Silkworms are cute too!
Yesterday, Fibre 2 Fashion reported on Ahimsa Peace Silk, an Indian textile company that makes real silk without killing pupae. Traditionally silk is produced by factory farming moths and then boiling entire cocoons, silkworms and all. Normally the silk is then spun by machine. Ahimsa Peace Silk employs people to collect empty cocoons from the wild and spin silk from them by hand. The production is very labor intensive and, as a result, more expensive. However, the cruelty-free silk is also friendly to people and the environment. fashionUK reports that a by-product of this production process is the protection of castor trees where the silk moths naturally breed, as well as new economic opportunities for local people who are being trained to make silk in this cruelty-free way.
It seems like Ahimsa Peace Silk has been around for a couple of years but this is my first time hearing about it. Though I don’t personally know anyone who can afford this silk, I hope it catches on. Perhaps the fact that it is expensive will attract filthy rich celebs like J-Lo and P. Diddy who are just looking to show off. Could this spell the end of fur?
Update: Reader Dave S. has pointed out to me that not all of Ahimsa Peace Silk is made from wild cocoons. Tropical Tassar silkworms are reared in freedom via host trees and are thus wild. Muga silkworms are reared in host trees as well, but their cocoons are then spun in enclosures. Eri silkworms are raised solely indoors. So while none of the silkworms have been boiled, it is important to point our that their freedom is in many instances compromised.