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Bringing a dye back from the dead -- luxury jeans tinted a long dormant blue

Eco & Sustainability

As we’re sure you know, jeans are traditionally made from denim, a rugged cotton dyed blue using indigo. Before indigo came around, however, the only source of blue dye in Europe was a flowering plant called woad, or glastum. (How’s that for unexpected trivia 😉 The woad industry was wiped out in the late sixteenth century, when traders started importing shiploads of indigo from the Far East. An Italian fashion brand—Dondup—is now working on the forgotten commodity’s comeback. Guado, as it’s called in Italian, is being used to dye the company’s new ‘Essentia’ line. Wholeheartedly embracing the still made here trend, Dondup focuses on guado’s history, casting it as the original, local shade of blue. Naturally, Essentia apparel is made from organic cotton, and for colours other than blue, Dondup also works with natural dyes that have been used for centuries, like rose madder and blackberry. What works for once-dormant brands—think the Volkswagen Beetle or Tretorn sneakers, could work for unbranded goods, too, yielding their rediscoverers instant authenticity and stories to share. Time to start digging in the (art) history books 😉 Spotted by: Laura Penna



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