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The story of peace silk: making the right choice

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The story of peace silk: making the right choice

It is not always about the big names and established designers. Urban Medley, an Amstelveen based sustainable lifestyle brand launched on the eve of Corona, is determined to make a mark within the sustainable slow fashion sector. Drawing upon traditional, centuries’ old forms of printing and weaving from India it aims to reintroduce to the conscious consumer the old world charm in a modern look. Contemporary designs in bold colours gives a new meaning to old time hand block printing on organic silk. The founder Shayonti explains- ‘’ We are not bound by age, colour and size, hence we choose sustainable, handmade, ethically produced accessories as our main focus point. We give you the space to create your own style using the many fashion items we bring to you. We wanted to focus on the main fabric the brand uses for its range of handmade scarves and capes.”

The story of peace silk: making the right choice

The Fabric

It is cruelty free or peace silk fabric, fondly also referred to as Ahimsa silk. Silk, once only the prerogative of royalty and aristocrats, is the epitome of elegance and exuberance. However what is often overlooked is the process of making the silk yarn. Conventionally cocoons were boiled with the live silkworm still within, to maintain the length and strength of the silk fibres and give it the luxurious sheen.

According to PETA, 3,000 silkworms are killed to produce half a kilo of silk. Boiling water loosens the sericin (glue which binds the filaments together) and fine silk filaments are extracted off the cocoon. The filaments are twisted to produce yarn which then is woven into rich silk fabric.

In 1990 Kusuma Rajaiah, a sericulturist from Andhra Pradesh, India found a way to create silk yarns without harming the silkworms in any way: Peace or Ahimsa Silk was born.

Organic Peace Silk is produced from the cocoon discarded by the silkworm naturally after 30 days. The silkworm changes into a moth, pierces the cocoon and flies out leaving the cocoon behind. This exposure to nature results in its truly multi-tonal look, which cannot be duplicated by machine made fabric. The piercing of the cocoon results in many pieces of yarn (instead of one continuous thread) which then must be spun together to make a single thread, and the yield of silk filaments is about six times less once the cocoon is pierced. Even though this process is more time consuming, the process is more ethical, cruelty free and sustainable. It retains the purest qualities of silk.

Organic silk cultivation is a forest-based industry, where the silkworms are reared outdoors in the wild. The worms feed on Arjun, Sal and Castor leaves. The yarn is produced in a completely untouched natural environment.

The story of peace silk: making the right choice

Peace or Ahimsa silk is less glossy than the traditionally woven fabric, and it has a beautiful textured body. Mostly the fabric is hand spun and hand woven, retaining the properties which are lost in the conventional silk weave. It is warm in winter and breathes in summer making it comfortable to use all year round.

Peace silk- the cost to the consumer

Often sustainable and ethical fabrics may seem to cost more- but what a consumer needs to keep in mind is sustainability is about achieving social, political and economic equity. Cruelty free silk production is way more time consuming. One has to wait for the caterpillar to metamorphose hence production time is longer. Piercing of the cocoon yields 6 times less silk filaments. This in turn makes the market price of the silk more than the conventional silk. However, what the consumer gets is a sustainably manufactured cruelty free fabric.

The products

According to Shayonti, their products qualify as heirloom pieces and definitely support the
philosophy of ‘buy better and buy less’. Scarves and capes are accessories which can easily complement a range of outfits. They help go from a formal to a glamorous look and can be used multiple times. More importantly the product reflects a conscious mind and is not simply a trend. The brand offers a wide range of colours and designs suitable for all. Presently they are carrying block printed and hand printed scarves and capes.

The story of peace silk: making the right choice

To build a brand and create an awareness around it, one needs to connect with consumers at a deeper level. Urban Medley is extremely conscious about the impacts it makes- working with artisans and enabling a community to earn a dignified living doing what they do best.

Read more about Urban Medley on the brandpage: fashionunited.com/companies/urban-medley

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Fashion

Nilit partners with The Ocean Foundation

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Image: Sensil Facebook

Nylon brand Nilit has partnered with The Ocean Foundation on its Blue Resilience Initiative.

Joining The Ocean Foundation’s Blue Resilience Initiative, the collaboration aims to protect essential ocean meadows and other coastal habitats. According to Nilit, marine grasslands are being damaged at the rate of two football fields per hour. As important oceanic ecosystems, the grasslands help to reduce global warming by taking CO2 from the atmosphere.

Nilit, which also owns sustainable brand Sensil, has previously stated that protecting the oceans and reducing CO2 is part of its Total Product Sustainability Program. Recently, it reduced CO2 emissions at its main facility, and has utilised clean energy techniques at its manufacturing plants.

“NILIT and The Ocean Foundation can affect both sides of the ocean health equation and, together, make a more substantial impact on the well-being of our oceans and our planet,” said head of global marketing at Nilit, Sagee Aran.

The Ocean Foundation’s Blue Resilience Initiative focuses on coastal reconstruction and providing carbon offsets for foundations, corporations, donors and events. Its work notes the ecological and social impact that coastal areas have on the world, with man made infrastructure degrading nature’s natural defense mechanisms. The Blue Initiative seeks to restore and protect these coastal habitats.

“We are excited to join in The Ocean Foundation’s crucial work to protect the marine ecosystems that sustain life in the oceans and on land,” said Aran. “The Ocean Foundation investment, we have expanded our vision far beyond the traditional supply chain structure so that we can more rapidly and effectively bring about positive environmental impact.”

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Nordstrom and Nike partner with Black Owned Everything

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Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

Multibrand retailer Nordstrom has launched a partnership with marketplace Black Owned Everything, a platform promoting Black-owned businesses, and its founder Zerina Akers.

The collaboration sees Akers and Nordstrom come together on a curated selection featuring four Black-owned brands, displayed alongside new Nike and Jordan collections in the Nordstrom x Nike dedicated online space.

Labels included in the curation are William Okpo, Sammy B, L’Enchanteur and handbag designer Brandon Blackwood.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

“When we launched Black Owned Everything back in February of this year, partnerships like Nordstrom x Nike were exactly the type of activations I had in mind to amplify the reach of the Black designers whom I work with and mentor,” said Akers, in a release.

She continued: “This intersection of well-established brands and emerging designers is where the progress of Black Owned Everything’s mission takes place.

“The inclusion of these selected designers is a big step for their individual career paths and an even bigger step in the right direction for the American marketplace and beyond.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

“This curation is a fun mix of fashion and lifestyle pieces for the people who are keen to street trends and enjoy functionality.”

Simultaneous with the online presence of the collection, Black Owned Everything merchandise will also be available at four Nordstrom x Nike pop-ups in US-based Nordstrom stores.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
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Sustainable flea market site Farly to launch in UK

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Image: Farly
Image: Farly

Fashion marketplace Farly has announced it is set to launch in the UK on November 11, bringing its flea market approach of resale to new vintage-loving consumers.

Marketed as a virtual flea market, the site hopes to reinvent shopping in a fun and carefully curated way. Its concept revolves around virtual shop windows and mood boards intended to inspire visitors.

Farly looks to appeal to independent sellers, small retailers, artists and curators, providing potential users with the option to design their own shop window through image uploads and editing tools, helping to enhance their offering.

Image: Farly
Image: Farly

“As the world prepares for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit this November, the importance of climate change and looking after our planet has been more prominent than ever,” stated Farleigh Hungerford, Farly’s founder, in a release.

She continued: “Farly only encourages the sale of vintage, pre-loved and second-hand items and we really encourage sellers to have sustainability at heart, from packaging to thinking about the origin of the product all the way to the end of the items’ life cycle.

“Farly adds to this message with the core values at the heart of the business, encouraging users to re-use, recycle and restyle.”

The platform will also feature a reward system, called Farly Points, where sellers can earn points through promoting sales from curated items in their virtual shop windows. Building up points can contribute to discounts for users with the monetisation of their displays.

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