Is silk vegan and cruelty free?

Is silk vegan and cruelty free?

Silk is a beautiful material that has a unique texture and weight. Traditionally, designers have loved using silk. It’s strong, natural and biodegradable. It also feels beautiful against the skin and has an elegant flow to the material. However, these silk pieces come at a cost.

Aside from being dry clean only, they’re not vegan. 

How is traditional silk made?

The silk threads come from silkworm cocoons - this is where the worm lives before emerging as a moth. In order to unravel each cocoon, while preserving the long threads, the silk worms are boiled alive.

Billions of them.

It takes around 2 - 3 thousand cocoons to make just 1 pound of silk. And it takes nearly 10 billion cocoons to serve the silk industry every year, killing billions of worms in the process.

 

What about Peace silk?

Many brands have turned to Peace silk in their attempt to circumnavigate this cruel step in production. Peace silk is taken from the cocoon after the silk worm has finished with its former habitat. This takes the cruelty from the process and is certainly a reasonable alternative.

However, the feel of the final product isn’t the same. It doesn’t drape across the body in the same way, and lacks that special sheen synonymous with the real thing.

And that’s where we come in.

Why you should opt for vegan silk

At Ensoi, we’re not interested in making compromises. Compromises are the reason why most fashion brands aren’t prioritising sustainability. They’re the reason why fast fashion supply chains are so problematic, and why our industry is rightly under such scrutiny. 

We’re over settling. That’s why we’re no longer stocking traditional silk. Rather, we’ll be producing 100% of our collection using a vegan silk alternative. After months of research, we’re proud to be working with a totally cruelty-free fabric that has been developed just for us.

A vegan, cruelty free silk alternative

After working with silk in the past, we knew this couldn’t be a sustainable part of our brand. We had to do better. So we got to work. 

Months later, we’ve developed the ultimate cruelty-free, vegan fabric - with all the beautifully luxurious, soft and breathable qualities of traditional silk.

Often, brands position polyester materials as a vegan silk substitute. This leads customers into believing that they are buying something ethically sourced. However, these polyester fabrics (though technically cruelty free) are much more harmful to the planet as they are made from petroleum.

We’ve made our vegan silk from cupro. Cupro comes from cotton linter, which is wrapped around the cotton seeds in the cotton plant. The linter is a by-product of the cotton fabric trade, as it comes from a part of the plant which is usually discarded as waste.

We salvage this linter and process it  in a closed-loop system, where it's woven into a stunning satin weave. This weave is undeniably similar to classic silk with its look, feel and drape. Oh and did we mention it’s machine washable? 

The ultimate zero-compromise fabric. 

Our summer silk collection

If you’re intrigued, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. We’ll let you know as soon as our cruelty-free silk collection is ready to launch this summer.

As well as our classic colourways, look out for our brighter shades that’ll last a lifetime of summer nights.

 

May 10, 2021 — Clare Lichfield
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How to care for your vegan silk fabric

How to care for your vegan silk fabric

A trip to the dry-cleaners every time you want to wash your silk is not the most convenient option. So we have listened to your feedback and taken it on-board.

We have developed our own fabric; a vegan, silk alternative. It offers the same, incredible qualities as silk but is a lot easier to care for (and it’s cruelty free, of course). 

Silk can be a fairly high-maintenance fabric to look after, which is another reason we decided to make the switch. When it comes to looking after your vegan silk camisole or slip dress, there are a few things you should know. These simple steps should take away any anxiety you have about washing your garment. It really isn’t as tricky to look after as you might think and we aim to make luxury fashion convenient for everyone. 

How to wash vegan silk clothes

You may choose to wash your vegan silk garment by hand, but you can also pop it in the washing machine. Always separate your silks and don’t wash this material with any heavy fabrics such as jeans. You might also want to separate your loads into similar colours to prevent any colour changes from the dye bleeding. If you’ve got a mesh bag, we suggest popping it in that to protect your camisole or slip dress even further. 


Add silk wash or delicate detergent to your machine and select the shortest spin cycle available. Make sure you wash at a low temperature too, around 30 degrees.


Fun fact: Washing a single delicate piece in a washing machine alone can actually damage it. Washing machines are designed to batch clean clothes, and their waterflow and power are too strong for a single piece. Make sure you wash your delicates together to prolong their life cycle.


How to dry your vegan silk garment

After the wash, hang up your garment or lay on a flat surface to avoid creasing. It is recommended that you do not tumble dry this fabric as the high temperature could damage it or fade the colour. Also, avoid drying your garments in direct sunlight as this could have the same effect. 


How to care for vegan silk after washing

If you want to iron out any creases after washing, ensure the fabric is completely dry. Turn the garment inside out and turn your iron to a very low temperature. We suggest placing a cloth between the silk and the iron to avoid burning the fabric and keep it completely dry. Alternatively, use a steamer but make sure it is kept a few cm away from the fabric. 


Once you’re happy with the outcome, hang your silk garments in a cool dry place. 


Happy styling! 

April 26, 2021 — Clare Lichfield