Wearable Red Dirt, on a Shirt, Helped Save a Company

Via dirtshirt.com

Most people use washing machines to remove dirt. A company in Hawaii sells shirts dyed with the impossible-to-remove volcanic red dirt of the islands. Why? A 1992 hurricane threatened to sink the company when red dirt blew in and stained all of its white T-shirts. The company sold the shirts as is, and they became a hit.You can now find them for sale up and down the main drag in Waikiki Beach, and other places around Oahu. The idea seems to have spread to other states and countries, too.

According to DirtShirt.com, home of the "Original Red Dirt Dirt Shirt," the storm was Hurricane Iniki, that hit on Sept. 11, 1992. It caused about $2 billion in damage. All the white shirts waiting to be printed at Paradise Sportswear, a small screen shop on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, were drenched with water and stained with red dirt blown in from the storm.

"Instead of throwing out the shirts, we decided to dry them and print them as they were," the site says.

"The T shirts, stained with the ultra iron rich Red Dirt soil and printed with Hawaiian based themes, became a hit with the locals and visitors alike."

Mike Rowe, from the Discovery Channel show "Dirty Jobs" adopted the red dirt shirt for his show after filming an episode on Kauai.

The company says it's since refined the dyeing process. The color of the shirt gradually fades to a "beautiful buckskin color."

What a concept. A shirt dyed with dirt, instead of synthetic chemicals. In this case, you can wear your love for the Earth on your sleeve.

Tags: Chemicals | Clothing | Hawaii