Try to Tie Dye

TikTok trends are everywhere. They’re in our food (or, coffee); they’re playing pranks on us; they’re making us dance on repeat to tediously overplayed songs. So, Toyld decided to give a TikTok trend a go. After shuffling around in the cupboard under the sink for a good five minutes, I managed to produce a bottle of eye-watering, citrus-scented thick bleach and realised I could attempt the ‘reverse tie-dye’ at no extra cost or delay.

If you want to give it a go, here is the method I used and the result I achieved.

What you’ll need: a pair of rubber gloves (be careful with the bleach, it’s nasty stuff); an old colourful piece of clothing; some rubber bands; the bleach; and, a spray/squirty bottle with some water in it. (I also laid out my tie-dying on a bin bag so as not to kill any grass).

First, scrunch up your item of clothing into multiple little ruffled balls. The more scrunched, the more whacky your tie dye. Twist into the scrunch for that spun-out whirl effect.

Second, secure in place with elastic bands.

Third, fill spray bottle with one-part water to one-part bleach – the gloves should be on from now on.

Fourth, start spritzing your clothes until they are completely saturated. Be careful not to get any of the mixture on yourself or neighbouring items.

Five, leave your clothes until they have turned the desired shade – the colour should be starting to drop away. Obviously the longer you leave it, the lighter they’ll go as the bleach.

Six, once they’ve reached the desired shades, cut the rubber bands off and rinse your clothes in cold water.

Seven, pop your clothes in the washing machine to fully get that bleach off. Thoroughly wash your rubber gloves, bin your bin bag (if using), and pop that bleach back in the cupboard under the sink.

Eight, pull out your freshly tie-dyed garms from the washing machine and leave to dry.

Nine, wear them loud and proud; take a pic, and don’t forget to tag us on insta.

While I have you here

I was really rather hoping right now that coronavirus would make me care less about what I wear. I thought that the return to simpler times – transport, leisure activities, our slower pace of life, leaving nature to breathe just a little and appreciating its beauty – would lead me to care less about what I wear. The ideal is that I would no longer be compelled to buy the latest trends as they emerge each season, checking ASOS and Instagram day in/day out. Sadly, I feel just as materialistic and superficial as if I were strutting around Central London, painfully trying to compete with the multitude of actually cool students that litter Bloomsbury. Who am I trying to impress now? My Mum – who has toiled away in her gardening gear every day since lockdown was first announced? My boyfriend – whose favourite outfit always comprises some brightly coloured swim shorts, crocs and the free t-shirts he got from his work?

I guess it must be myself. I don’t want to feel so shallow.

But the thing is, I like to dress nicely. Or, at least feel put together – even if that is a matching sweat set, paired with some little gold earrings and some nice sliders.

What I have realised however is that it isn’t a bad thing – it isn’t being shallow. My day is improved. My productivity seems to genuinely increase when I have taken the extra 20 minutes in the morning to brush my hair, set my brows, conceal any spots, add a touch of fenty blush and choose a lip colour for the day. I need that. I feel happier and more secure in myself. I am set up for the day.

Perhaps far more profoundly, I can do all of this without having to incessantly buy ‘new’ clothes all the time. When I left London, I scrambled together in less than 10 minutes, the few clothing items I could squeeze into my already brimming book-laden suitcase (law students will understand). These are my staples, my basics – and a few weeks of living in them alone has taught me you really don’t need a lot (especially as a student who can wear what they want). Buying new clothes is wrong. It is generally bad, and I am a bad person for engaging in this madness. There are some companies out there striving to make a difference to the fashion world – developing conscious fashion – but they are certainly few and far between. I don’t know enough to say who is good or bad, I certainly need an education.

For certain, though, I want to really think about what I buy and for what purpose – will I be wearing that item 10 times or for 10 years? And, will it last me for the latter? Is it second-hand/vintage? Is it going to go ‘out of fashion’?

For the harder questions, how was it made? Who by? Were the materials and processes sustainably sourced?

Anyway, that's my food for thought.

I am a long way from any sort of ideals. But, I will try. I am open to be educated. Try with me.


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