How your ethical silk PJs bring rural communities out of poverty
As Emma Watson once famously said "it is a small miracle that we as consumers can participate in a process that is keeping skills alive and helping them to prosper".
Silk is the most elegant textile in the world with unparalleled grandeur, natural sheen, inherent soft touch and high durability. It still retains the world over as the "Queen of Textiles".
After China, India is the second-largest producer of silk in the world. It produces 35,820 metric tons vs china's 68,600 metric tons in annual silk production. Among the four varieties of silk produced. Mulberry accounts for 71.8% (20,434 MT), Tasar 9.9% (2,818 MT), Eri 17.8% (5,054 MT) and Muga 0.6% (166 MT) of the total raw silk production.
Sericulture, the production of silk, is a labour intensive agro-based industry. It is an industry that uses agricultural products as raw materials. In conventional silk production, mainly mulberry silk, the domestic silkworms (Bombyx mori) feed on mulberry leaves. Once the silkworms have spun their cocoons, they are boiled, killing the pupae silkworm.
At Ethical Kind, we focus entirely on sustainability and ethical silk production, so-called 'peace silk', produced in Jharkhand, India. This ethical silk uses a more humane type of sericulture which allows silkworm to complete its natural life cycle to a silk moth. This silk fabric unequalled quality is verified under the World Fair Trade Organisation Guarantee System.
As the very nature of sericulture is rural-based on-farm and off-farm. Including the cultivation to feed the silkworms that spin silk cocoons, to the cocoon reeling to unwind the silk filament and the weaving of the silk fabric, every process plays a vital role in employment and alleviating poverty in rural communities:
Wearing organic peace silk five social impact:
1. Increase in Rural Employment
Sericulture provides a means of livelihood to more than 65,000 families are involved in silk cocoon rearing across 17,000 villages in 24 districts of Jharkhand. It has a vast potential for income and employment generation in rural areas and highly suited for the small and marginal farmers as only small landholding and investment is required to rear silkworms.
2. Women Friendly Occupation
Sericulture can be an additional source of income for women in the sector. It is the best occupation for women in the changing scenario of their family income. Women can take up sericulture activities from upstream activities, including farm management, harvesting, silkworm rearing, downstream activities, like silk reeling, twisting and weaving. In the sericulture industry, women constitute over 60% of employees.
3. Regenerative Food and Farming
Organic peace silk production promotes regenerative practices that enhance organic and permaculture production methods that exclude pesticides, GM seeds or the use of toxic chemicals. It focuses on improving soil health, water retention and rainfall conservation. It also uses crop rotation, agro-forestry and planned rotational grazing to improve food nutrition and increase yields while at the same time strengthening local food systems and empowering women and youth, and restoring or enhancing community food security.
4. Preserving Cultural Heritage and Skills
Our supplier plays a pivotal role in investing in training programmes for anyone who wishes to learn. It includes introducing regeneration farming methods and training silk-weaving techniques on a handloom to generate employment in rural India. The knowledge has provided vital employment and livelihood opportunities in rural areas, thus helping to reverse migration from big-cities.
5. Quality Education for All
Education is still a significant concern in rural areas. As rural families cannot afford to hire help for farming activities, they use the children, placing only secondary importance on their schooling. It is important to help rural development from social and economic perspectives and decrease the cultural divide. That's why with every purchase, Ethical Kind donates 5% of the net revenue to "Adivasi Kalyan Samitee" to provide education facilities for children in the farming regions of Jharkhand, India.References: