Fair Fashion

Maheya by Free People: Natural Dyes for Dresses, Caftans


I’ve written plenty about natural dyes, and count myself as a huge fan of the depth of color, and unique look they give to fabrics colored with them. Launched on Earth Day, Free People’s new line, Maheya (meaning ‘of the earth’), is colored with marigold flowers, rhubarb, lilac, natural indigo, pomegranate skin, and annatto seed.

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Each piece comes with a seed paper hangtag printed on 100% recycled paper that when planted, will grow into wildflowers.

According to a release from Free People:

Maheya was formed when the Free People design team had the great fortune to meet Ruppa, a woman so inspirational, she would become the driving force behind the new label. Ruppa was running her own factory in the heart of Mumbai, India with a dedication to empowering her workers, sourcing her fabrics ethically, and hand dying all of her garments with natural materials. Recognizing her unique talents, a partnership was swiftly formed.

(Left) The Cold Shoulder Long Caftan is viscose fabric dyed with natural indigo.

The V-Neck Button-trim Caftan is dyed with lilac and pomegranate seeds.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.