Ethical Kind, founder Lily Chong was born in the UK and moved to Hong Kong to live with her single mother and grandparents when she was five years old. It was at her grandparent’s home she'd first experienced the luxury of silk in the comfort of their silk duvet. A family lineage she later uncovered about her great grandparents was they worked as silk farmers in South China, the silk duvets were a marital gift to their children.
Life as a child, Lily saw her mother work hard as a seamstress and garment maker. At nights she would help her mother count up the clothing tickets for her next paycheque and watch her lovingly make clothes for her. Lily appreciates the care and attention that went into clothes making, but never thought about a career in fashion. The closest she had got to fashion was working as a retailer assistance when she returned to London. Lily’s interest in health & disease earned her an undergraduate in Biomedical Science. She then progressed through a commercial career in the life science and renewable industry. The corporate world had been kind to her, but there was an underlying desire for change.
In pursuit of finding more fulfilling work, Lily volunteered at an International Development Charity, where she learned about the term "Social Enterprise", this concept of business doing social good fuelled an unexpected passion in her. Lily wanted to learn everything about the sector and formed a social enterprise meetup that quickly grew. She combined her commercial experience and insight and founded an organisation called The Fourth Sector, a service & event platform to support social entrepreneurs to start and further their business and impact.
Through the work, she became aware that the garment industry’s impact was not just about the scale of our consumption habits but also about its harmful production process it has on the people and the planet. Lily saw little of the luxury industry in the social enterprise space and began to question the possibilities. Inspired by a documentary on the silk road, Lily travelled to China and India to learn about silk. It was in India she found a small community of silk farmers making organic peace silk.
This type of silk is rarely heard of, the organic peace silk production is designed to sustain the health of soils, ecosystems and people. While traditional 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 to EK’s philosophy and ethics. 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. EK is proud to introduce an ethical and kind production to silk and support these communities.