Thursday, December 1, 2016

Organic Dying proposal.3

    As designers we have the power to create. We provided the consumer market with what they demand, but we are given a variety of choices. The rise of globalization and corporations has lead many people to fall into a poor cycle that allows for the pollution of our planet and our humanity. Education is ultimately the solution to this problem, because consumers in general are unaware or misinformed on how their clothing is made. Education is what has lead to my own understanding on the need for sustainability. When developing my brand, and collections I aim to strive for the over all best solution. Whether that is buying organic materials, recycling materials, or producing local. This is what inspired us to explore the use of natural dying in fashion industry. Our goal is to build an understanding or why we choose natural dyes verse synthetic dyes
    Because we are dying an organic cotton hemp blend and an cotton blend it is important to understand what does organic mean in textiles. Both of these materials are natural fibers and in theory will take in natural dyes better than say a synthetic fiber like polyester. To be organic it means that the when the farmers were growing the fabric they did not use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. In order to be considered organic the land the cotton has been treated and given at lease three years to remove all of the toxins left from any chemical pesticides and fertilizers that had been previously used one the line. No organic cotton has been made from plans that have been genetically modified. When the fiber is being handled and transformed into the textile organic cotton cannot be treated with any chemical washes, bleaches, colors, or scents.  Studies done on the comparison between the two often say that the quality of the organic cotton is actually better, and that they take the same amount of time to produce equal quantities. The major factor in why most people choose to use chemical treated cotton is tends to be more expensive. It will be interesting to see if treating the fabrics with chemicals effects the way the dyes take (Organic Dying).
    Dyes are compounds used to  leave permanent colors to textiles. The affinity and color fast of the fabrics relay on the chemical structure of the molecules in the textile and dye and how the two interact with each other. Most textiles today are dyes using synthetic aromatic compounds. Using organic natural dyes can be beneficial because they themselves are created is less toxic, less polluting, less health hazardous, non-carcinogenic, and non poisonous. However they are tedious to extract, and the time it requires to make them can be extremely costly. They also tend to produce a product with low color value, which is why many people use mordants to set the color. These mordants can be quite hazardous (Class notes, Dye and Dying). Though there are less hazardous options such as the acid mordant, vinegar, and the basic mordant, Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate). Cotton and cellulose take to an acid dye because they are highly polar by nature, but they do not have good fastness with acid dyes. Thus,  of these fibers are dyed with mordants that add an acidic element to them.This is why people use fixatives such as vinegar.  Fixatives are a type of mordant that don’t contain a metal ion (Class Notes, Mordants).
    For our final project we are dying shirts using natural dyes as well as looking for the color presence and fastness in the dyes. Natural dyes are dyes made from natural materials such as plants, animals, and minerals; natural dyes are also less harmful to the environment.When dyeing our fabrics we will want our colors to be rich in color and mot faded away. We are also looking for the acidity levels using the pH scale to measure them. For our materials we were using organic sheets of cotton and cotton shirts as we are testing our experiment twice. Mordants and fixatives make colors stick onto fabrics and increase the color fastness. From our notes and articles, mordants,  if either a mordant or a fixative isn't used then color could be faded out by sunlight or washed out. We are also using organic material such as Cherries, blueberries, spinach, and turmeric to dye our fabrics. We need to use a mordant or fixative so our colors could stay on the fabrics, our mordant was sodium carbonate mixed with water and vinegar. As we know from our article, article on dyeing and plants, natural dyes are less harmful but require more material and they also lose color easy when compared to synthetic dyes. We need to break down our organic materials in order to extract the color as we did in one of our labs. We will also need to leave our fabrics in the mordants and dyes for a longer period of time in order for them to get more color. In one of the articles I read, color Fastness and Tensile Strength of Cotton Fabric Dyed with Natural Extracts of Alkanna tinctoria by Continuous Dyeing Technique, (second page, second paragraph), if you extract and dye the fabric correctly the color should last for a long time and shouldn't fade away easily. In another fashion article the material we used is easy to find and dye, it also holds the color more when compared to other natural fabrics. Natural dyes require a lot of natural material so color could stay, if we want colors to be deeper we have to use more fruits as well as different ways to extract the dye, this is what we learned from our labs. From an article we read for homework, article on dyes and plants, natural dyes and fabrics are recyclable so it is healthier for the environment. We are going to wash our fabrics after they are dyed in order to test color fastness. When we were mixing our water, vinegar, and sodium carbonate, the sodium carbonate turn hard and created a pH level 11.7 which should change as it dissolves over time. We will also look for which colors stick to the natural fabrics the most.

Objective: To further expand our knowledge of natural dyes and dying, and explore the use of organic textiles.

 Hypothesis: That the organic textiles will preform the same or better than the chemically treated textiles. That they natural dyes will preform a little more irregular than the synthetic dyes, but still produce unique colors.  

Treat  the fabric in a mordant leaving it to soak over a few days. We will than make our dyes and begin dying the fabrics. The mordant is 2 cups soda ash (Sodium Carbonate), 4 oz of vinegar, and 2 gallons of water.
Test the Ph levels of the mordant
Boil water
Take Vegetables and fruits and crush them up.
 Add the vegetables to the water, continue to boil for 45 minutes
Strain the liquid out to separate the dyes.
Test the Ph levels of the dyes.
Create swatches from two materials that will be dyed separately with all the dyes so we can compare.
Dye the larger sheet of organic cotton hemp blend together to compare the natural dyes interact with each other.
Dye the non organic t-shirts with all dyes.
Leave the dye on the fabric over night.
Wash out the dyes.
Compare the synthetic dyes next to the organic dyes on the T-shirt,
Observe if the organic dyes if the organic material absorbed more color than the non organic material.

Does the organic textile absorb the color better than the chemically treated textiles
How do each of the dyes preform? What colors did the dyes create? How even is the color.
How do the natural dyes interact with each other?
How to the natural dyes compare to the synthetic dyes?


    The synthetic dyes as expected performed more evenly with a strong color fast. Compared to the natural dyes who in general washed out creating more of a pastel colors in splotchy patterns. (insert description of all the natural dyes different dyes) On our t-shirts you can barely find some of the natural dyes they become a faint off white  background color. However you can clearly see Turmeric. Turmeric performed with the same color fastness and evenness as the synthetic dyes.  This raises the question of whether it has something to do with the density of the dye. The turmeric produced less dye than the other three natural dye components which had a thicker texture to it.  The downside of this dye was it took the longest to make, because we had to leave the dye to strain overnight.
    Because the colorfastness of the synthetic dyes was better than the colorfastness of the the natural dyes it was easier to compare how the textiles held colorfast on those swatches. The organic materials created much deeper stronger colors. This could be partly, because the original color of the swatches. The organic cotton/ hemp has more of a yellow brown color, apposed to the chemically treated cotton which has been bleached to white. The chemically treated cotton created a more vibrant color. Some of our group members preferred the chemically treated cotton, some of our group member preferred the color of organic. Though there were no differences in the evenness of the color or how much the color bleed when we washed them out. Which verifies that as our background suggests that chemically treating the plants and textiles does not better the quality of the fabrics, and that we should consider the effects the chemicals are having on our environment large scale.
When we did our experiment we messed up a little while setting up our mordant. We should have used hot water to break down the sodium carbonate. Instead we used cold water which cause it to harden. Since we left the textiles soaking in the mordant for an extended period of time it had time to in down into the water. Before we put the textiles in the PH level was 11.7, and when we took the fabrics out the PH level was 11.28. We hypothesis that this happened because the spot we tested had a more concentrated area of mordant (ie. right next to a chunk of the harden sodium carbonate) and over time it spread out more evenly through the 2 gallons of water.  Our mordant is extremely basic.
The PH levels of the dyes are:, Cranberries PH  4.06,  Blackberry PH 5.03 Turmeric PH  6.14,  Spinach/kale PH 6.85, Synthetic Pink PH 7.98, Synthetic green PH 8.28,, and Synthetic Blue PH 8.24. The synthetic Pink was more acidic because we had tried to mix vinegar in the mix. This caused the dye to foum up and uncontrollably overflow the container. We decided that since there was vinger in the mordant that we should skip doing this on the other two dyes, but to note it.  Though some of our dyes are on the basic side of the PH scale they were close to being neutral. 

Work cited:
"Organic Cotton." Organic Facts. N.p., 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <https://>.         This article disused why people should choose organic cotton, and what are the         restrictions on calling cotton organic.

Class notes, Dye and Dying, September 13, 2016- September 19, 2016. 
Class Notes, Mordants, September 20, 2016- September 26, 2016.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Collection make over



(of a person) surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Does anyone wanna go to Bangledesh?

I've decided this morning that I wanna go abroad, but not in your typical collage semester kind of way. I'm watching these videos that talk about the "true cost of fashion", and reading about how after the Rana Plaza collapsed the company who pledged to improve conditions of their factories have not meet critical deadlines. I would love to go Bangladesh as the five year anniversary approaches. I wanna see if the state of these factories are as bad have been portrayed, or if maybe they are approving. I wanna go and feel what its like to be surrounded by these conditions. I want to go to see what could be improved upon. Taking this information back to the states could put pressure on companies to actually make the improvements they promised us. We need to remember that we are a consumer driven market, and businesses make product to suit our needs. So who's down to help me out, and come with me?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Feel the good vibe under you feet in these sneakers

110 €,



Sneakers made with sustainability and morals that should be giving larger companies a run for their $$$  If anyone can find sneakers that are better for me to box and run in comment bellow?


Fair Skater Collection 17 Pewter Grey
€ 48,93
THE WHITMAN White Box Quilt
$ 75.00

Buying a new pair of running shoes as soon as I get my pay check

 I feel like I've entered the rabbit hole of fashion. Where does clothing come from? In design school we talk about this issue, but before that I had never thought about this. You ask a person on the street where their shoes were made and they are gonna say China. However, did you know that Bangladesh and India produce garments too? Do you know what chemicals they use to grow the cotton in your T-shirt? Did you know that there have been links to that chemical giving the local population cancer?  Did you know that some companies are aware of their poor working conditions, but publicly said publicly that they will not make any changes? Please take some time to look at Nike. I until I looked into it was a regular Nike customer. My cheerleader team always bought their cheer shoes, and gush over each others new Nike Pro shorts. I would always buy a fun color pair of running shoes. But, I never thought about the fact that when I wore the swoosh I was endorsing a company that just in my option are the core of evil in the fashion industry. I had never seen a company who after the public addressed that they needed to change the way they produced their products simply say no. They choose to not fix any issues unless their bottom line is effected. So as a costumer I'mma say no. I'm not going to wear a brand on me that says a humans dignity is less important than sales line. 

 Lets see if you disagree after watching this video. Its kinda long, and you have to make it past the first 5 minutes. Make it to when they go to live like how Nike factory live.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Throw back Thursday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


    My goal with my college education is to eventually launch my own personal brand, Trippy. In my design and business classes I’ve spent a lot of time developing what I want that brand to represent. Though from a business standpoint I find corporations interesting, I do not want to work or run one. I’ve found a real need for sustainability in the fashion industry. Personally I want to produce local, because I think we should try to bring the industry home. However, I just did a service trip in Tanzania. I actually went to a workshop similar to the company I’m focusing on, Mayamiko. Mayamiko started off as a service project, but now uses a “Trade not aid” business model. That basically means that they are trying to create a sustainable way for the local community sell products. Founded in 2013 by contemporary designer Paolo Masperi as a way to fuse modern design with traditional African styles.

Product: For their garments they work within the local community in Malawi. They source their fabrics strait from the market places. Buying interesting fabrics in only enough yardage to make a limited number of pieces. This number usually ranges from 10-15 pieces. They also buy a number of hand dyed fabrics from the Malawi Council for the Handicapped. Mayamiko aims to use 90%- 100% of the fabrics they purchases. They are considered part of the zero waste movement. They up-cycle every piece of scrap fabric that hits the work floor into new and interesting peices. They also focus on creating patterns that use a majority of the space on cutting board. For the Namaste collection, a active wear collection inspired by yoga and african spirit used locally woven cotton. The cotton used is 100% GOTs certified organic cotton. They also sell local crafts on their site. Such as soups made from local materials, by local woman in the villages near their location.

Price: The company uses GBP as the currency. A simple tank top may cost as low as £19.00 GBP, and a dress or jumpsuit may run around the £75.00 GBP price point. They are a fair trade company so they pay their workers a fare price for their art. Shipping is not included in these prices.

Place: The company is a local company, and if you wanted to go into the store you would need to go to Africa (or find a small boutique that buys a small quantity of wholesale). However, they have an online store. So anyone that is aware of the company can easily purchase an order from their finger tips.

Promotion: I think a majority of their promotion comes from the story they built. It creates a word of mouth. This leads to a lot of blog and press attention. That how I found them. They do have really strong social media accounts.  They have a twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr account. I noticed a newsletter signup on their site. I’m not sure if this counts as a promotion, but they also have a Top Picks. I logged into my Facebook and it pulled up the products they thought I’d most likely be interested in buying.


For my business classes we are always profiling other business. I found this list really usefully for finding fair trade companies to look into.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What my friends taught me that will get me through my senior year.

Today is a day I always knew I would reach, but felt like it would never come. The last first day of school. I am officially a senior in college.  I feel like I'm ready to take it by storm, but so nervous for the test that its going to be. After the summer I have I mentally feel a little tougher, but already the projects are larger and harder. Lucky for me a lot of my friends graduated in classes above me, and I've gotten some advice that I want to keep in mind

1- Reginah says to be like NAHHH- There are some choices you are going to make that make you question your character. You can learn from these mistakes, but should you let yourself feel like the worse person ever? NAHH. These mistakes will shape you. Live to be a little scandalous, because well behaved woman never make history.

2- Susana reminded me of who needs a bra- Enjoy the fact that you don't need to wear a bra to class. You can be comfortable, and confident in a sweater without a bra all you want on a college campus. But, come May you'll need a big girl job that will probably require you to wear a bra.

3- The gist of what me and J's conversations is: Your going to learn a lot about doing things on your own, but remember your not alone. Senior year is gonna push your limits. People you thought would be there for you won't always be. However, here and there people will surprise you

4- My mother Sammy showed me how your hard work will pay off- Last year I watched my roommate bust her ass finish her senior year. She worked full time at the same bar as me, had an internship, and still made it to class as a full time student. I thought she was crazy, but now seeing were she is in life compared to most kids who graduated in May. She's gotten a lot done. I only hope that next year if I work hard I can accomplish as much as she has.

5- April has taught me many things, but most importantly she reminds me that I'm tougher than I think. Watching her push through her senior collection despite all the obstacles it through at her, makes me think that I will be okay. I also know if I feel like I can't get back up than she will be there to sit with me until I remember were my strength is.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Friend #0001

Dear Friend,
I can't believe that we are 21 year old's entering our senior year in college, because I still can't believe that we can drive cars, date boys, and get into Pg 13 movies. These were all things we talked about as we sat in the monkey tree playing house, or laying in bed at a 3rd sleepover in a roll we begged our mothers to let us have. When I think about my childhood sometimes I feel like I have more memories around your house than my own. I remember your mother reading us fairy tales at night, and sneaking into your dads studio to touch the light table we really were not suppose to touch. I remember always being in trouble. Like the time we used toothpaste for a slipping slid, because whoever was suppose to watching us already took away all the soups and shampoos.  We don't hangout like we used to; we haven't in years. Middle school came, and we took two different paths. But, still when my mother got sick you sent me a message saying that you were here to talk if I needed you. That was something that even people that I interacted with daily never told me.  I hope you know that it goes both ways. If you ever need anything you could always ask me. You were a great first friend for a young girl to have. - Ashanah

Dear Friend,

Dear friend,
I've written of hundred of these letters in my journal. Some letter come after fights, and hardships. Some come from moments when I just wish I could say hi like old times. Letters saying the thing I've said to you in my head, but never actually had the opportunity to say to you. There could be hundreds of reason for why I never said these things to your face. Sometime I feel it will only make the situation worse, sometimes its not my place, and sadly enough sometime you might not care to hear what I think on the situation. Sometimes I honestly don't know why I never said anything. But, I've also learned that keeping these things in they will only continue to bounce against the walls of my brain. So now I'm going to write them to you in the blog that no one reads, but maybe one day you will find. Maybe on day you will think of me too go on my website, and find my blog. Maybe you already read my blog re So friend, hows life?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pineapple Leather?

Sustainable options always appear to be the more far fetched choice. However, lucky for us new technology and innovation continue to enhance so that one day we can all afford sustainability. Pineapples have commonly been used in the Philippines to weave a cloth called Piña Cloth. Today the fibers have been reworked to manufacture an alternative to leather, Piñatex.

Monday, June 27, 2016

I want my cloths to live, to party, to have fun, to create a moment, be a fabric of peoples lives. To me that's true fulfillment  as a designer - Jeremy Scott

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Monsters In Your Closet- Sustainable Fashion

The fashion world has always been fast paced, but in the last few decades it has gone 0 to 100 in 3.5. Fast fashion has forever changed the game. Consumers are now looking for stores with the lowest price and newest products. However, the average consumer rarely stops to think about the true cost (If you haven't watched the documentary The True Cost its on Netflix). As a designer it is extremely important that we are fully aware of the impact the fashion industry has on the world, because it is one of the largest global industries. But, in order to find a permanent solution to the problems we uncover there needs to be universal understanding of whats going on. Everyone should understand where exactly their clothing is coming from, and know the ethical complications that they could unknowably be supporting. Can you answers the fallowing questions right now? Where do your cloths come from? How were they made? How were they shipped? How were the fibers that make the fabric made? There are so many questions we should be asking, but rarely have the time to investigate in this fast pace world. Lucky for us there are now websites that dedicate themselves to doing the ground research for us.  Project Just is one of those sites. It looks into many popular brands, and highlights things that you should know about the companies current sustainability plan. Its goals is to inform the consumer. The link is bellow: check it out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

73 Questions with Anna Wintour

If you haven't watched Vogue's 73 Questions with Anna Wintour, the link is bellow. Anna is easily considered one of the most influential people in fashion. This video captures Anna's confidence and english humor as she answers 73 question about different aspects of her life.