The pioneering natural dye organisation Aranya Natural is celebrating its 25th anniversary in February. A conference, Sustainability of Natural Dyes, workshops and events will mark the occasion, from 22 – 25th February in Munnar, India. Aranya, which specialises in eco-friendly fabric dyes, was set up in the tea-growing hilly region of Munnar in the early nineties to provide employment for the local community.
It was an extension of the Srishti Trust, which runs programs for the education, training and rehabilitation of the differently abled children of Munnar’s tea plantation workers. The Trust found that graduates of its educational programs had nowhere local to work and needed to migrate from the area.
After extensive research into how the Trust and its partner organisations could fill the gap, they discovered the field of natural dyeing. At that time, most commercial dyers in India ignored the nation’s wealth of local techniques, instead using potentially carcinogenic chemicals like azos that were harming the environment. No organisation in the country had fully explored the area of natural dyes and the very few centres that made them didn’t follow environmentally sound processes.
The Trust realised that adopting conscientious practices to create naturally dyed products would ensure the survival of not only natural dyeing techniques, but also the livelihoods of its community. It decided to build a model for responsible eco-friendly processes, quality, and providing well-paying employment to differently abled young people; Aranya Natural was born.
The Sustainability of Natural Dyes conference will include sessions from international natural dye experts from India, Bali, Canada, France, Norway, UK and USA and the workshop includes a Natural Dyes Master Class by Michel Garcia from France, Jagada Rajappa from India, Linda Labelle from United States and Buaisou from Japan.
For more information and to register, visit www.aranyanatural.com