Island Infusion is the result of exploration of sustainable fashion, sewing, up-cycling, eco-dyeing, felting, and quilting.
" As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy. "
- Emma Watson
Island Infusion grew out of my love of old books, fabric, nature and thrift stores. Eco dyeing is the process that connects those passions. Learning about natural dyeing has become a way of life for me and a never-ending learning opportunity.
I didn’t care about clothes when I was younger and I have never enjoyed going shopping at the mall or big box stores. I only shopped for clothes when I absolutely had to. Even today I prefer a bookstore over a clothing store any day. Buying clothes at thrift stores makes more sense to me economically and environmentally, but they do not always have what I need at the time. I took a sewing course in high school and decided I hated sewing clothes. I do love to make quilts and I can sew things that are flat, but I don’t have the patience to follow patterns and all the rules that sewing clothes requires.
All of that changed when I discovered India Flint’s books on eco dying and clothing reconstruction.
Her book Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles showed me how plants can be used to dye fabric in a wide variety of natural colours. Unlike synthetic dyes, natural dyes are harmless and ecologically friendly
India Flint’s next book was called Second Skin: Choosing and caring for Textiles. It was there that I learned that clothes can be made from salvaged material and then fashioned into textiles that carry our stories of who we are, what we believe in and where we live.
Instead of fast fashion we have slow fashion that changes as we change and can hold our memories and dreams. The more we wear these clothes, the more they fray and fade and become part of our history; and then we mend them, and add new embellishments, and the fabric begins a new story again. The very essence of our location has been dyed into those clothes, using our local berries, plants, mushrooms, and trees.
How cool is that!
Paper can also be recycled and eco dyed. Old books and maps can be dyed with local plants and berries and remade into journals and sketchbooks. Old marine charts take the dye beautifully and have a second life as book covers and artwork.
The process of eco dying is imperfect and unpredictable.The type of fabric I use, the water, the plants and the temperature all affect the outcome of the dyeing process. I never know for sure how things are going to turn out. But each time I put plants, berries and fabric together, I know something magical is going to happen.
We respect people as much as we respect the planet.
Eco-dyeing is not for the faint of heart. Not only does it take hours upon hours to achieve, no two dyes - even with the same materials - are exactly alike. It is definitely not a science and each project acts as a bit of a surprise and more often fingers crossed hoping that you're goal is achieved.
Crafted from recycled and up-cycled items primarily found at thrift stores.
One of the most important aspects of our business is taking the time to sift through the countless amount of clothing, furniture, accesorries that have been donated to thrift stores and find good condition, good quality, and fine clothing that simply needs a revamp.