Santa Rosa Junior College agriculture internship student Craig Wilkinson has pioneered the “Blue is Green” project, an effort to encourage the use of eco-friendly textile dyes, such as the natural blue dye from Japanese indigo.
The project will culminate at the “Metamorphosis” fashion show, organized by the SRJC Fashion Studies department, which will showcase clothing designed entirely by students, utilizing textiles and fibers dyed using Japanese indigo grown at Shone Farm.
The show will be held during the Larry A. Bertolini Day Under the Oaks community open house and education fair on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Bertolini Student Center. Japanese indigo seeds and seedlings will also be available for purchase at the Shone Farm plant sale, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the day of the event.
“Japanese indigo that is grown locally is an alternative choice to synthetic indigo, which has a petroleum based chemistry, and results in a toxic waste stream,” Wilkinson said. “The ‘Blue is Green’ project allows agriculture, art, science and culture to merge and create beauty in a responsible way.”
The emerging market for eco-friendly, natural dyes makes Japanese indigo a viable alternative crop for local farmers. In addition to his work at Shone Farm, Wilkinson is also a participant of Fibershed, which has pioneered the cultivation and processing of Japanese indigo in Northern California.
Day Under the Oaks is an open house event for the entire community to explore the college’s many academic, cultural and student life offerings. Admission and parking are free.