ONCE UPON A TIME
For years I have been enjoying sleeping on silk. Growing up, my mother always slept with a silk scarf on her pillow and encouraged my sister and I to do the same as it was so good for our skin and hair. I quickly fell in love with this natural fabric and decided to explore the idea of making silk pillowcases and baby cot sheets.
While researching, I watched a documentary on silk production, where I saw that in regular silk production the silk worms are boiled alive in order to extract the silk thread. Wanting an alternative to this, I eventually I found Ahimsa 'peace' silk, a particular eco-friendly silk production process where no animals are harmed.
The result is a beautifully rich mulberry silk which, because of the particular way it is more like a fine linen with a beautiful matt lustre rather than the shiny finish of regular silk.
It is essential that our products are tailored in a principled manner, the alternative is just not an option for us. Committed to always using ethical tailoring units, The Ethical Silk Company products are made in Fairtrade tailoring unit Mehera Shaw, located in Jaipur, India. By partnering with Fairtrade units, we, and our customers can have peace of mind in the production of our products.
Mehera Shaw is a sustainable production unit based on a business philosophy that puts the human factor first. Its production unit in Jaipur follows Fairtrade standards in relation to employee and environmental practices. Mehera Shaw also supports a women's group through its Foundation development project where the same ethical and labour standards are followed.
Our printed products are printed by hand at Mehera Shaw's unit in Bagru, Jaipur. Block printing is a centuries old tradition and heritage craft of India, passed down from generation to generation.
Using simple tools, age-old techniques and years of experience, the designs are traced onto teak wood blocks and carved by hand. The blocks are then dipped in dye and the pattern is stamped onto the silk, by hand, one at a time.
Dyes used are low impact, AZO free dyes. All water used is treated and recycled.
Slight irregularities in colour and patterns are characteristic of block printing, making each piece unique - no two are the same. These imperfections are seen as a sign of the garment’s authenticity and its hand made beauty.
Committing to our social responsibility, The Ethical Silk Company has pledged to donate 10% profits to charity. Having visited the Jeevan Jyothi AIDS Centre in Theni, and witnessed first hand the tireless work carried out by the staff, I decided to pledge 5% company profits to the centre. Focus Ireland, a charity that works to prevent people becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness, also receive 5% company profits.
We want our customers to enjoy beautiful timeless pieces, with the knowledge they were made to the highest standards, both in quality and throughout the production process. Transparency along the production line is central to The Ethical Silk Company's ethos - the silk we use, where our products are tailored and by selling direct to our customers we can keep our prices down whilst gaining valuable insight into what our customers want and appreciate.