Each garment is produced by hand in small batches using pomegranate, madder root, indigo leaves, and chestnut.
model in the great raspberry color sweatshirt
Credit: Courtesy of The Great

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Anyone would agree that visiting a farmers' market is full of sensory experiences: Whether it's the vibrant green hue of heirloom tomatoes, the delicate scent of freshly baked bread and roasted chestnuts, or the touch of crisp, leafy greens, everything in nature serves up inspiration.

Much like a trip to the local farmer's market, THE GREAT, a women's wear collection designed by styling duo Emily Current and Merit Elliott, is harvesting inspiration from nature with their latest capsule collection titled From The Garden: A Plant-Based Dye Capsule of naturally dyed pieces. It's set to launch today, Friday, August 13.

A Rainbow of Color

By shopping the collection, sustainably-minded shoppers can enjoy garments that have been naturally dyed in vibrant botanical hues and made by an independent, women-owned factory in Pennsylvania. The collection is composed of eight styles, four knit styles (tees, sweatpants, jersey crop bottoms in five colors), vegetable and herbal dyed denim, as well as bandanas, socks, and beanies. Each piece is skillfully dyed using natural material such as madder root (for raspberry and light pink), pomegranate (yellow), chestnut bark (brown), and indigo leaves (blue).

"We love the color," says Current. "Natural dyeing is a beautiful, tangible way to connect with nature and explore the colors we love in a new way—through the lens of the garden, rather than sifting through a Pantone book or fabric swatches." Both of the designers share it is meant to praise the talent of hand-dyeing as well as spotlight the botanical hues that are eccentric to gardens.

the great college sweatshirt light pink
model in the great billy jean palmetto colors
model wearing the great college sweatshirt in yellow
Left: Credit: Courtesy of The Great
Center: Credit: Courtesy of The Great
Right: Credit: Courtesy of The Great

A Greener Process

"The creation of this collection has encouraged us to slow down and appreciate our relationship," adds Elliott, "as both creators and consumers, with our environment and all the beauty that grows within it." Aside from producing uniquely colored pieces, opting to dye the fabric in this way eliminates harmful dyes for a more eco-friendly process. In fact, the facility collects 60,000 gallons of rainwater in a cistern under the building, which allows for impurities to be removed naturally from the water, which would otherwise impact the colors on fiber.

The designers explain that after the dye is used, it still has the dye mordant (non-toxic) and organic plant matter, which are both compostable. "Every fiber accepts botanical dye in different ways, making every dye lot 100 percent unique," says Current. "Natural dyes will have some level of color and tonal variation. This is inherent in the dye-stuff and not considered a fault or irregular."

Anyone who gardens or enjoys sustainably sourced food can appreciate the ever-evolving beauty of Mother Nature's bounty. THE GREAT's latest collection is much like this—it's a small batch, limited-run capsule collection yet with lasting power through all seasons.


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