However, in recent years, the social, environmental and animal welfare concerns around the production of silk has led to innovation into more sustainable alternatives. Here we find out what organic peace silk is and why it is so important. We explain the difference between organic peace silk, organic silk and conventional silk.
What is Conventional Silk?
While there are a variety of different types of species used to produce silk, the most commonly used species is the larvae of ‘Bombyx mori’ – (the caterpillar of the domestic silkmoth). The silkworms feed continually on a vast amount of mulberry leaves to encourage growth. Once the silkworms have spun their cocoon, they will eventually enclose themselves inside it. These cocoons are then placed into boiling water while the silkworms are still alive to extract the silk threads. This extraction process is a crucial step in the silk production process as it ensures there is no damage to the continuity of each thread.
What is Organic Silk?
For organic silk, the process is the same as with conventional silk. With the only difference that the silkworms are fed with mulberry tree leaves from organic agriculture. The trees are not treated with fungicides, insecticides or genetic sprays; this has a positive impact on the size of the cocoon and the quality of the silk thread, it also significantly reduces water pollution that results from conventional silk production practices.
What is Organic Peace Silk?
The species used to make organic peace silk is the larvae of ‘Antheraea mylitta’ - (the caterpillar of the wild Tasar silk moth). While conventional and organic silk manufacturing methods involve boiling the cocoons while the silkworm is still inside, Peace silk allows the completion of the metamorphosis of the silkworm to the butterfly, so no animal suffers for fashion. This particular method can slow production, but it is fundamental. It is done according to the principle of AHIMSA (Sanskrit: non-violence/cruelty-free) and manufactured under the most stringent social and natural conditions. Once the butterflies have left their cocoons, the cocoons are processed without the use of harmful chemicals, and the fibres are spun using solar-powered machinery. Organic peace silk is a sustainable and cruelty-free alternative to silk.
Image: Organic peace silk pillowcases
Difference between organic peace silk, organic silk and conventional silk:
In summary, why choose Organic Peace Silk?
- Organic peace silk is cruelty-free meaning no animal has to suffer or die for fashion.
- Instead of the domesticated silkworm, the silkworm breeding takes place in the wild under natural conditions.
- Organic agriculture means the feed is created without the use of any chemicals or treatments using insecticides, pesticides or synthetic fertilisers.
- The small scale silk farmers are paid fairly for the cost of their cocoons and not controlled by brokers or numerous agents.
- Regenerative farming practices help improve soil health and store more carbon in the ground.
- Workers and surrounding communities are not exposed to carcinogens through toxic pesticide use.
- The ethical practice supports the sustainable development and economic prospects of communities, so future generations can thrive.