Athletic apparel label Lululemon is the latest brand to develop sustainable alternatives in its collections

They might make an intriguing culinary combination, but, rather than the latest food trend, orange and beet are the star ingredients of a new collection of athletic apparel from Lululemon. The collection uses dyes upcycled from fruit and vegetable waste, creating tie-dye effects while driving down environmental impacts. What's not to like?

In the space of a few short months, fruit and vegetables have become major allies for the fashion industry, which is eyeing organic waste as a means of developing sustainable alternatives to some of the least environmentally friendly materials, such as leather, for example. Grape, apple, pineapple, banana, corn and mushrooms are just some of the significant alternatives currently helping drive a revolution in the textile industry.

This new Lululemon collection, called "Earth Dye," stands out in a different way, since the fruit and vegetables are being used to make sustainable dyes, rather than alternative textiles. The tie-dye prints—a central theme in the collection—are achieved using dyes developed with waste from oranges, beets and saw palmetto trees. All in all, it's a production process that's inspired by nature, helping the brand to significantly reduce its environmental impact.

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"These dyes use less water, carbon, and synthetic chemicals compared to conventional synthetic dyes," Lululemon explains in a news release. 

The "Earth Dye" collection includes casual, easy-to-wear styles for men and women, including tank tops, T-shirts, hoodies, shorts (women only) and joggers. The collection features tie & dye effects in select colours inspired by nature. 

The collection will be available from May 11 in stores and online.

This new collection forms part of Lululemon's efforts to pursue and augment its environmental commitments. In the coming months, this could give rise to new, innovative products made using sustainable materials—all of which would contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of one of the world's most polluting industries.

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