Tires used to be white because that’s the original color of natural rubber.
Latex is a natural product, or it used to be purely natural, to be exact. Today latex can be produced from the sap of the rubber tree or through a synthetic process. When a rubber tree is over 6 years old you can start harvesting natural latex from it. It is done by perforating the bark and capturing the thick juice, which starts flowing as a natural defense reaction. By the way, this does no significant harm to the tree.
The rubber tree is indigenous to Central and South America, and indigenous people knew about the special juice for a long time. The oldest found rubber artifacts are over 3,500 years old! Even then, rubber was used in many ways: people were playing a ball game with solid rubber balls, fabrics were coated to make them water-repellent and hoses, tubes, and torches were also made from rubber. Latex suits are also not a modern invention. Rubber came to Europe after the discovery of America. The colonial England exported the rubber tree to Southeast Asia, where most of the natural latex is produced today.