Welcome to Mayalein! Home of naturally hand-dyed and carefully curated apparel for your littles.
I founded Mayalein in the Fall of 2017 when I couldn't find the "right" pair of tights. The name Mayalein comes from a German pet name my husband uses for our daughter Maya. I was looking for a cool pair of ombre tights for Maya to wear under her cute summery clothes for the Fall and Winter, but couldn't find any for sale so I decided to dye some myself. As I dyed more socks and tights the idea of a shop was born and in January 2018 Mayalein officially opened on Etsy selling a small range of ombre dyed tights and socks.
Dyeing quickly became a source of joy and fun for me so I spent every spare moment perfecting dye mixes and trying out new dying techniques to create the perfect colors and styles. On a whim I decided to dye a pair of tights with avocado pits and upon seeing the absolutely stunning shade of pink I fell in love with natural dying and my plans for Mayalein shifted. I threw myself into researching natural dyes and testing to see what colors I could create from natural sources. One of the cool techniques I discovered is called eco-printing and it involves steaming natural ingredients (can be flowers, plants, leaves, etc.) into fabrics. The range of color and pattern possibilities is endless and I'm so excited to be able to use food and flower waste to create wearable art.
As I researched natural dyes, I also learned a lot about commercial synthetic dyes and commercial dyeing. Hand-dyeing has become a new popular term, but hand-dyed doesn’t necessarily mean naturally dyed. Most hand-dyed items are still dyed with synthetic dyes, just in small batches by hand. I’ll be the first one to admit that no dye, natural or synthetic, is perfect, but I believe strongly in using natural dyes in small batches for environmental, safety and ethical reasons. Commercial dye houses are terrible for the environment, there is a tremendous waste of precious water resources, serious water pollution and long-term health concerns for those who work in the industry. I don’t believe that natural dyes are a sustainable way to replace the current volume of commercially and synthetically dyed goods, but that’s where the slow fashion movement comes in. Instead of buying tons of cheap fashion, why not buy a few quality, ethically made pieces? When you buy from Mayalein you are buying tights, socks and apparel that has been ethically produced and hand-dyed by me with natural dyes, most of which are locally sourced. Fast fashion is a huge creator of things like modern day slavery, pollution, and waste. So you might ask why should you care? Since becoming a parent I care a lot about the state of the world and worry constantly about what we’re leaving to our kids. I opened this shop to offer something I wholeheartedly believe in and to do my small part in changing how we view fashion.
As the shop grows I've started adding curated apparel from other ethical manufacturers as well as my own handmade pieces. I'm proud to offer tights and socks from Condor and Collegien, as well as apparel from Jamie Kay. My goal is for Mayalein to be a one-stop concept shop for high-quality, stylish and ethical apparel for children.