Ethical silk

Ethical silk

If you don't like to think about the nitty gritty of silk production, you might want to consider Peace or Ahimsa silk. The Ethical Silk Company has a small range of products for which no Bombyx mori met a hot water end

The Ethical Silk Company is based in Ireland

The Ethical Silk Company, based in Dublin, has a small collection of Peace silk products which includes lovely pillow cases. Available to buy online they cost 50 euros each and are made in a fair trade co operative in southern India.

Sericulture, to give the rearing of silkworms for silk production its name, involves placing cocoons woven by silkworm larvae in boiling water or heat, which obviousy kills the pupae in the process.

Some people, including the animal rights campaign group Peta, consider silk production to be cruel and unethical and urge us not to buy it.

An alternative to conventional silk is what's known as Peace or Ahimsa silk, which comes primarily from India. It involves gathering the cocoons of moths that have hatched and spinning the thread from them. But while larvae aren't killed directly, Peace silk does involve managing moths and controlling the numbers of eggs that can hatch, so it's argued it's not a harmless business in which moth populations can grow unfettered.

But if you are more drawn to the idea of Ahimsa silk, you may be interested in the products of the Ethical Silk Company, based in Dublin, which has a collection of lovely products including nightwear, pillow cases, cot sheets for babies and a silk throw. 

Silk cot sheets make a great gift for a newborn.
Peace silk throw from The Ethical Silk Company in Dublin

Silk does have many benefits, including being luxuriously soft and hypoallergenic. It's a breathable fabric and one that's promoted as helping people achieve a blissful night's sleep. 

The Ethical Silk Company donates five per cent of its profits to Focus Ireland, a charity working to prevent homelessness, and five per cent to the Jeevan Jothi AIDS Centre in Theni, Tamil Nadu, which is associated with the co-operative of women who make the company's products.

You can also find Peace silk products at Offset Warehouse (.com) and at Eco Earth Fabrics (.com).

Peta - see its views here.