For years I have been enjoying sleeping on silk. Growing up, my mother always slept with a silk scarf on her pillow and encouraged my sister and I to do the same as it was so good for our skin and hair. I quickly fell in love with this natural fabric and decided to explore the idea of making mulberry silk pillowcases and baby cot sheets, going on to grow the team and expand into luxury loungewear and accessories.
Looking for an alternative to traditional silk that has a shiny finish, I found a particular mulberry silk production, made in India, that extracts the silk from the cocoon after the moth has left the cocoon. It is not a wild silk as all mulberry silk is farmed through a production known as sericulture. The result of the production is a beautifully rich mulberry silk (momme weight 19) which, because of the particular way it is produced, is more like a fine linen with a beautiful matte lustre rather than the shiny finish of traditional silk.
Embracing this natural fabric, our products combine a love for quality goods and sustainable practices as luxury and practicality are celebrated and embodied.
It is essential that our products are tailored in a principled manner, the alternative is just not an option for us. Committed to always using ethical tailoring units, The Ethical Silk Company products are designed in Ireland and made in Fairtrade tailoring unit Mehera Shaw, located in Jaipur, India. By partnering with Fairtrade units, we, and our customers can have peace of mind in the production of our products.
We limit each print to short runs and repeat runs when demand dictates. Careful pattern placement minimises wastage during production and any older stock is repurposed into smaller items so each piece of silk is carefully utilised.
Mehera Shaw is a sustainable production unit based on a business philosophy that puts the human factor first. Its production unit in Jaipur follows Fairtrade standards in relation to employee and environmental practices. Mehera Shaw also supports a women's group through its Foundation development project where the same ethical and labour standards are followed.
Our printed products are printed by hand at Mehera Shaw's unit in Bagru, Jaipur. Block printing is a centuries old tradition and heritage craft of India, passed down from generation to generation.
Using simple tools, age-old techniques and years of experience, the designs are traced onto teak wood blocks and carved by hand. The blocks are then dipped in dye and the pattern is stamped onto the silk, by hand, one at a time.
Dyes used are low impact, AZO free dyes. All water used is treated and recycled and a new water filtration system is in place in Jaipur that removes the dye residue, meaning the wash water can be recycled and reused for fabric washing. This is combined with a rainwater catchment system at the printing unit at Mehera Shaw to reduce water use.
Slight variations in colour and patterns are characteristic of block printing, demonstrating the truly hand made nature and unique beauty of each piece.
Committing to our social responsibility, from the outset The Ethical Silk Company has pledged to donate 10% profits to charity. Having visited the Jeevan Jyothi AIDS Centre in Theni, and witnessed first hand the tireless work carried out by the staff, I decided to pledge 5% company profits to the centre. Focus Ireland, a charity that works to prevent people becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness, also receives 5% company profits. Our gift wrapping and packaging uses recycled and recyclable materials where possible and information on our packaging suppliers can be found here.
We want our customers to enjoy beautiful timeless pieces, with the knowledge they were made to the highest standards, both in quality and throughout the production process. Selling direct to our customers allows us keep our prices competitive whilst gaining valuable insight into what our customers want and appreciate. Our ethos is to create clothes that transcend the seasons, offering ease and elegance for the sustainable seeker, ultimately combining luxury and practicality.