Natural Dye Garden Project

Three Textile Development and Marketing students attended the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference, where they presented a proposal for a natural dye garden that addresses global challenges and underscores FIT's commitment to sustainability.

Caitlin Powell, Amber Harkonen, and Meghan Navoy were selected for CGI U for their concept of creating a dye-plant garden which also incorporates rain collection and composting. The FIT Rooftop Natural Dye Garden, which was among thousands of proposals submitted by college students across the U.S. and globally, was designated as one of 32 teams (out of 695 total commitments) to compete in the CGI U Commitments Challenge. The Challenge was a pre-conference online fundraising challenge; FIT competed alongside such schools as Stanford, Purdue, Cornell, Mount Holyoke, University of Texas, and University of Wisconsin. Additionally, the FIT Rooftop Natural Dye Garden was further highlighted as an exhibitor at the CGI U Exchange and Dinner held during the conference.

Powell, Harkonen, and Navoy say they developed the project because "global textile production is an alarmingly heavy burden on this planets resources. Excess water use, toxic effluents, the use of petrochemicals on fiber plants as well as in synthetic dyes, and intensive farming practices are all problems that directly contribute to climate change. This project aims to raise awareness about these issues, and more important, to give the FIT population a tangible way to move away from these practices."

FIT's Natural Dye Garden was created and planted in the summer of 2014. Learn more and see the latest photos on Facebook: