The term Ethnobotany refers to the study of the ecological, genetic, cultural and evolutionary interactions with plants. Each community therefore becomes a space of learning, in relation to how the community uses its natural botanical resources to solve its needs.
What makes this field of study so magnificent is the huge array of possibilities that are opened in several areas, which range from pharmacology to textiles, in an environmentally clean manner, and in such a way that we are able to reestablish lost bonds that have diluted with modern times. We see that older techniques have their own peculiarities to the regions of other cultures.
Humanity, the planet and history are thankful, while the world of fashion is just one of the many universes that are touched in such a beautiful way by several studies; for example with textile dyeing using vegetables that give us a palette of colors and fluidity in various styles of patterns. Dyeing with plants is directly related to the textile arts and they complement each other in such a way that any comparison with chemical and industrial processes is not even possible.
The dyeing process is not itself relatively simple, and its complexity resides in the fixation of the colors in the material too, which makes the process something much more artisanal in terms of the scale of production. That’s why the technique gave rise to processes with synthetic dyes, which are denser and have a certain level of toxicity.
The use of natural dyes for textile, cosmetic and food dyeing is an economical alternative for rural communities that can be integrated to preserving the environment, adding cultural and economic value to the way we see and use colors in our daily lives. And this gives us the power to consciously choose pieces that are more sustainable from the moment of their inception.
Leka Oliveira do studio in blue Brazil – a reference in the natural dyeing area – believes that Ethnobotany is part of a lifestyle, where slow is the reference word. Not just in fashion, but as also in how we face the cycles of life, where the full awareness that each phase has its natural process is essential for our well-being and to make our part for the contribution of a better future aimed at our evolution.
Lu Valenzza born in Amazonia and based in São Paulo is a future trends enthusiast and an anthropologic observer. She is offering creative research, communications support, and trend forecasting to provide actionable insights to help society and businesses move forward in the coming years, always in touch with tomorrow think scenarios for redesign a better world.