Our Relationship with the Environment

Nolundi dyeing yarn in our new dyebath

Nolundi dyeing yarn in our new dyebath

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek Proverb

We are conscious that, if not properly managed, our passion for dyeing yarn could have an environmental impact and we believe that by careful planning we can make a difference. With this in mind, we designed our dyehouse to run with the lowest possible environmental impact and the greatest possible socio-economic benefit to our very small local community.

Using Renewable Energy resources:
We use solar power to heat our water for dyeing and only top up the temperature if need be. In the dye house, the water is gravity fed instead of being pumped. Yarns are dried naturally either in the sunshine or over our Aga Stove. All our skeining and balling is done on manually.

Job creation:
It takes a whole day for one dye batch to be balled, since we can dye up to 14 dyelots a day [70kgs] this means that 14 jobs can be created just in the balling department.

Skeins Drying in the Sun - Olive trees in the background

Skeins Drying in the Sun – Olive trees in the background

We are not running at full production, but with your continued orders we are able to continue growing and therefore employ more Xhosa people from the local farms.

Water is precious:
The water used to soak the skeins in preparation for dyeing is recycled and used to irrigate the staff Vegetable Garden. All other water used in the dyeing process is ph balanced and then used to irrigate the 120 Olive trees. The washing of equipment and the yarn is done with Borehole water. As this water is sourced on the farm, it has a much lower environmental impact compared to other water sources.

Our supplies:
Our wool is from local free ranging sheep that are non-mulesed. Our cotton is locally grown and while not certified organic, it has been farmed with these principles.
Our dyes are Oeko-Teko approved as they do not contain any restricted substances listed on the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 list

Russell Assisting Nolundi in the dyebath

Russell Assisting Nolundi in the dyebath

Russell, delighted with his harvest from the Staff Vegetable garden.

Russell, with his first harvest from the Staff Veg garden.

Tombi washing the skeins that Nolundi and Russell dyed

Tombi washing the skeins that Nolundi and Russell dyed

Biza proudly holding a ball that he has just made

Biza proudly holding a ball that he has just made

Andisiwa turning the skeins into balls

Andisiwa turning the skeins into balls