We're proud to announce that soon, we'll be one of the few brands in the world making cruelty-free silk products. We've been working on this collection for over two years, and we can't wait to bring it to you. Stay tuned for the limited collection launching in a few weeks, and a pre-order option will drop to our email subscribers first so make sure to sign up!
So we've all heard of silk and the fact that it's sustainable. But, have you ever stopped to think about what silk actually is made from?
What is traditional silk made out of? Warning: graphic details ahead...
Mulberry silk is made from the silkworms of the Bombyx mori moth. The moth lays about 500 eggs, and then it dies. The tiny moth eggs are kept at 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the temperature slowly and carefully raised to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to hatch the eggs.
The silkworms are then fed exclusively mulberry leaves until they've increased their weight about 10,000 times and have built strength to begin weaving cocoons.
The traditional process of silk production involves boiling the intact cocoons of silkworms and unwinding the silk strand so that the silk fibers do not break. However, that means that the silkworm dies in the process. Most of the insects raised by and for the silk industry don't live past the pupa stage and are steamed or gassed alive in their cocoons. According to Peta.com, at least 2,500 silkworms are killed to make every pound of silk.
For this reason alone, we've been researching for years and on the hunt for a cruelty-free silk supplier so we can offer a new sustainable fabric option in our collection!
What is cruelty-free silk and how is it produced?
Peace silk, also known as Ahimsa silk is a process that allows the silkworm to emerge from their cocoon free and happy and complete their natural life cycle. The empty cocoons are then used to produce silk. Peace silk worms feed off of castor leaves.
Cruelty-free silk is not a vegan fabric, however, it's animal-friendly and unlike traditional silk, silkworms are not killed in the process to make it.
The cruelty-free peace silk we source is a 100% natural and certified organic fabric, made by small family farms in rural india.
To our knowledge, the peace silk we source is the only cruelty-free peace-silk satin - the first of its kind! Unlike traditional silk with a shiny satin texture, our peace-silk satin has a soft, lightweight texture with a creamy off-white natural sheen.
Perks to both cruelty-free and traditional silk: Both types of silk production are considered to have very low water footprint and produce almost zero percent waste. Silk is biodegradable (just like the bamboo and organic cotton fabrics we use) unlike synthetic materials, and silk doesn’t emit toxins while it biodegrades like synthetic materials do. Silk also has naturally healthy and hypoallergenic qualities.
Silk - and even cruelty-free silk that we use for our products - is very durable despite the belief that it must be dry-cleaned. The beautiful buttery texture with a sheen is deceiving, but our cruelty-free silk products may be washed and dried. Expect a small shrinkage, though, if planning to machine dry.
Our new cutch-dye collection is now live! This beautiful selection of terracotta bamboo and lace fabrics is naturally hand-dyed from the wood of ancient cutch trees. We contracted a local maker in Kansas City near us, Alyx Jacobs, to dye the entire collection by hand.
We love the natural color shades in the collection and know you will too! Learn all about this natural dye, its rich and beautiful history, and why it’s one of our favorite collections to date.
What is cutch?
In general terms, cutch is a type of wood. Cutch comes from a small, thorny tree that is native to Asia. These trees have yellow flowers, leaflets and small thorns.
The wood itself is a rich, soft brown color that many people associate with the traditional color of terracotta.
Cutch comes from a small thorny tree of the Leguminosae family and it is native to Asia. The leaves consist of multiple pairs of leaflets and the flowers are yellow and mimosa-like. The trees are cut after 30 years of growth.
In many ancient traditions, cutch has been used for a variety of purposes, including for medicinal purposes. For medicine, parts of the tree such as the twigs, bark, and wood are used to treat digestion issues or as an astringent for pain, bleeding, and inflammation.
Because of its rich history, cutch goes by many names depending on where you’re located and what you’re using it for.
Other names include:
Terra Japonica, or Japan earth
Khoyer (Assamese and Bengali)
Cutch dye has been used in India since ancient times. The dye is made from soaking the wood in hot water until it reaches a sort of syrupy consistency. That syrup is then cooled and pressed. After it is dried, the material is ground up until it turns into a powder that can be used for the dyeing process.
Cutch wood dyes a variety of colors in the burnt orange/terracotta/salmon family. It’s what makes the color khaki, or khak—an Indian word for dust, earth, and ashes. In history, this color has been used to dye military uniforms because of how well it blends in with the earth around it.
Cutch is so important to Indian tradition that the largest district in India, the Kutch District, is named after it.
Why we love it
Because of its rich history, cutch dye is special for many reasons. One of the reasons why we love cutch dye so much is that it mimics the beauty of our natural world. The rich browns, beautiful burnt oranges, and soft salmons are very flattering on most people and go well with pretty much any type of style.
We also love how perfectly imperfect it is, just like nature! Due to the natural dye process using wood from ancient cutch trees, beauty lies in the imperfections.
Since these products are locally dyed individually by hand, most pieces have imperfections from the dye such as: splotches, tie-dye-like appearance, color inconsistencies, stiffness, etc.
We're ever so grateful to Forbes, Huff Post, Kate Bosworth, Brides, The Knot, Washington Post, Cause Artist and hundreds more who've covered the story of MADI Apparel. Please contact email@example.com with any media/press inquiries.
When and where will the donated underwear from my purchase be distributed to women?
At the end of each month, we total the number of products sold and then donate the matching amount in pairs of underwear to the requesting organizations next up on our list. We receive requests for new underwear donations from 501(c)3 non-profits all over the world on a weekly basis. We do our best to fulfill these requests as fast as possible.
Can I put my MADI Apparel ethical basics in the dryer?
Yes! We choose our sustainable fabrics and design the styles specifically to be luxury basics with low maintenance. We recommend low dryer heat or hang drying when possible for the longest wear. We also recommend hang drying any of our products with elastics.
I would love some advice on what style will flatter my body type.
Email us at customerservice(at)madiapparel.com with your measurements, and a member of Team MADI will reach out with ideas/suggestions to help guide you!
I want to be part of Team MADI!
We are growing rapidly and always looking to grow our team. Please send a resume and cover letter to customerservice(at)madiapparel.com for more details about open internships and jobs.
Underwear is the most under-donated clothing item and tops the most urgent needs list at most domestic violence shelters and sexual assault clinics. It was obvious that we could help in such a simple way. Not only would underwear donations make a someone feel comfortable and clean, but would restore confidence in their everyday lives. For every item sold, we donate a pair of underwear to women and organizations in need.