In the way way back we lived in Adelphi, MD. There was at least one mulberry tree in the parking lot of the condominiums we lived in. My father and I would go out and pick them (fresh off the tree, in secret he said, “don’t tell your mother”) and wash and eat them.
In previous iterations of this brand we thought to enter the marketplace as a fashion designer or fabric designer. This Mulberry Tree stood at the crossroads between those options and the path we walk today.
We sat in our backyard, now living in Northeast DC and noticed a weird stain on the sidewalk. Everytime the trash truck comes through the alley, the pavement is always stained purple, like if it was…Mulberries! We thought, if these berries can dye pavement, can it also dye clothes?
We had no idea then about how large the natural dye industry is, and then it clicked when we thought about Adire, and Bogolanfini, Kuba cloths, and of course! How did we not think of this before!
Although the anthocyanin dyes aren’t light fast, the beauty is permanent.
This study with T-Shirts led to a commissioned apron for Laura of Eternile. The home-harvested, -grown, and -sewn nature of the apron pairs nicely with her business where she grows the ingredients in her vegan soaps. Recent views of her apron still demonstrate the uniqueness of the natural design which she contributes to throughout the formulation of her products. Every stain is a welcome addition!
As Olonade grows we plan to return to that crossroads and especially to the Mulberry Tree and incorporate natural dye in our patterned homegoods. The only way we will get there is by helping you realize your imagination. What kind of fruitful thoughts are you dyeing to share? Say Hey!