What is sustainable fashion?
While 'fast fashion' describes clothing that is cheaply made and intended for short-term use, 'sustainable' (or 'eco') fashion is the opposite and is sometimes even referred to as 'slow fashion.' It takes into account the full lifecycle of the product — from the design, sourcing and production processes — and looks at everyone and everything being affected by it, from the environment, to the workers and communities where it’s produced to the consumers who purchase it.
Mulberry silk and sustainability
Mulberry silk has a mixed environmental impact. It is a natural fibre and will biodegrade. Mulberry trees that sustain most silkworms require few pesticides or fertilisers, can be grown organically and require much less water than cotton.
What is 22-momme 6A Grade Mulberry silk?
Silk is the strongest of natural fibers. We use the highest grade 6A 22-momme Mulberry silk in all our silk products. Mulberry Silk is the highest quality silk available, with its unique production method where farmers grow Mulberry trees simply to harvest the leaves - that silkworms then feed on. Mulberry silk comes from silkworms produced from the Bombyx mori moth. They’re fed an exclusive diet of mulberry leaves, which is why the luxurious fabric is known as mulberry silk. Mulberry silk forms around 90% of all silk supply in the world.
Silk grades are differentiated by number; Grade A silk comes in A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A, with 6A being the highest and finest quality silk. For any given type of silk, Grade 6A is the finest quality available.
The history of silk
History of silk began in the 27th century BC in China where it remained in sole use until the commercial ways appeared from China to the Mediterranean Sea. There is also evidence of silk dating between 4000 and 3000 BCE. During the latter half of the first millennium BC, Silk Road opens and silk starts to spread the world.
The history and origins of Mulberry silk:
- Silk was discovered in 2640 BC by the third wife of the China’s emperor. While she was having tea underneath a mulberry tree in the garden, a small cocoon fell from the tree into her tea. She was surprised to see the cocoon start to unravel, revealing a long delicate thread. Being intrigued by this fibre and its strength, she collected thousands of cocoons and wove the fibres into a robe for the Emperor.
- Silk was valued by people all over the world, it was also used as currency. China started trading silk outside of Asia through an Asian network and of trade routes known as the silk road.
- Mulberry silk is constantly considered as the most expensive type of silk. Its perfection and more grounded fibre, both show its remarkable characters making the health benefits remarkable.
- Mulberry silk helps hair retain moisture from products and natural oils and reduces friction that causes tangles and breakage. Silk locks in hydration and encourages your hair's natural movement.
How eco-friendly is silk?
The main environmental benefit of silk is that it is a durable, natural material, so it doesn’t shed microplastics into the environment while in the wash.
Untreated silk is also entirely biodegradable, even though chemicals, dyes and blended fabrics may hinder its biodegradability.
How ethical is silk?
UNCU London only uses Oeko-Tex certified organic silk for sustainability. It means that from raw materials to the end product, the silk is free of toxic chemicals, healthy and better for the environment.
Oeko-tex is an independent testing and certification body that focuses on the quality and safety of the textiles being used. The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certificate is the world’s leading ecological mark for textiles. Any textile article bearing the mark has been evaluated and approved by an internationally-renowned institute and assures the consumer that the article is free of harmful substances. All our silk products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.
Everything in the production process is organic, and the silkworms get to eat a more varied diet instead of mulberry leaves alone.
We produce hair wraps, pillowcases, scrunchies and sleep masks that are 100% ethically made from 100% mulberry silk. For ultimate comfort, indulge in a pair of the mulberry silk pillowcases, printed by hand using the traditional craft of blockprinting and non-toxic dye.
Why is the cost of Mulberry silk higher than regular silk?
The cost of Mulberry silk is all about how the finest silk on the planet is produced.
- Mulberry silk is produced using the silkworms of the Bombyx mori moth. The moth has one task to take care of and that is to lay eggs.
- After it lays around 500 eggs, its work is done and it passes on.
- The little pinpoint size eggs are kept at 65 degrees with the temperature gradually and deliberately raised to 75 degrees to incubate the eggs.
- The small silkworms that are conceived are then taken care of a select eating routine of mulberry leaves 24 hours per day, 7 days every week (mulberry leaves are the solitary food the Bombyx mori moth will eat).
- It takes 3-8 days for the silkworm to weave the case.
- Due to the long and detailed production process, Mulberry silk has always been the most expensive and exclusive type of silk.
We proudly use the very best we can get our hands on - namely all natural luxury 6A Mulberry Silk with a 22-momme (meaning it’s the softest, purest and most densely woven premium silk) and some of the finest the world has to offer. Our complete collection of Mulberry Silk products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified too, so we’re free from chemicals and other nasties.
Our eco-friendly packaging promise
When it comes to postage and packaging we're committed to reducing our environmental impact by promising to reuse and recycle. We will only ever use necessary packaging to protect your goods. We promise to never send you a large box for a small item! Our EVA product bags are BPA free and do not contain chlorides, heavy metals, phenols, latex and other toxic substances. Our packaging boxes are made from recycled 350 GSM kraft paper cardboard. It won't be sturdy - but it will be good for the environment!
The branded stickers and ribbons we use for your goods are fully recyclable. We will always use recyclable mailing bags for your order - our shipping bags are 100% biodegradable and reusable. We would always encourage you to reuse any packaging that we send you in the first instance before sending it to be recycled. If any of our packaging has come to the end of its life we promise to recycle it appropriately.
Our sustainability promise