A way with waste

August 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Related Interests

A village in southern Thailand makes natural dyes using fallen leaves and discarded fruit skin.

Fallen leaves and fruit skin have no use for city people, but a group of villagers in Khiriwong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, seem to have found a way with the waste which they use to produce natural dyes. These dyes, created with local ingenuity and used for colouring clothes, blouses and accessories, have earned Tambon Kamlon, of which the village is part, a name and have been accorded OTOP (one tambon, one product) rating. “We aim to make the most use of materials naturally available in our community,” said Aree Khunthon, leader of a housewife group which has been producing natural dyes for 14 years. The orchards of Khiriwong yield mangosteen, durian, rambutan, garcinia (som khaek), longon, mango, parkia (sataw) and other plants depending on time of year, a factor helped by good weather and fresh air that, according to the Pollution Control Department, is among the cleanest measured in the country. The village sits at the foot of Khao Luang, the highest mountain in southern Thailand. But selling fruit alone wasn’t enough to make a living, recalled Aree of the years before her group embarked on a programme to produce natural dyes to supplement their meagre income.

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