Ep10. The science behind natural dyes, with Sanctuary Innerwear.

The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast is on a mission to bring the conversation of sustainability to the forefront of the fashion industry. Join Chelsea and her guests in learning and growing, unravelling the issues that the fashion system has caused, both on our planet and its people. Subscribe/ download/ follow us on your favourite streaming app,Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen here now.

Introducing: Anna Luckai, founder of Sanctuary Innerwear, which is a slow-fashion lingerie brand which aims to be as transparent as possible with its practises and materials. With a focus on natural dyes and fibres, Anna will be taking us through her working processes, from the initial stages all growing all her ingredients in her garden, to the natural dyeing and final outcomes of her healthy herb-infused innerwear garments.

We’ll be debunking the following assumptions – what do you guys think? Tune in to find out Anna’s views!

1. Chemicals are bad and natural is good.

2. Chemical and natural dyes achieve the same outcomes.

3. Natural dyes fade.


About the guest:

With an incredible passion for fashion design, Anna has been a seamstress for over 50 years, having made her own clothing, her own wedding dress, and even all the soft furnishing in her house! As someone who strives to be a conscious consumer, Anna has been exploring and experimenting with natural dyes and fabrics, to integrate into her work. She describes sustainability as “making important use of plants, animals and minerals in such a way as to promote, not limit, their growth. My use of materials and processes prove that all beings can flourish.

Contact links:

Website: click here. // Instagram: click here.

Thoughts/ideas/quotes brought up in the episode:


Natural dyes and natural fabrics from plants:

- “Chemical dyes are also called synthetic dyes… which have the impression and, it is true, that they come from coulter which is at the bottom of the barrel, and its oily sheen has some colour properties in it… so what we’re looking at here is a lot of toxic materials at the bottom of those barrels.” - Anna.

- “I think the misconceptions are around the mordents used in dyes, so a mordant or modere in Latin means ‘to bite,’ and what a mordant does is attaches itself to the fabric prior to dyeing and what it does is help the plant matter bond with the fabric.” - Anna.

- “Mordants commonly used now are alum, you can make pickles with it…vinegar, rust water, copper or tin, but I don’t use those very much and just rely on the plants myself. These are not toxic.” - Anna.

- “Interestingly, natural dyes only work on natural fabrics, so talking about outcomes, natural fabrics are a better outcome in the end in terms of lifespan of a piece of clothing. The natural fabrics will be able to decompose much more easily than synthetic fabrics.” - Anna.

Brand sustainability:

- “We want the clothing to be healthful to you, so I’m doing an extra step which is infusing the clothes with an infusion, rather than just relying on the dye bath to give its qualities.” - Anna.

- Recycling your worn Sanctuary Innerwear garment: “simply put it in your compost.” – It’s as simple as that!

- “There a lot of green washing going on so I’m committed to using what is close to natural as possible and minimise the impact on the environment and myself.” Click here to read more on the sustainability values incorporated within Anna’s brand.


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Thank you so much again for coming through, and until next week…

Sending you mad mad love,

Chelsea x

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streetwear x sustainability - London - United Kingdom

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