Photo: Eeva Suorlahti. Design: Arttu Åfeldt.
The exhibition Natural Indigo: New Luxury from Northern Fields is part of the official programme of Helsinki Design Week 2019.
Where? Väre building, Bridge K2, Otaniementie 14, 02150 Espoo
When? September 5-26, 2019
One fifth of the water pollution caused by global industry is due to the dyeing of textiles and the synthetic chemicals used in the process. Some regions of the world already have polluted groundwater because of the textile industry’s activities.
From 2018 to 2019, the Crops4Luxury (PeltoLuksus) project studied special crops that could replace synthetic textile dyes sustainably and ethically. Blue is the rarest color in nature, and in Finland, a crop called dyer’s woad (värimorsinko) yields a non-toxic blue dye. Already centuries ago before chemical colors were developed, dyer’s woad was used in Europe for production of textile dyes. Today this ancient plant dye can be cultivated on a large scale and used in industrial textile colouring processes.
The exhibition at Helsinki Design Week showcases how design can enhance the aspect of added value and eco-luxury in the context of a bio-economy. We need alternative approaches to the current fast fashion system, and through an eco-luxury approach we can build a new understanding towards a more sustainable future with fewer synthetic chemicals and a less damaging environmental impact.
Crops4Luxury was a collaboration project between Natural Indigo, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) and Aalto University. The project was funded by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.
Kirsi Niinimäki, Pirita Lauri and Essi Karell, Department of Design, Aalto University; Natural Indigo; researchers from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE).
The exhibition is part of Aalto University’s Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition ensemble in Otaniemi, Espoo.