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AMMA trains and employs mothers living in the Sri Lankan highlands to turn food waste and plants into natural dyes. Sustainable textiles, ethically handmade.


Communicating what we do: digital and analogue

Communicating what we do: digital and analogue

When it comes to explaining what we do I’ve learnt that visuals are the best way to go about it. The more I can provide for people to absorb - look at, touch, feel and smell - the more authentic their understanding is of why we exist. It’s felt like an overwhelming task at times, with many layers and so much detail I could talk for days on end about the intricacies of natural dye or grown colour, as i’m now transitioning into calling it (post on that later!).

As we are gearing up to the launch of our online shop and releasing a limited collection of fabrics I realised we needed an easy to understand graphic that collated all our information into one place.

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Back in January 2019 we had the talented help of two graphic designers. Megan Brown and Molly Fenton spent a week with us in our Nuwara Eliya workshop, understanding the dye process and spending time with the women. During that time we overhauled our communications. One of my favorite ideas to see evolve has been our plant ‘symbols’ which you can see on the chart above. We will be using these symbols on our new labelling so that you know exactly what was used to dye your product.

One of the trickiest things about working with ‘grown colour’ is capturing the exact shade on film. Each colour is made up of so many various tones that appear stronger or weaker in certain lights and environments. So the colour swatches in the chart are an example and the finished product will be within a spectrum of that shade. I think this is one of the most incredible things about ‘grown colour’ - it changes, just like the living source it was derived from.

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In addition to the digital chart, two of our young women ‘S’ and ‘R’ have finished the hard copy of our dye book. They have collected a vast array of our dye swatches and organised them into colour categories, giving details of the process taken to achieve each shade. It’s a book I’ll treasure forever andI hope it lives on to teach many more women in Sri Lanka how to dye with plants.

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Five Lessons I've Learnt Since Starting a Social Enterprise

Five Lessons I've Learnt Since Starting a Social Enterprise

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