ThaiDye's beginning was very natural. The combination of a textile/surface designer and a computer geek (who already lived on the internet and ran several websites) turned out to be dynamite when compliments by total strangers for the tie dye they wore came into the mix.
Gigi, the designer, knew about the traditional mudmee tie dye that was native to her home country, Thailand.
It still took a while to sink in that there was a market and business opportunity that would allow them to work on the things they already loved. So the decision was made to really learn everything about mudmee tie dye that was to be learned.
And then imagine - the combining of "tie dye" and "Thailand" into ThaiDye seemed too obvious to be still available as a domain name - but it was! And so ThaiDye.com was born. Much work was spent on developing and creating a new line of clothing - JustZen - that combined the traditional mudmee tie dye with the western style of clothing, like henley shirts, hooded jackets and polo shirts.
The protagonists of ThaiDye have been on the spiritual path for many years and it was clear that they wanted to give back at least as much as they received.
One of the first thing being done was adopting children from around the world that needed a jumpstart. ChildReach - later PlanUSA - offered the opportunity to become foster parents to children in all parts of the world where sponsorship was needed. At least 10% of the profits of ThaiDye goes to support these foster children.
The first few were actually from Thailand with the simple consideration that there would be a much bigger chance to actually visit them and meet them in person.
And Gigi did - on one of the first trips to Thailand in her function as an executive of ThaiDye (on a research and training mission) she flew up to the village where we had three foster children and visited them...
one of the forster children with her mother and Gigi
another forster child with his mother and Gigi
School in the village of the foster children
In the meantime these children in Thailand have graduated from the program and new children from around the world took their place. Currently children in Malawi and Mali (Africa), Bangladesh, El Salvador and Cambodia depend on the support from ThaiDye.com.
Maimouna Doumbia from Mali is 10 years old and came into the ThaiDye family just recently.
Another thought we at ThaiDye had regarding 'giving back' was that the best giving back is not to take in the fist place, and where that applied most is mother earth.
So we started to research what we could do to produce our product more in harmony with mother nature. At the conclusion of our research into availability of material and legal requirements decided that the best way to go was using all natural fibers for our clothes but do not attempt to fulfill the legal requirement in the US to call our products 'certified organic.'
The costs were too prohibitive without any advantage to the cause. Spending thousands of dollars only to get official certification did not seem too much in harmony with mother nature. So, we got the best natural fibers we could find and just call it all natural instead of certified organic.
To conclude this little trip into our world I think it goes without saying that even though we sometimes sweat when we work hard, we can still, in good conscience, say that we created a sweat (-shop) free environement. We know that, if the people working with and for us are happy, this will reflect in the products we can offer to our customers.
Gigi and Merlin