Clothes Fashion

3 Sustainable Vegan Silks That Do No Harm

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

For thousands of years, silk has been associated with luxury. From emperor’s robes to concubine’s scarves, the fabric represented wealth, refinement, and sensuality.  Of course, this is all true today, too, but we can add ‘sustainability’ to that list – silk is a biodegradable material that takes to dye quickly, meaning that unlike some other fibres, it doesn’t need multiple dye baths, which is good news for the environment. But silk can be bad news for animals!

Most people know  that the refined textile is the outcome of the silkworm spinning a fibroin protein into a  cocoon, which can be comprised of up to a  hundred metres of silk thread. To emerge from its cocoon, the silkworm secretes a fluid which burns a hole through the strands. But since this damages and breaks the fibre, farmers habitually boil the silkworm alive to save the silk. Finding this to be cruel,  various designers to find alternative ways of making silk.

Here are three of the best – and most sustainable – vegan silks, and the wonderful designers who use them.

Peace Silk or Ahimsa Silk

The brainchild of Kusuma Rajaiah, a government officer in India,  applied the theories behind the peaceful Ahimsa way of life to the making of silk in 1990. Whilst normal silk boils silkworms alive in their cocoons Peace Silk, also known as Ahimsa Silk, allows the silkworm to emerge out of the cocoon naturally. Fibres from the damaged cocoon are spun together forming a silk which has the same luxurious feel of silk, with a slightly ‘raw’ appearance.

From a purely economic standpoint, it’s hard to justify using this kind of silk, as it requires 10 extra days in the process to let the larvae grow and the moths to hatch out of the cocoons; in contrast, the less humane process takes about 15 minutes. The damaged cocoons yield six times less filament, too – so no wonder the price of this silk is around double that of conventional silk.

Nonetheless, it is gaining in popularity: designers like  Tiziano Guardini  uses it in his designs, and at the  2010 Oscars. Suzy Amis Cameron had a blue gown made for the event whose principal fabric was Ahimsa silk.

As with any  silk product, be sure you take care of your peace silk garments properly. No need to dry clean; they can be washed by hand without being damaged. Just make sure you use  a mild soap in lukewarm or cold water. Gently move the fabric from side to side for no more than five minutes, then remove the silk from the water, wrap it in a dry towel and roll it out to straighten it up. Most importantly, never ever forget to iron silk from the back  side, using a bit of sprayed water:  excessive heat will damage it.

Where to find it:

Ayten Gasson: This lingerie brand shows off  the wonders that can be achieved with organic silk. Launched in 2005, by designer Ayten Roberts,  the label  has become recognised for the firm commitment to support the UK manufacturing industry, whilst demonstrating a passion for sumptuous design and the importance of quality construction.

f82e24b4e219811e7089d2900d29541f871696c0-900x1350resize

Lifegist: We love this design-led Spanish brand because it’s got just the right amount of edge without making you look like a fashion victim, and of course because it has a strong pro-environment philosophy. Not only do they ensure all their materials are as eco-friendly as possible, they also check that the entire production process, including dying the textiles, is completely non-toxic

lifegist_ii_02

Tiziano Guardini: The young Italian design genius is a name to watch. Creating both pret a porter collections  and couture, much imagination and innovation are evident in every garment.

collezionesetanon-violentatiziano13_redim

Spider Silk

You may never have guessed it, but those spider webs in your home are  five times stronger than steel and more elastic than rubber bands! Its potential for fashion use is incredible, as it’s both strong and flexible, so much so, it could be used in everything from bulletproof vests and biodegradable water bottles to shoes and flexible bridge suspension ropes. Until recently,  anyone who has attempted to produce enough to bring it to the mass market has pretty much failed, but  Bolt Threads launched its  first commercial textiles this  year.

Bolt Threads doesn’t use spiders to make its silk. The principal ingredients are yeast, water, and sugar. The raw silk is produced through fermentation, much like brewing beer, except instead of the yeast turning the sugar into alcohol, they turn it into the raw stuff of spider silk. Bolt Threads spins that into threads using a method similar to the wet-spinning process used to create cellulose-based fibers such as Lyocell. It is  molecularly the same as natural spider silk, with the exception of a few small variations.

Synthetic spider silk could be used for everything from car  parts and medical devices to durable outdoor gear – so no wonder Bolt Threads  recently announced a new partnership with the eco friendly outdoor brand Patagonia. The North Face are also interested in the material. Spider silk ski wear? It could soon be a possibility!
 spider-silk-northface-clausette

3.  Art Silk

As we all know, the bamboo plant is wonderfully sustainable; but bamboo fabric…not so much. Basically, there are two ways to process bamboo to make the plant into a fabric: mechanically or chemically. The mechanical way is by crushing the fibrous parts of the bamboo plant and then using natural enzymes to break these down into a mushy mass which is then combed out and spun into yarn. Bamboo fabric made from this process is sometimes called bamboo linen, but it can have the texture of raw silk. Unfortunately, very little of this fabric is manufactured for clothing because it’s so  labor intensive and costly.

The most common form of bamboo ‘silk’ is chemically manufactured, and has the feeling of modal or rayon, not quite silk. It’s made  by “cooking” the bamboo leaves and woody shoots in strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH – also known as caustic soda or lye) and carbon disulfide in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching. Both sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide have been linked to serious health problems – and when these chemicals are dumped into the water table as part of the manufacturing process, they do serious harm to aquatic life.  Because of the potential health risks and damage to the environment that it causes, Art Silk and most  bamboo textiles cannot be  considered sustainable or environmentally supportable.  Still, many vegans prefer this to a natural fabric that comes from animals.

Where to find it:

Bamboo Blonde: This Australian brand is well known for its silky bamboo fabrics and light, summery designs. The label is popular in Boho chic hotspots like Byron Bay and Bali.

bambooblonde bamboo-blonde-3

This site uses affiliate links with brands we trust, and if you make a purchase using a link, we may receive a commission.

Did you enjoy this post? Want to show your gratitude? Please support us on Patreon!

Patreon logo Become a Patron

Loading...

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Is Silk Sustainable?
    Oct 2, 2018 at 7:21 am

    […] also helping create new and better alternatives to silk. Bolt Threat launched its first commercial spider silk. But the company does not use spider in the process. In fact, the thread is made from yeast, water, […]

  • Reply
    Fashioned from Nature At The V&A Examines Natural Fashion Over Time - Eluxe Magazine
    Oct 28, 2018 at 11:29 am

    […] National Institute of Agricultural Science (NIAS), South Korea, and a tunic and trousers made from synthetic spider silk from Bolt Threads x Stella McCartney, for […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    This site uses affiliate links with brands we trust, and if you make a purchase using a link, we may receive a commission.

    Privacy Policy

    The Eluxe privacy policy applies to all your personal information, given and received. Personal information is information that might identify you, like your name, address, phone number, email, or website. When you visit our site, we may gather information about you such as your name, email, cookie information, and IP location. We may contact you regarding your preferences for information and updates. This information allows us to honour your requests for products and services and to improve our service to you. We never share or sell your personal information, unless we need to do so in order to provide a product, information or service that you have requested. Please note that no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% safe, thus, we cannot warrant that your information will be absolutely secure. Eluxe Magazine has a variety of safeguards – technical, administrative, and physical – in place to help protect against unauthorised access to, use, or disclosure of user information. We guarantee adherence to industry best practices that ensure complete security, and we fully comply with all federal regulations. If we change our privacy policy, we will tell you.

    Copyright

    All material on our site is original unless stated. Original content is fully copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. We make every effort to ensure all published images respect appropriate copyright. Should there be any issue, please contact us immediately.

    Third party links

    Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

    Eluxe Magazine uses affiliate links throughout the site. We may be compensated if readers click on those links. We only provide links to products and services we genuinely like and trust.

    Our Site will also occasionally contain links to, and quotations of, material from other sites. Eluxe Magazine is not responsible for the content or the privacy practices of other sites and expressly disclaims any liability arising out of such content or practices. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave Eluxe Magazine’s Site, and to read the privacy statements of any website that may collect personally identifiable information. Some of the links found on our site may be links that have been paid for by the sponsor. Under no circumstances does Eluxe Magazine accept responsibility for, nor shall Eluxe Magazine be liable for any violation of personal or proprietary rights of you and/or any third party (including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, patent, service mark, misappropriation, unfair competition, trade secrets, privacy publicity rights, etc.), false advertising that is harmful, or violates any law or governmental regulation and/or any media that may constitute libel or slander of any person or entity or infringe upon or violate the right of privacy or any other right of any person or entity arising out of content, practices, or other media of any third party links.

    Eluxe Magazine is not responsible for the content or the privacy practices of other sites we link into and expressly disclaims any liability arising out of such content or practices. Under no circumstances does Eluxe Magazine accept responsibility for, nor shall Eluxe Magazine be liable for any damages or detriment arising out of content, practices, or other media of third party links.

    Editorial Statement and Disclaimer

    The views expressed at here are the views of the Eluxe staff and do not necessarily represent the views of Eluxe sponsors and/or partners. Eluxe content is for informational and entertainment purposes, and any views expressed should not be accepted as a substitute for qualified expertise. Though we make every effort to provide accurate information, it is up to you, the reader, to use Eluxe’s content responsibly; in return, we promise to publish responsibly. We stand by our content, our writers, and our editors. In the rare case we make a mistake, we will take whatever reasonable course of action we can to acknowledge and correct it.

    Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

    EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THE SITE, CONTENT, PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES ON THE SITE ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND ON AN “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW AND EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, TGT DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. ELUXE MAGAZINE DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT ANY DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE SITE OR THE SERVER THAT MAKES THE SITE AVAILABLE ARE FREE FROM VIRUSES OR ANYTHING ELSE HARMFUL. FURTHER, EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, ELUXE MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, USEFULNESS, RELIABILITY, OR COMPLETENESS OF THE SITE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, CONTENT, THE CONTENT OF ANY THIRD-PARTY SITE LINKED TO OR FROM THIS SITE, COMMENTS, INFORMATION, INFORMATION PROVIDED BY OUR VENDORS, OR ANY OTHER ITEMS OR MATERIALS ON THE SITE OR LINKED TO FROM THE SITE.

    ELUXE ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR (A) ANY, ERRORS, MISTAKES OR INACCURACIES OF THE CONTENT, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, SITE AND MATERIALS SET FORTH ON OR MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE, (B) PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER, RESULTING FROM YOUR ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE SITE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S), PRODUCTS OR SERVICES, (C) ANY UNAUTHORISED ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE SERVERS THAT HOST THE SITE OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S) AND/OR ANY AND ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION STORED THEREIN, (D) ANY INTERRUPTION OR CESSATION OF TRANSMISSION TO OR FROM THE SITE OR THIRD PARTY SITE(S), (E) ANY BUGS, VIRUSES, TROJAN HORSES OR THE LIKE, WHICH MAY BE TRANSMITTED TO OR THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S) BY TGT OR ANY THIRD PARTY, AND/OR (F) ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE NETWORK OR ANY CONTENT, INFORMATION AND MATERIALS (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THIRD PARTY SITE(S)) OR FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING.

    NO PERSON (INCLUDING ANY AGENT, DEALER OR REPRESENTATIVE OF ELUXE MAGAZINE) IS AUTHORISED TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY CONCERNING PRODUCTS AND BY USING THIS SITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NOT RELIED ON ANY OTHER WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS.

    IN NO EVENT SHALL ELUXE OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, AGENTS, SUPPLIERS, VENDORS, MANUFACTURERS OR DISTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA, REVENUE OR PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY OR GOODWILL, ARISING FROM OR IN CONNECTION WITH (A) THE USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE; (B) THE PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES, PRODUCTS, MATERIALS, CONTENT, OR SOFTWARE AVAILABLE FROM, ON OR THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITE(S); OR (C) THE CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OF THE SITE, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF ELUXE MAGAZINE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. YOU ASSUME COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR USE OF THE SITE. YOUR SOLE REMEDY AGAINST TGT FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SITE OR ANY CONTENT IS TO STOP USING THE WEBSITE. THAT SAID, IF ELUXE MAGAZINE IS FOUND TO BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGE OR LOSS ARISING OUT OF OR WHICH IS IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR USE OF THE SITE, ANY CONTENT, OR PURCHASE OF ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ON OR THROUGH THE SITE, ELUXE MAGAZINE’S LIABILITY SHALL NOT EXCEED $100.00 IN THE AGGREGATE.

    These Terms of Service (together with our Privacy Policy, which is expressly incorporated herein by reference and which can be accessed on this Site, and any other terms that may appear on the Site from time-to-time) contain the entire understanding between you and us with respect to your use and access of this Site, and supersede all prior agreements, terms, conditions and understandings, both written and oral, with respect to such use and access of the Site. No representation, statement or inducement, whether oral or written, not contained in these Terms of Service (and any other terms that may appear on the Site from time-to-time) or the Privacy Policy shall bind any party to this agreement. No additional or different terms or conditions will be binding upon us unless expressly agreed to in writing by an officer of ELUXE MAGAZINE. No other representative has any authority to waive, alter, vary or add to these Terms of Service. Before using this Site please read through all referenced documents carefully.

    Aggregate information (non-personally identifiable information)

    Eluxe Magazine may, from time to time, automatically collect aggregate information about our visitors to our advertisers, sponsors, promotional partners and affiliates. This aggregate information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses connecting to our site, how many persons visited a particular page or activity, dates and times of image uploads, device characteristics, operating system, browser type, type of connection, page and image viewing statistics, and incoming and outgoing links.

    Like most websites, we use log files to store this information. None of this automatically collected technical information is associated with any identified person at the time it is collected, but it could be associated with you under two circumstances: First, if you choose to give us personal data about you as described above, the technical information we collect that would otherwise be anonymous could instead be logged as coming from you. Second, if we are required to disclose our server logs as a result of a subpoena or other legal process, some third party such as your internet provider could match our anonymous technical information with you, using information beyond what is found on our servers.

    Eluxe Magazine may use cookies, web beacons, pixel tags, or other anonymous tracking information to improve our server’s interaction with your computer, and we may partner with third party advertisers who may (themselves or through their partners) place or recognise a unique cookie on your browser. These cookies enable more customised ads, content, or services to be provided to you. To trigger these cookies, we may pass an encrypted or “hashed” (non-human readable) identifier corresponding to your email address to a Web advertising partner, who may place a cookie on your computer. No personally identifiable information is on, or is connected to, these cookies. Although our servers currently don’t respond to “do-not-track” requests (see below), you can block these cookies in other ways, for example by searching “[your browser] + disable cookies.”

    Eluxe Magazine will never share, sell, lease, or rent PII to unaffiliated third parties, except in the following circumstances:

    a) If we have a good faith belief that we must disclose such information for legal reasons, such as to enforce our Terms of Service, protect or assert the rights, property interests, or personal safety of Eluxe (including its employees, directors, suppliers, distributors, service providers, users of the Website or others), or if we are otherwise required to disclose such information by law. We will disclose information only to the extent necessary to comply with the purpose of the request.

    b) We may share aggregate, anonymous or summary information regarding our customers and their behaviors with partners, advertisers or other third parties. This data is not personal information and so will not identify you personally. We may share information with companies that provide support services to us, such as a printer, mailing house, fulfillment-company, credit card processor, email service provider or web host, amongst others. These parties may need personal information about you in order to perform their functions. However, these parties may not use any personal information we share with them about you for any other purpose other than in connection with performing supporting functions for us.

    You have the right at any time to prevent us from contacting you for marketing purposes. If and when we send a promotional communication to a user, the user can opt out of further promotional communications by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in each promotional e-mail. Please note that notwithstanding the promotional preferences you indicate by unsubscribing or opting out in some other fashion, we may continue to send you administrative emails including, for example, periodic updates to our Privacy Policy.

    In order to access a profile on Eluxe Magazine’s shop, you must first create an account with a username and password. The registration system requires that a valid email address be used to confirm the account. You should choose a username that does not include your last name and does not specify your city or your address. Eluxe Magazine asks that you use your first name only, or an alias, for your display name. This is to safeguard your privacy and protection. We do not use and cannot access this information.

    Eluxe Magazine is 100% opposed to unsolicited commercial email (“spam”). We do not have any desire to send unsolicited marketing emails to anyone without permission and we do not sell or provide user email addresses to any unauthorised third party in violation of this Policy. All of our newsletters and other general email marketing communications also include an “unsubscribe” opt-out link that you may use to tell us to stop sending you marketing emails.

    In the event of a change in control resulting from, for example, a sale to, or merger with, another entity, or in the event of a sale of assets or a bankruptcy, Eluxe Magazine reserves the right to transfer your personal information to the new party in control, or the party acquiring assets. We will only do so if the party we transfer the information to agrees that they will abide by our Privacy Policy for as long as they hold the information, and that they will not transfer the information to any other party who will not abide by our Privacy Policy.

    We use third-party advertising companies to deliver online advertising. These companies facilitate the delivery of ads, conduct market research, and use cookies for record-keeping purposes. These cookies sometimes enable the companies to serve you ads tailored to things you have shown an interest in based on your prior web activity. This is generally known as behavioral advertising. For example, this means that if you frequently read movie reviews online, it is possible that you might see ads on other websites relating to upcoming movies. Online advertising companies generally conduct this activity in an anonymous format, with online information not combined with information that would allow for your identification.

    The third-party companies that will be serving advertisements on Eluxe Magazine may include DoubleClick, Google and Taboola.

    We may periodically modify, alter, or update these policies. We will alert users to any material changes to this policy by posting the revised information here. We encourage you to review our Privacy Policy on a regular basis to stay informed about how we are protecting the personal information we collect. Your continued use of TGT’s website constitutes your agreement to this Privacy Policy and any future updates.

    This site uses affiliate links with brands we trust, and if you make a purchase using a link, we may receive a commission.

    Did you enjoy this post? Want to show your gratitude? Please support us on Patreon!

    Patreon logo Become a Patron