Tie dyeing at home is fun for the whole family and it was one of my favorite kid-friendly activities during the pandemic lockdown. My ten-year-old discovered that Mightly’s classic fit tee was the perfect canvas for creating colorful, one-of-a-kind designs using different tie dying techniques. We also dyed old sheets and duvet covers, giving new life to worn out linens.
However, when it comes to industrial scale tie dye, the fun stops. Not many people know, but most commercial tie dyeing uses enormous amounts of water and exposes workers to harmful chemicals.
So when we started designing the Mightly tie dye collection, we knew we had to do it in the lowest impact way possible. Ultimately, this meant foregoing dyeing all together. Instead, our designer created a beautiful tie dye pattern that could be printed instead of dyed. Printing uses much less water than dyeing and doesn’t require workers to handle garments during the dyeing process.
Did you know that fashion is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution? Water scarcity is one of the biggest environmental risks we're facing and textile dyeing plays a huge role in the contamination and overconsumption of water. According to Forbes, the fashion industry uses around 79 billion cubic meters of water per year and dyeing is one of the largest contributors to water pollution from the industry.
This is why we at Mightly work exclusively with Global Organic Textile Certified (GOTS) dye houses. GOTS includes rigorous requirements for environmental management, wastewater treatment, and the inputs to be used at every processing stage. GOTS prohibits the use of flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, GMOS, heavy metals, plasticizers, microplastics, and many other substances that are known or suspected to be harmful, even if still legal in many places. Sadly, popular processes such as tie dye are especially harmful because they are labor intensive, and therefore tend to happen in places where labor is cheap and regulation is lax.
As moms ourselves, we know that busy parents don’t have the time to research the environmental and human impact of everything they buy. We also know that a lot of companies make vague sustainability claims that are impossible to verify. Our goal is to make shopping for kids clothes a little bit easier by being transparent about how and where we make our products and by using third-party certification to back up what we say.