Finding this dye plant was something of a reminder of nature's sense of humour. We haven't been able to make purple since the start of Story in 2013 because the only natural dye we were able to get that produces purple is lac, which is a byproduct of insects (it's actually from a plant, but it involves bugs... it's complicated).
Undeterred, we consistently searched for years and attempted mixing colours, but to no avail. Recently (for us) we connected with a dye community that produces a beautiful sweety coloured lilac from the vembadam bark which can be sustainably harvested. They told us about all the benefits of the plant - it's good for your skin, traditionally used on cuts and bruises, and apparently even raises your mood.
Having been talked up, we were dying to meet the amazing, beautiful plant but were warned: "Be careful friends, the flowers smell terrible".