Many people are unaware that conventional silk is made by boiling thousands of silkworms. Lately, people have touting ‘peace silk’ (also called ‘ahimsa silk’) after the Sanskrit belief of causing no harm to any living creature.
Stella McCartney is now using biodegradable ‘Microsilk’
But it has come to light that even though this silk lets the worms chew their way out of the cocoons, by the time they do they are so exhausted and hungry, they are often too tired to find food and die aswell. This is the peril of using living creatures for profit.
- MicroSilk is a new biodegradable synthetic silk inspired by (but not made with) spiders. This remarkably strong and elastic material is made with natural materials, and is already being championed and used by designer Stella McCartney.
- Orange Silk is an Italian silk made from the waste products from citrus fruits, which are then spun into yarn and fabric, retaining the beautiful orange colour.
- Hemp silk comes from a naturally organic plant, which removes heavy metals from the earth, as it grows. Hemp is only slightly related to cannabis, and has no narcotic properties. In fact, it’s a bit daft to make it illegal to grow, as it provides green jobs, helps climate change and gives us seed, oil, ice-cream, milk, rope, paper and fabric!
- Banana silk is made from stems and stalks of leftover banana plants. The natural shine means you can use the inner peel to polish your shoes!
- Rose silk is similar, made from the waste stems of these beautiful flowers. Hopefully it’s pink!
not so eco-friendly (for now)
Cupro looks and feels like silk. But although it’s made from leftover cotton that is too small to go through the milling machine, at present it’s highly coated with chemicals most of the time, imported from China. A good idea in theory, which needs to be improved.