ONCE UPON A TIME
Growing up, my mother alway slept on a silk pillowcase and encouraged me to do the same for my skin and hair. Immediately a silk convert, I decided to explore the idea of producing mulberry silk pillowcases and baby cot sheets and so The Ethical Silk Company was born. After researching silk production, I found an animal-friendly mulberry silk, Ahimsa Silk, and fell in love with it's 'pearl like' sheen and soft feel. Silk wraps and scarves followed and, most recently, a ladies' luxury loungewear collection has been launched.
Block printing is a centuries old tradition and heritage craft of India, passed down from generation to generation. In this artisan practice, the designs are traced onto teak wood and then carved by hand. Precision carving is done using simple tools, age-old techniques and years of experience. The block is dipped in dye and the pattern is then stamped onto the fabric, by hand, one at a time.
Dyes used are low impact, AZO free dyes. All water used is treated and recycled.
Slight irregularities in color and print are characteristic of block printing, making each piece unique. These imperfections are embraced as a sign of the garment's hand made beauty and its authenticity.
Our products are tailored and printed by hand at Mehera Shaw, a Fairtrade tailoring unit in Jaipur, India. Ethical tailoring is an integral part of The Ethical Silk Company, giving us, and our customers, peace of mind in our production and our supply chain.
Mehera Shaw is a sustainable production unit based on the business philosophy that puts the human factor first. It's production unit in Jaipur follows Fairtrade standards in relation to employee and environmental practices. Alongside the production unit, the Mehera Shaw Foundation Trust is a registered non-profit whose mission is to support sustainable artisan development projects.
On one trip to India, I visited the Jeevan Jyothi AIDS Centre in Theni. Having seen 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 receive 5% company profits.
Transparency along the production line is central to The Ethical Silk Company's ethos -the silk we use, where our products are tailored and by selling direct to our customers we can keep our prices down whilst getting valuable insight into what our customers want.