. 

However, India does have various communities that recycle temple waste. Let’s take a look at one such community that is making natural dyes out of the floral waste.

Natural Dyes By Adiv Pure Nature

Located in Andheri, Mumbai, Adiv Pure Nature is a group of thoughtful advocates of nature. The team led by Rupa Trivedi aims to popularize the use of natural dyes in textiles. This is to create a fashion chain that complements the circular economy.

Understanding the aftereffect of temple waste, Adiv gave birth to the ‘Temple Project’. The team says,
 
“The Temple Project aims to create a dye palette that is 100% based on recycled temple waste. And applying it in a scientific manner to achieve beautiful textiles with excellent fastness properties.”
 
Since 2008, Adiv Pure Nature is collecting floral waste from the famous Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple of Mumbai. Vinod Mahadeshwar, a diligent worker at the temple collects about 150 kilograms of floral offering every week. The collection is then delivered to Rupa’s workshop at Andheri. The best part is, Siddhi Vinayak Temple is doing this for free. 
 

Did You Know?

Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple is often visited by more than 30 thousand people each day. The number increases to 1 lakh on Tuesdays (Tuesday is specifically dedicated to Lord Ganesha). Imagine the volume of the offerings!

Natural Dyes - The Procedure

Once the floral waste reaches the workshop, the flowers are first dried. The team works with fresh and powdered flowers as well. 
 
For dyeing, the artisans first note the weight of the fabric. With reference to this weight, they determine the volume of rest of the ingredients.
 
The fabric is then boiled with calculated proportions of water and alum. Once boiled, the artisans sprinkle the petals over the fabric, fold it, and steam it. After this procedure, the fabric is twitched such that the petals fall off, washed, and dried. And just like that, the cloth is hand-dyed!
 

Adiv creates amazing natural dyes with a variety of ingredients. This include marigolds, roses, coconut husks, hibiscus, onions, pomegranate, tea, etc among others. The craftsmen then tailor the dyed fabric into beautiful scarves and other clothing items. 

What I Find Impressive is..

After making the dyes, Adiv further sends the floral waste for composting. The right disposal of this floral waste is necessary as they often contain pesticides. And if they’re discarded into rivers, the pesticides can pollute the water and further harm the ecosystems. Thus, the team does it’s best to ensure eco-conscious practices. 
 
Another impressive thing is that the artisans at Adiv are all self-taught, and not to forget, their products are handstitched. Moreover, most of the working staff comes from challenging backgrounds. Adiv has given them the opportunity to have a profession. Their skillset is being used for the right reasons. Thanks to their wise leader Rupa!
All in all, Rupa Trivedi’s efforts through Adiv Pure Nature is a way towards a greener and a cleaner future. Textile industries or the “fast fashion” industries need to take some serious notes from Adiv.
 
India also has other organizations who work with similar raw materials. There’s ‘Phool‘, found by Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi, who create Florafoam – an eco-friendly thermocol! Phool also produce incense sticks and cones, vermicompost, and organic Gulaal. All this out India’s temple waste!
 
Smart entrepreneurs such as Rupa, Karan, and Ankit make sustainability sound so effortless. And we Indians while expressing devotion, must show simultaneous care towards nature as well. 
 
Responsible citizenship towards India and our planet must go hand in hand. 

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