Eco-Friendly Silks

silk scarfPeople love silk. And it’s easy to see why. Silk is luxurious, it drapes beautifully, and it can hold dramatic bursts of color that are not as vibrant on other fabrics.

But the production of silk is actually a really cruel process. Silk worms are actually boiled alive during the silk making process. Want to learn more? Read one of our previous posts, The Short, Sad Life of a Silkworm.

My point here is that whenever you buy a traditional silk piece, you’re supporting the silk industry (which, as I just mentioned, boils the silk worms alive to get their silk).

What’s a more humane option? Well, you can go with an eco-friendly silk.

Eco-Friendly Silk

When it comes to buying eco-friendly silks, we have several options.

1. Buy Recycled Silk

There are plenty of products available that are made from recycled silk.

For instance, all theĀ fair trade handbags here at Earth Divas use recycled silk from saris, like the Recycled Silk bag on the right.

This silk is just as vibrant as regular silk and I think it’s far more interesting because it’s coming from clothing that other women have actually worn and lived in. I have one of these bags and to me, it has a unique life my other bags don’t have.

Always try to look for clothing and handbags made with recycled silk.

2. Buy Banana Silk

When processed correctly, fibers from banana plants can be harvested and woven into a yarn that resembles silk. In the spirit of full disclosure, however, take the word “resembles” with a big grain of salt. Banana silk does not, and will never, have the soft luxuriousness of real silk.

Banana silk yarn, however, is a wonderful material for knitting scarves and hats because it is super soft.

A lot of banana silk is handspun in India and Nepal, where our artisans are. Most banana silk is made in small batches, and dyed by hand to get the most vibrant color.

Last Word…

I know nothing can quite take the place of real silk. But if we look for vintage or reused silk, or opt for banana silk in our scarves, we can stop contributing to the short, sad lives of our silkworms.

(Photo Credit: ingermaaike2)

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