3 min read. Silk does not have to involve killing - a cruelty-free way.
1. Why Cruelty-free Silk?
After years of research and studies, today we understand and know the Benefits of Silk Pillowcases to help fight frizz, split ends and wrinkles - but there is always that one thought that ethical-minded sleepers have when laying down on their beloved silk pillows: the animal welfare aspect of silk production.
2. What is Ethical Silk? How is Silk made?
Silk fibers consist of 97% protein. The silkworm larva produces silk to form a protective cocoon around itself to have an undisturbed metamorphosis. Before that, the larva feeds on a specific kind of food - mulberry leaves - and hence produces mulberry silk. Once the cocoon is ready - the silk farmers throw the cocoons into boiling water. They do so, to kill the silkworms before they eat their way to freedom and in doing so destroy the precious fibers. It's even common to eat boiled silkworms in rural areas.
It is though necessary to soak cocoons in boiling water to soften the sericin that holds silk fibers together. Each cocoon contains up to 1,5 km of thread. According to the required yarn size, the unwound threads of 3 to 20 cocoons are then spun together to form a single silk yarn.
3. Is Silk Cruelty-free? What is Ahimsā Silk or Peace Silk?
Ahimsā in the Buddhist or Hindu tradition means the principle of avoidance of violence. It means living in respect of all living beings. That's the principle Moonchild is based on and that is what Ahimsā or Peace Silk is based on.
No silkworm is killed during the production of Peace Silk. Instead of boiling the silkworm alive, they are allowed to hatch. They can do so, because the farmers make little cuts at a certain position of the cocoon. This allows the silkworms to hatch almost naturally and to maintain the precious filament at the same time. Just think about it as a form of gentle midwifery. The cocoons are collected as a residual product in the wild and boiled afterwards (without the pupa inside).
Peace Silk won't use genetically modified larvae, or such that lost their ability to fly or eat through generations of generations of breeding - and would face another type of death in starvation. This is common practice as well.
Ahimsā Silk typically leads to 10 extra days in the process to let the silkworms grow and hatch, plus some additional steps of labour. Whereas the conventional, and less humane way only takes about 15 minutes. Peace Silk is labour intense and more costly but we love and support the ethical approach and work around a conventional process that has been questioned - and improved ethically.
4. What are the Environmental Benefits of Peace Silk?
Besides being cruelty-free and enabling a full metamorphosis, Peace Silk has another exceptional gain: the silk itself and the process of production are completely organic.
What does that mean:
No pesticides are used on the Mulberry plantations. Our production in India uses no toxic fertiliser, insecticide or fungicide. Huge nets are spanned over the trees to protect them from predators instead.
No chemicals are used during the production process, whereas conventional silk production uses toxic salts for the degumming process, such as Barium, Chromium, Lead or Iron, to name a few.
No chemical or silicone finishes are used. Our silk gets a finish with the finest natural organic oils.
5. What are the Health Benefits of Organic Peace Silk?
All the mentioned features improve the environmental impact and the impact on animals - but are also an asset for us sophisticated dreamers. We sleep on silk in its most pure and honest form, therefore, use a beauty product in our daily lives that is free of harmful toxins and chemicals.
Silk is generally antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and acts as a natural dust mite and fungal repellant. This makes it one of the cleanest materials to sleep on. Allergy sufferers knew it all along. All those benefits make Moonchild Silk Pillowcases safe to rest on at night with a good conscience, so we can sleep, look and feel better.