Unlike conventional clothing which is dyed with petroleum-based dyes, these briefs are dyed with organic safflower, sapanwood and alkanet.
Safflower is a traditional dye used throughout Asia and Europe for its strong red dye and its medicinal properties. Extracting the red dye from safflowers is one, if not the most, complicated natural dye process, requiring at least 2-3 days to extract. (The phrase "red tape" originates from the fact that legal documents in England were required to be tied with red ribbons dyed with safflower dye). Safflowers contain both yellow and red dye pigments, and the yellow dye must first be fully extracted before the red pigment can be used, requiring several days of soaking and rinsing, before the flowers are added to an alkaline dye bath to extract the red dye, then "turning" the bath using lemon juice or vinegar to allow the red dye to dye fabric.
Sapanwood is a traditional dye used in India in particular for its medicinal properties. The major dye component in sapanwood is brazilian, and most of the traditional uses of brazilin have been validated by current scientific studies, finding brazilian to be antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a vasorelaxant (relaxing blood vessels).
Alkanet is another medicinal herb traditionally used in dyeing. Alkanet is highly antioxidant and is the current focus of anti-aging, anti-cancer and wound healing studies. This herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.