Natural dyes were successfully revived from the brink of extinction in Bangladesh during the 80’s. A traditional craft heritage, not only do organic dyes utilize indigenous raw materials but also offer greater employment and livelihood opportunities for the craftspeople of this country. Singly or as combination colours, the original 30 colourfast dyes yield a wide range of autumnal shades as well as vivid shades of blues, greens and maroons.
Aranyawas set up in 1990 as a fair trade micro-enterprise, to establish the commercial viability of natural dye products and promote them in the mainstream market. To this end, it set up a small-scale production centreand showroom with training and promotional facilities. Although labour costs are higher, the price of the end product is only marginally higher than its synthetic counterpart. Aranya has trained hundreds of artisans and craft organizations across the country as well as conducted training workshops in countries like India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Bhutan etc. Exhibitions,workshops and media coverage have contributed greatly to creating awareness about the non-toxic, non-pollutant nature of the dyes as well as their social and economic value. These positive features, combined with its unique colour range, give organic dye products a universal appeal.
The recent takeover of Aranya by the Bengal Foundation has given it a tremendous boost; its production has doubled, with scope for further expansion in its new Production and Training Centre. The Bengal Foundation is also launching its long awaited second Aranya showroom in Dhanmondi and has similar expansion plans for the future. Ruby Ghuznavi, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Aranya continues to be associated with the organization, primarily in the area of design, colours and product development as well as the promotion of natural dyes in the national and international arenas.
Today Aranya is acknowledged as one of the foremost organizations working with natural dyes in the region. We hope to share our expertise with artisans and institutions who share our commitment to the development and promotion of organic dyes.