The answer to this question varies depending on your exact definition of eco friendly, but assuming a general definition, the answer is yes, kind of. Silk is renewable, unlike nylon, and is made from the cacoons of the silk moth larve. It is durable, but also biodegradeable. This is all the “yes” part of the answer. The “kind of” part is because there are many different silk producers that are making organic or chemical free or no animal crualty (they let the moths naturally leave the cacoons befre harvesting), but not the majority of silk is not made that way. Silk is also never a local product unless you live in East Asia.
Treehugger investigated this question for several defenitions of eco-friendly, and the ultimate answer was, not really, but some companies are better about it than others. Silk is produced by several species of worms, usually in farms, but some companies collect “free range” silk to make clothes: look for wild silk, which is more sustainable. Some companies also claim to be more organic, and take eco-friendly measures so that the worms are not killed in the silkmaking process (which is usual). Wild silk is also animal friendly. However, all these processes make those brands more expensive.
On the plus side, all silks are durable, but also biodegradable and therefore considered renewable. They must use some kind of chemical additives to make the raw silk fit for clothing, but some companies like Anna Sova have found more natural chemicals that don’t use as much energy or toxic material to make. The biggest problems with silk are that for Americans and Europeans, it is not local (almost all silkworms are grown in Asia, making a huge carbon footprint as far as transportations costs), it does use animals, often kiling them, so it is not vegan, and it appears that no silk manufacturers are Certified Fair Trade. Buying silk is a mixed bag, when trying to go green.
Very interesting little thread. We create handmade silk using our own cultivated mulberry silk worms. We also let the moths leave the cocoons before harvesting and spinning…but about 25% still die. The rest we keep for future farming. So I guess we are not vegan.
But we only use 100% natural dyes for colour including tree barks, berries, flowers, selected leaves and other natural ingredients. We never use chemicals at any stage and we use a combination of crushed tapioca seeds and eucalyptus oils to ensure colour-fastness. In addition, as all our processes (spinning. dyeing and weaving) are all done by hand we should be able to claim we are eco-friendly. Would you agree?
We do not have any government “Fair Trade” certification as we do not want ANY government involvement in our community project – we want all the funds to be used right here locally…it’s a matter of trust here in Thailand. But we absolutely do share 100% of ALL profits with our weavers.
Our key mission is to improve the lifestyles of our very poor village:http://www.thaisilkmagic.com/ourkeymission.php
So would this be acceptable as “certified fair trade”?
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC