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Article: Natural Dyes, Natural Color Variations 

A rainbow assortment of shirts hanging on a clothing rack.

Natural Dyes, Natural Color Variations 

What are AZO Free Dyes?

First of all, what the heck is an AZO Dye?

AZO Dyes contain chemicals that provide colorfastness and help maintain even colors across dye batches for a perfect match. 

The majority of commercial and industrial dyes (around 70%) used in all clothing and bedding contain AZO, which are known carcinogenic compounds.

So you can probably guess correctly that AZO-Free Dyes do not contain those same compounds. Yay!    

Why we use AZO Free Dyes

Unsafe chemicals are a good enough reason to avoid AZOs, but here are a few specific reasons we choose AZO Free Dyes.

AZO Free Dyes Protect our Production Partners

AZO Free Dyes reduce exposure to chemicals for our Production Partners, who are also protected by using a close-looped system, PPP (personal protection equipment), and specialized training. Still, every bit matters, and every bit helps.  

AZO Free Dyes Protect our Waterways

AZO dyes tend to bioaccumulate in waterways, adversely affecting ecosystems and communities.

AZO Free Dyes Protect Your Skin

AZO Free Dyes are gentler on the end-user. Skin is our biggest organ and can absorb AZO as it breaks down, especially when pores open during exercise or warm weather.

With this in mind, what we wear all day and sleep in all night matters. Our skin is literally in contact with it 24/7!

Natural Color Variations Happen 

The benefits of using AZO-Free Dyes are clear, and while they are more expensive to use, we believe it's worth it. 

The only downsides of using these natural dyes are that subtle color variations can occur between different dye batches, and natural color fading can occur gradually over time.  

Opting out of AZO chemicals means we lose the color binding that comes with them, but that’s not all that contributes to natural color variations in YALA bamboo fabrics. Here are a few more:  

Small Batch Production

To reduce waste, we do not throw away fabric excess. This would be an impossible task if we produced colors in huge quantities, so we subscribe to small batch production. When a specific color becomes popular, we may make several small batches over time, and minor variations between batches can occur.  

Temperature and Maturity

Both the temperature at harvest and maturity of the bamboo affect the natural color of the bamboo base fabric. And with small batch production, different fabric batches harvested throughout the year in various stages of growth will have a slightly different outcome on the finished product.

So when you finally replace that Amber Pajama Set you've been wearing for years, the new one could be slightly brighter or lighter than the old one, even though you probably won’t notice it. 

Unbleached Fabric 

We do not bleach our base fabric, so even our bright colors can have a slight earthy leaning due to the natural undertones of the bamboo. Blues are particularly challenging to match without a bright white-bleached fabric base, but we still think we nailed it on our newest addition, Nile Blue.

Care and Handling

Now that you better understand AZO Free Dyes and accept the natural color variations that can occur, you can gradually upgrade your bedding and sleepwear. As your new and cozy AZO Free replacements arrive, it's time to turn your attention to giving them the brightest life possible. 

To extend the life and beauty of YALA products, it's always best practice to wash garments inside-out in cold water with gentle detergent. Get more bamboo fabric care tips here.

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