· By Zohre Acik Haines
The Fabric Edit: Peace Silk
Silk is a beautiful natural fabric – smooth on the skin, light and durable. However, the making of silk is far from sustainable. It’s a rather cruel process that involves boiling silkworms alive to unwind a full, unbroken strand of silk from the worm’s cocoon. The worms die in this process. This technique is unmistakably inhumane as these worms are sensate creatures with the ability to feel pain. Many sustainable brands are searching for an alternative fabric, one that would not sacrifice the natural elements silk brings to a garment.
Enter Peace Silk.
Peace Silk (also known as cruelty-free silk, non-violent silk and Ahimsa silk) is an alternative way of collecting silk fibres, allowing the worm to live. This technique originated in India by the *Ahimsa people. The worms remain in their cocoons until they transform into moths. In the process of leaving the cocoon, the moth breaks the continuous strand of silk into much smaller pieces and fragments. These separate fragments then needed to be loomed together – creating a thicker fabric than your average silk.
Harvesting peace silk is a much more time-consuming process than the creation of regular silk, although more rewarding. Firstly, you must wait ten days for the cocoons to hatch and then the small fragments of silk thread must be loomed together, creating a new high-quality silk thread – another lengthy process. Due to this labour and time-intensive process, peace silk is more costly than regular silk. At Zerya, we strive to create garments with the lowest environmental impact. We think the love and care that goes into creating this sustainable silk is worth 100% of the cost. Some of our garments are pure peace silk and with other garments we loom the silk with other sustainable fabrics, like hemp and linen, to create diverse, eco-conscious blends.
*Ahimsa (English translation – “nonviolence”) is an ancient Indian principle practiced in multiple religions including Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Those who practice Ahimsa all lives (animals and insects included) are sacred and will not harm any living thing.