Pop-up clothes dyeing centers are a new phenomenon in the Thai capital as black apparel becomes too expensive for many following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. On October 14, the Thai government declared a one-year mourning period over the death of the beloved king, who was the world’s longest-reigning monarch, and asked that for the first 30 days everyone cancel any festivities and wear black or white clothing.
In addition to widespread price surges on black garments by retailers (some of which are selling only black clothing), others have simply run out of stock, according to the Associated Press. On October 15, Thai authorities announced they would begin inspecting clothing vendors to make sure they were not unreasonably spiking the prices of black garments.
As a result of shortages, vats of black dye have been set up at a free dying station set up in downtown Bangkok by a tractor importing company. Volunteers rushed to write down names and contact information from a stream of visitors bringing in clothes to dye black.
Kanokporn Tantranont, a Krung Thai Tractor employee helping out at the center, said the huge amount of demand comes, as “some people don't have black clothes or don't have enough to wear."