Our silks are stuffed with a range of natural materials such as fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, spices and more. Our Cochineal, which is tiny bugs that grow on prickly pear cacti, comes from a 5 family co-op in Peru and they're harvested with zero chemicals!
Each silk is laid flat, packed with an array natural goodies, rolled tightly with a mordant and steamed for 2-3 hours to set the dye. We normally use alum as our mordant, as it is the safest and least toxic option. After steaming, I then unravel the silk, run it under cold water and wash it by hand with a mild detergent or baby soap.
Natural dye powders, fruits and vegetables can be steamed similarly to create a liquid dye. The photo above is a dye made completely from strawberries, water and vinegar.
Habotai silk scarves + charmeuse silk pillowcases
As a company, we have put a large emphasis on creating work that is sustainable, so that we can leave the world in a better place than we found it in. When searching for a place to source our silk, we wanted to make sure that those humans were always treated fairly. Alas, we came across Dharma Trading Company, a 60 year old business that has always put it's people and customers first.
'The owners and employees of Dharma are absolutely against the idea of unfair treatment of workers, forced labor, child labor, and anything that deprives a person of human dignity. If we should become aware that anything we sell is produced under any of those conditions we would refuse to continue selling it. Moreover, we are actively involved in promoting fair trade clothing sewing in Bolivia and Indonesia. In Bolivia, the money goes straight to the workers, with no "middle man". In Indonesia, the workers have fair pay and quite good benefits. You can find the products from the cooperatives we support in those countries on our website....'
'Even the BRAND name manufacturers whose apparel we carry, specifically Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, LAT Sportswear, Gildan and Bella/Canvas brands, are now only getting garments from W.R.A.P. Certified Factories. WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) is the world's largest facility certification program and while supported by the global apparel industry, it is totally independent. WRAP is dedicated to ensuring lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing throughout the world. In order to receive certification for facilities, they are regularly audited and must comply with the 12 WRAP principles. These relate to areas such as workplace regulations, child labour, hours of work, health and safety, discrimination and security. '
Mulberry silk kimonos + bralettes
Tu Anh Nguyen, Owner + Designer of Lela silk partnered with us to sew our brand favorites, the kimono and bralette (+ more to come soon!). Tu Anh graduated in 2015 with an MBA from British University in Vietnam. "Instead of looking for an internship, I went to several workshops and learned how to sew... After a few years of learning and practicing, here I am, presenting my small clothing silk line to you and the world. Every single piece has been made with care and such love."
The mulberry silk Lela uses comes from the Cuong Hoan Silk Factory– the machinery dates back to the French era and is 150 years old. The factory is run by a family, Nguyen Van Cuong and his wife Truong Thi Hoan give tours allowing customers to get the chance to observe their production process. Cuong Hoan Silk Factory raises their own silkworms that produces the silk threads that they weave into fine fabrics.