As the textile industry began to reconsider everything from production to packaging, it wasn’t long before the conscious microscope took a closer look behind the ethical practices of the most luxurious fabrics in the game. And so did we.
For those of us opting for vegan leather jackets and recycled cashmere sweaters, did we stop to consider the tiny silkworm? The worm who produces the beautifully soft yarn we know (and love) as silk?
The hard facts: A silkworm gives about 1000 yards of yarn. Amazing creature. However, it becomes difficult for the silk manufacturer to get a single, unbroken thread of silk as long as the silkworm is in the cocoon (aka, home). To obtain the silk easily, the cocoons are immersed in boiling water, which, surprise - kills the pupae inside and long, unbroken silk yarn is ready to be spun into (unethical) garments.
So, what exactly is Ahimsa or Peace Silk?
This cruelty-free yarn is exactly as it sounds - peaceful. In fact, you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard of it sooner. Ahimsa translates to ‘non-violent’, and Ahimsa silk is the product of non-violent silk breeding and harvesting. Yes, get around it.
“Ahimsa is not a mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love.”
- Swami Sivananda
Wild silk moths are bred, rather than the domestic variety. You can think of it like caged eggs versus free-range eggs - we know what we’d choose. The breeding of the wild silk moths allows the metamorphosis of the silkworm to its natural, completed moth stage. Commercial and domestic silk breeding, as we mentioned early, ends the silkworm life cycle in the cocoon.
There are many types of silkworms but Bombyx mori is chiefly used to cultivate silk. Bamboo baskets to mulberry leaves, these silkworms basically live in the Hilton of silk production. The silkworms are kept in a bamboo basket and mulberry leaves are given to the worms as food. As the worms eat, the leaves help them to ooze out the protein that they use to create their cocoons, a protein harvested as raw silk. No, these aren’t your regular earthworms.
Why we choose to use Peace silk
Sustainability is at the centre of everything we do. It is an ever-evolving mission, and we want to focus on efforts that have the biggest impact. While we can’t stop the production of commercial silk, we can always ensure our own silk is non-toxic - as chemicals may be used in the cleaning or degumming of the cocoon - and that we use GOTS-certified dyes and natural dyes and pigments found in nature.
We aim to always create products that are as sustainable as possible, leaving as little a footprint behind as we can.
We are committed to having a positive impact on both the environment and the global community, in all areas of our brand. And, although worms can’t show their distress in ways that humans easily recognise, they are known as sensitive creatures.
It’s knowing that we don't have to inflict pain, however small, that aligns with our values of authenticity and ethical mindedness… and just generally helps us sleep more peacefully at night!
NIDRA’s Ahimsa (Peace) Silk
The silk used for our Face Saver Cases is organic and a 'non-violence' Mulberry silk. The company we partner with is certified Organic and Fair Trade and is the world leader in producing organic silk from cocoons without killing the pupae inside or without sacrificing animal life.
We use Grade 6A organic peace silk in our pillowcases and scrunchies. As we source our silk from India, we do not use the Japanese rating system of momme, hence why we do not market this in any of our communications. However, grade 6A silk universally is converted to 22 momme count so you can get an idea of the weight and feel of this luxury fabric.
100% of our cutting, sewing, and manufacturing for our Face Saver Cases and Hair Saver Scrunchies is done in Sydney, Australia. All other garments currently in design stages are produced by responsible manufacturing partners here in Australia or overseas in Bali and India, using our same sustainable standards and materials.
Ahimsa Silk is our best foot forward toward creating a more eco-friendly environment. And though there’s a long way to go for silk production, for the peace-lovers and non-violence supporters, the value of Ahimsa silk is its ability to promote conscious sleep.
At NIDRA, we come in peace.