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Tim Nelson
September 18, 2018

Avocados: good for eating, Instagramming, and bankrupting aspiring homeowners. Or at least that’s usually the case. As it turns out, the avocado might qualify as a super food not just for its nutritional qualities, but for its potential to upgrade your wardrobe.

That’s because it turns out that the parts of an avocado that we usually regard as useless (or even potentially injurious) are actually quite useful as the basic components of a DIY fabric dye. And best of all, the process somehow leaves garments looking like a muted shade of millennial pink.

According to self-taught botanical dye expert Rebecca Desnos, it’s a perfectly simple at-home process with little to no culinary or sartorial knowledge required. First, hoard some finished avocados and some white fabric you’re ready to jazz up. Scrub all of the green avocado flesh from the skins and pints, since they form the basis of the dye. Ideally you’ll want to use roughly three or four fresh skins and stones for a decently vibrant color, but storing and freezing works just as well.

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I must get another pot of avocado dye going this week! We eat so many every week that I have a freezer drawer half full 🥑🙊 . If you've been wanting to try avocado dyeing, I have a blog post up on my website with lots of tips for getting pinks and FAQs. It's an extension of the chapter on avocado dyeing that's in my book 💚 Pop over to my blog on my website to have a read ☺️🥑💕 . I often get asked how I can afford to eat so many avocados as they are expensive. It's true, they are costly, especially since I only buy organic avocados. But as a vegan family, I feel that avocados offer one of the best sources of plant-based fat and nourishment for us. In addition to avocados, we also eat a lot of nuts/nut butters, seeds/seed butters and olives for other fats. Good food is our top priority, as it directly impacts our health and wellbeing. . Interestingly the avocados that we buy from @abelandcole are actually grown in Spain which isn't far from the UK at all. So they're not really an "exotic" import when they are grown so close to home. . When we talk about it being best to "eat local", we have to decide what this means for us. For my family, I'm satisfied with buying food that's imported from other European countries. Although I will always opt for UK grown fruit and vegetables when I can. One day (soon) I hope we will grow a lot of our own food, but for now we have to be sensible and decide what is best for us as individuals. Avocados offer amazing nourishment for children, so they are our top priority when I do the shopping every week. We all have different priorities, . Given the number of avocados that we eat, you can probably see now why I dye with them so much 😄🥑✨ . Anyway, I hope my FAQ blog post on avocado dyeing is helpful to anyone who hasn't already read it (I wrote it a few weeks ago). . Have you tried dyeing with your favourite food? I love how our tastes in food can determine the colour of our clothes, don't you? 😄✨

A post shared by Rebecca Desnos • Natural Dyer (@rebeccadesnos) on

From there, it’s kind of like making a soup, but with clothes. Just gently heat a pot of water with your avocado offal for a while. Once you like the shade you see in there, it’s time to dump out the avocado ingredients and swap in your fabric of choice, letting it steep for a while so the color can truly soak in. In essence, the longer you let the avocado steep the more millennial pink the pigment. But given that every avocado is different (and the characteristics of your tapwater factor in as well), you’ll have to keep a close eye on how things are progressing.

So there you have it. Probably not a perfect system, but doing some at-home clothes dyeing seems like a solid way to squeeze some extra value out of your pricey avocados. There’s a case to be made that both millennial pink and the avocado itself are two things we should’ve left behind in 2017, but this sustainable approach to fashion isn’t going out of style anytime soon.  

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