Meet The Fashion Designer Who Uses Fruits & Flowers To Create Natural Dyes & Shows Others How To Dye Their Clothing

Environment By Surbhi Rathore | 3 min read

Natural Dyes – Were always the plan

Manya Cherabuddi has always had a thing for bright primary colours. There was a time when she would spend hours in her mother’s garden, transfixed by the beauty of the blooms. She had no idea at the time that she would one day employ garden resources in such novel ways to create Natural Dyes.

Manya found solace and creativity in her mother’s well-kept garden since she had always been drawn to producing art with natural elements.

As a child, she was always collecting leaves and flowers. Manya, a natural colorist in her 30s shares that when she was younger, she had no idea that her passion for the outdoors would one day become her career.

In 2019, she abandoned her job at a design firm to pursue her passion full-time. She began to play around with different hues and elements of nature, and the end product was stunning. She creates her own natural dyes and colours from things like fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves, etc.

Natural Dyes
Source – Pexels

Manya didn’t keep the skill to herself and instead began hosting classes on how to create natural dyes and colour fabrics. She has attended over 150 seminars and instructed over 5,300 pupils, both young and old, from all corners of the globe.

Manya, who was born and raised in Hyderabad, attended the University of Virginia and earned a degree in both the arts and business. Before beginning to create natural dyes, she worked for almost six years in several firms. The events leading up to this have very little linearity. But she got her business sense from her parents, who both hailed from entrepreneurial families.

She explains, “I wanted a career where I could merge art and business.”

A new Chapter Begins

Through reading blogs and watching videos, she taught herself how to make natural dyes. In the process, she saw that the majority of those guides and blogs had a very western bias. It’s a shame, she says, since India has a wealth of ancient dyeing methods that have been little recorded.

Natural Dyes
Source – Pexels

Sharing what we got

She made a lot of mistakes, but this way she taught herself. She continues, “I decided to provide seminars because I hoped that doing so would facilitate the education of others.”

Later in 2019, she attended a class on natural dyes at a place called Colour Ashram in Goa, which further solidified her determination to pursue this path professionally.

Throughout the session, she was able to see the topic from a new angle. She learned about the eco-friendliness of natural dyes. People’s usage of chemical colours is bad for the environment and the skin. Most of us don’t give much thought to where the dyes used to dye our linens, curtains, and clothing originate from.

The chemical dyes are damaging to the environment and may cause cancer, but most people don’t have time to stop and think about it. She emphasises that producing natural dyes is a waste-free procedure since even the leftover water can be used to irrigate plants.

Workers in the [chemical dye] sector suffer from health problems, and the area where the dye is manufactured becomes barren and contaminated. She explains that this is a vicious cycle, but that breaking free is attainable with hard work.

Manya claims that ever since learning about the dangers of chemical dyes, she has avoided them entirely.

Natural Dyes
Source – Instagram

Colors permeate our world, from the clothing we wear to the handkerchiefs we carry. It won’t happen overnight, and she know that, but she still think it’s feasible. Since there are natural alternatives, she constantly wonder why people choose to choose those that are loaded with chemicals.

Natural dyes production is a fascinating and entertaining process. And if enough people use it, it can lessen the tremendous amount of pollution and carbon emission that goes into creating chemical dyes,” she adds, adding that although this was first a pastime, she knew she would have a career in it when she had mastered the art form.

In 2020, Manya began offering classes in ecological dyeing under the moniker “Treehouse.”

“We had to transfer [the course] online because of the epidemic, and I was surprised to see that participants came not only from India but all around the world. During those sessions, I realised that the act of mixing colours is soothing as well”.

Natural Dyes
Source – Instagram

Natural colours, such as haldi (turmeric) or a flower, may aid in recovery from illness. Yet, working with the colours to create them is a really relaxing procedure. She devised a plan she dubbed “Find Your Calm,” which included activities like producing natural dyes to help people relax. People were understandably worried due to the epidemic, therefore the show went over really well.

Seeing the reactions of everyone around her kept Manya going.

“Visiting the park, gathering flowers, and colouring with loved ones is a popular pastime. All the grownups who attended her classes suddenly felt like youngsters. They would be giddy with delight,” she recalls.

She began manufacturing baby clothing in addition to organising classes. Babies, in my opinion, should not be dressed in synthetic materials, thus she sewed them garments dyed with natural materials. She saw a need in the market, and because there were almost no companies creating baby clothing with natural dyes, she decided to fill it.” But, her workshops have kept her so busy that she now only makes baby garments on demand.

Source – Instagram

During Holi, she shared the knowledge of how to generate natural colours with others. Manya utilises ingredients found in the kitchen and yard to create her vibrant colours, including turmeric, beetroot, spinach, red cabbage, tomato, and a wide variety of flowers.

Manya is expanding to Mumbai, Pune, and Goa after doing over 150 successful seminars in Hyderabad, Bangalore, and online. Depending on the topic covered, her workshops cost between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. She often instructs the group on how to make natural paints and colours from fruits and vegetables, as well as how to dye textiles.

Source- Instagram

About 5,300 students have benefited from her instruction, and she hopes to continue this trend. She teaches some of the methods via reels and posts on Instagram, where she has over 30,000 followers (@manya cherabuddi).

Source- Instagram

If you loved reading this story, you can also check One Innovation At A Time! Meet The Couple Who Recycles 10000 Tonnes of Waste Every Month.

If you know more inspirational stories about a person, company, new idea, or social initiative, and want us to write it on, share such information with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.