Indigo dye is harvested from the plant that does everything from making cotton jeans blue to giving boots, sneakers, home décor, wood, and leather brilliant shades of blue hues. Before these items can become colored treasures, seeds are needed to grow indigo plants which sprout leaves for harvesting. It may not be foremost in one’s thoughts to imagine that indigo plants have been growing locally in Baltimore for four summers, but jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities are expected to arise because of a progressive initiative.
The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) hosted a groundbreaking on June 28, 2022 for the Natural Dye Initiative (NDI), in partnership with Upton Planning Committee, Inc. According to a press release, the NDI, which is “a collaboration dedicated to the development of a natural dye ecosystem,” will be housed in the historic Harriet Beecher Stowe School. It is located at 1223 Argyle Ave. in Baltimore. Fields in the 1200 block of Argyle Ave. and five additional locations will be utilized.