Ingredient Highlight: Our Nontoxic Low Impact Dyes

A pop of color sparks joy and wonderment, and can brighten up any wardrobe. From beautiful patterns to fun prints and intricate designs, a t-shirt, babybody, or accessory is instantly transformed with color. But what actually goes into making that color pop?

In the same way that it’s important to know the origin of the fiber that a product is made from, it is also important to know the other ingredients it contains– particularly the dye.


Toxic dyes used in conventional manufacturing processes constitute a major pollutant of water around the world. According to Fashion Revolution, “As much as 200 [tons] of water are used per [ton] of fabric in the textile industry. The majority of this water is returned to nature as toxic waste, containing residual dyes and hazardous chemicals. Wastewater disposal is seldom regulated, adhered to or policed, meaning big brands, and the factory owners themselves are left unaccountable.”

Azo dyes, for example, are popular because they can be used to develop deeper colors. However, these colorants are known to be hazardous to humans, animals, and the environment.

We exclusively use low impact dyes.

Because we know the impact that toxic dyes have on all living things, we ensure that no harmful toxins are used in our dyes and that they are biodegradable. Our low impact dyes use 60% less water than conventional dyes and can also be used at lower temperatures. Lower temperatures allow for nearly all of the dye to adhere to the fabric, resulting in only 5% waste– compared to the industry standard of 50% waste with conventional dyes.


Our “Never” list

What you will never find in Under the Nile products:

 Azo dyes: Synthetic dyes known to be carcinogenic and can cause hyperactivity in children
Bleach: Known irritant. We use oxygen whitening instead to keep our whites consistent from varying colors in cotton
BPAC Bisphenol A: Attributed to various diseases; typically used to harden plastic toys and water bottles
Flame retardants: Linked to many negative effects on health and early childhood development
Formaldehyde: A highly toxic chemical finishing found on fabrics for wrinkle resistance and for better dye penetration
Fragrance: Can contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer and endocrine-disruption
Lead/nickel: Hazardous metals used in snaps and dyes
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): Used in fabric dyes and plastic toys to make them bend, and is linked to cancer and hormone disruption, among other issues
Phthalates: Used to make plastic flexible and more durable. Can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.

With spring here and summer just around the corner, we’re all ready for a bit more color in our lives. By checking the ingredients and choosing products with low impact dyes, we can make sure that splash of color leaves the toxins behind and brings only smiles.