With the current amount of silk pillowcase alternatives on the market its worth examining whether they are true alternatives with all the benefits of silk, how they are made and if they are organic and therefore safe to use.
Vegan satin pillowcase
Satin or sateen is the way a fabric is woven and says nothing about the fibre itself. Read on about silk vs satin here. If the fibre is not mentioned, it is safe to assume that a satin pillowcase is made of polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is made from petrochemicals, and its production does require the use of potentially hazardous chemicals. The process of turning petrochemicals into polyester fibers involves a number of steps, including polymerization, spinning, and weaving, all of which can involve the use of chemicals that can be harmful to human health and the environment.
Some of the chemicals used in the production of polyester include ethylene glycol, which is toxic if ingested or inhaled, and dimethyl terephthalate, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems if inhaled. Additionally, the production process of polyester often involves the use of solvents and dyes that can be harmful to the environment.
Furthermore, polyester is not biodegradable, which means that it can take hundreds of years to break down in a landfill. This makes it a less eco-friendly option compared to natural fibers, such as cotton or wool.
Overall, while polyester is a durable and versatile fabric that is commonly used in clothing, it is not considered to be a sustainable or eco-friendly option due to the potentially toxic chemicals used in its production and its non-biodegradable nature. The benefits of polyester are that it can have a smooth surface and is rather affordable but is does not have the natural properties of silk.
Cupro silk vegan silk pillowcase
Cupro, also known as cuprammonium rayon, is a regenerated cellulose fiber that is made from cotton linter or other types of plant fibers. The process of turning these plant fibers into Cupro fabric does not require heavily-toxic processing.
The production process of Cupro typically involves dissolving the plant fibers in a solution of copper oxide and ammonium, and then extruding the solution through fine holes to form fibers that are spun into yarn and woven into fabric. While the chemicals used in the process can be potentially hazardous, the closed-loop production process of Cupro ensures that almost all of the chemicals used are recovered and reused, rather than being released into the environment.
Overall is Cupro, as long as it is processed in a closed-loop, considered to be a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than many other types of synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or nylon. It has a luxurious and silky texture, and is often used in high-end fashion garments, as well as in linings and undergarments. If you're looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric, Cupro can be a good option to consider. Cupro is the closest it gets to silk due to its smooth touch.
Eucalyptus silk pillowcase - an alternative? Why eucalyptus silk is not silk!
Eucalyptus textile, also known as Tencel or Lyocell, does not require heavily-toxic processing. The process of turning eucalyptus wood into Tencel fabric involves a closed-loop process that recovers and reuses almost all of the solvents and water used in the production process, resulting in a highly sustainable and eco-friendly material.
The process starts with the harvesting of eucalyptus trees from sustainably managed forests, which are then chipped into small pieces and dissolved in a non-toxic, biodegradable solvent called N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO). The resulting solution is then extruded through fine holes to form fibers that are spun into yarn and woven into fabric.
The closed-loop production process of Tencel ensures that the solvent and water used in the process are reused, rather than being released into the environment, which makes it a more sustainable option than many other fabrics.
In addition, Tencel, sometimes referred to as eucalyptus silk, is naturally anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking, and breathable, which makes it a popular choice for clothing and bedding. Overall, Tencel is considered to be a more eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to many other types of textile materials. It is processed and woven in China, just as most conventional silk.
Its surface though, is not as soft as silk and does not prevent the same amount of friction that silk does. Eucalyptus is not considered vegan silk but rather a great alternative to cotton bedding. There is no more to 'Eucalyptus silk' than a clever marketing name to gain reach and relevance. The term 'Eucalyptus silk' is only used by brands but not by the manufacturer of the fabric itself. Not everything that is labelled 'vegan silk' has the properties of silk.
Bamboo silk pillowcase and bamboo bedding
The process of turning bamboo into textile is not inherently toxic, but it does require heavy chemical processing to break down the tough bamboo fibers into a soft and usable fabric. The most common method of processing bamboo involves a chemical called sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda) and carbon disulfide. These chemicals are used to dissolve the bamboo plant and extract the cellulose, which is then spun into yarn or thread and woven into fabric.
While sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide are both potentially hazardous chemicals, they can be used safely in the production of bamboo fabric if proper safety protocols are followed. However, some unscrupulous manufacturers may cut corners on safety measures in order to reduce costs, which can lead to environmental pollution and health risks for workers.
If you're concerned about the environmental and health impact of your textiles, you can look for bamboo fabric that has been certified by third-party organizations like Oeko-Tex or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). These certifications ensure that the fabric has been produced using environmentally responsible methods and that it is free from harmful substances.
Peace Silk pillowcase - is Peace Silk vegan?
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. How? Read on here. Depending on ones very own definition of vegan, Peace Silk can be considered vegan since no animal-cruelty is involved. The cocoons are collected as residual leftovers after the silkworm has accomplished its metamorphosis and is no longer in need of its protective shelter.
The debate about whether Peace Silk is vegan or not hinges on how one defines veganism. If veganism is defined as abstaining from any animal-derived products, then Peace Silk can be considered vegan-friendly. While some animal rights organizations argue that Peace Silk is not cruelty-free, this claim is not backed up by any credible sources. Moreover, the assumption that the silkworms used in Peace Silk production die painful deaths is also false. In fact, our Peace Silk is obtained from the wild Bombyx Indica Spinner, which is not overbred and is allowed to live out its natural life cycle. Peace Silk is an emotional and trendy topic that offers a natural, non-synthetic alternative. It should not be exploited by animal rights activists for populist purposes and publicity, as we all share the same goal of preventing animal suffering.
Vegan silk pillowcase alternative - conclusion
Vegan does not equal natural or organic. A satin pillowcase can be made of polyester, which is not organic. An Eucalyptus silk pillowcase can rather be compared to cotton than silk. A Cupro silk pillowcase is the closest it gets to genuine silk, although the processing shall be considered when buying Cupro. Only organic fibers deliver all the benefits of genuine organic silk. It is always worth examining all the factors of the production process, such as:
- Is the textile made from natural fibers?
- Is the processing free of harmful toxins?
- Is it safe for: animals, nature and textile workers?
- Where is it manufactured?
- Is fair labour along the supply chain ensured?
- Is the ready-made-garment free of harmful toxins?
Read on about toxins in textiles and check our comparison of sustainable textile certifications. We benefit from an organic Peace Silk pillowcase. The closer silk is left to its natural state, the greater its beautifying superpowers. Quality has its price and a genuine silk pillowcase might be worth investing in, when it lasts longer and helps us sleep better. When we sleep better, we look, feel and act better.