I have to say this upfront: of all the crops I work with, beetroot will yield the least enduring dye. at said, it’s also one of the most charming ones. You can achieve its heart-rending pink with longer-lasting results using avocado pits and skins (if you eat avocado regularly, I urge you to try it!). Yet while avocado requires tropical or subtropical conditions, beetroot is incredibly happy in European climates. It’s one of the easiest, loveliest crops you could grow – even if you are limited in terms of space or sunlight. I’ve also learnt to accept the fleeting nature of its colour as a feature to cherish, something that makes the resulting garment seasonal in a meaningful way. It’s such an antidote to the broken, nonsensical way fashion addresses seasons – autumn-winter collections dropping in stores by July, or summer dresses offered in the dead of winter in a way that is completely out of sync with how we live, and with the cycles of nature.
(photo by Julius Honnor)