There is nothing more pleasing to the eye and touch than elegant silk. It’s used for everything from apparel and purses to table linens and window coverings. But did you know that creating the sumptuous fabric involves cruelty to the tiny, beautiful creature that produces the silk?
The cocoons of commercially farmed silk, which accounts for the majority of silk production worldwide, are harvested before the silk worm metamorphoses into a moth or butterfly. The caterpillar pupae are killed by either sticking a needle in the cocoon or dropping it into boiling water. After they’re killed, the silk is harvested.
Silk scarves sold by Fair Trade Designs are made using cruelty-free silk, harvested after the moth has flown off. The silk worms are cultivated on forest trees, fed by the women who eventually weave the fabric. They spin the thread from the broken cocoons, giving a textured look to the yarn and the weave. The wild silk is lustrous and soft, with a natural golden color that is dyed with non-toxic dyes.
“Cruelty-free” applies to the talented women artisans who create these beautiful scarves. Before their fair trade work brought them a livable wage and improved working conditions, they spun the silk thread by running it back and forth across their bare thighs, a painful and disfiguring process. Now their income allows them to buy pedal- or electric-powered spinners to spin the silk threads.
Being kind to the earth should also incorporate being kind to its creatures. Fair trade silk assures even the smallest of earth’s creatures–and those who care for them–are treated with care.