Azo dyes are the most widely used colourants in the apparel industry as they offer bright high-quality colours that last. Without getting into a full-blown chemistry lesson, in the simplest terms, Azo dyes (or Azo Colourants) contain compounds. These compounds are called amines. Under certain conditions, some of these amines become carcinogenic. Over 20 different cancer-causing amines are banned, but sadly, not everywhere.
These banned amines are not only used to dye fabrics and leather, they are used to colour beads, sequins, threads, yarns, buttons, zippers and various other finishes. And equally troubling, some of these Azo dyes are also used to colour food!
At Hatley, we took a stand a long time ago to never source anything that was coloured with Azo dyes. Other, safer and less dubious low impact colourants exist. If we wouldn’t let our own kids wear apparel that contained Azo dyes, why would we choose to make and sell garments that are, when you, our customers, share the same safety concerns as we do? Babies and young kids are especially vulnerable as they put everything in their mouths! We will never allow the use of something that is known to cause cancer into our products.