We love spending time with our product development team to learn about our their never-ending quest to source the most sustainable fibers to create home textiles that are quintessentially Coyuchi. Recently, we sat down with our Production + Sustainability Manager, Margot Lyons, to learn about the difference between low and high impact dyes, and how Coyuchi takes a less conventional route, setting higher manufacturing standards.
Tell us a little about yourself, your role and how you came to be Production Manager at Coyuchi.
I spent a really fun two years in the Textiles Department at UC Davis studying textiles and working on sustainability-related projects around campus. After I left, a professor recommended I reach out to old alum in the Bay Area and specifically to Eileen Mockus who at the time was the VP of Product at Coyuchi. There was an opening for a Product Development intern and the rest is history. I started working a few days a week and was soon full time helping with product. Now my focus is on our production + sustainability, which includes standards and certifications, fibers and supply chain.
What is the difference between low-impact and conventional dye methods?
Conventional dyes can be a bit nasty and may contain heavy metals or carcinogens. If you’ve ever bought a new pair of jeans or a new shirt and gotten a rash you may be reacting to the dye. Low impact dyes, which are what Coyuchi uses exclusively, are much less likely to cause allergic reactions. Additionally they require less water and rinsing, lower amounts of required inputs like salts or soda ash, and work at lower temperatures. Whereas only 50-60% of conventional dye may actually stay on the fabric, the absorption rate for low impact dyes is 80-90% meaning a lot less dye is wasted.
Can you explain how Coyuchi follows low-impact dying methods?
Over 90% of our assortment is certified to GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard), which not only restricts conventional dyes from our product but also an entire list of banned or restricted inputs that may be used during other parts of the production process. We also have undyed options across many of our product lines further reducing processing and overall water and energy usage.
How do you choose fibers in relation to dyes?
100% of Coyuchi's products are made from natural fibers, which can be dyed with low impact fiber reactive dyes approved by GOTS.
What are some of your favorite items?
I love our new Montara Cap Sleeve! In terms of bedding our Organic Relaxed Linen in Soft Black Chambray is a favorite, as well as our incredibly soft 500 Thread Count Pima Percale.