A happy union of luxurious feel and a very good conscience. Setting free thousands of butterflies.
Ahimsa (अहिंसा, ahiṃsā) comes from the ancient Indian language Sanskrit, and means “Do no harm, do not kill”, in other words, non-violence. Ahimsa is a way of life that espouses love, empathy, tolerance and respect, and obviates harm to all living creatures.
This concept of harmony also begins to apply to the realm of fashion: through humane, eco and animal friendly production and processing of raw materials, and fair working conditions. And also in creating fashion that helps the wearer to be at peace with herself and in doing so add to the beauty and positivity in her life.
skarabis stands for beauty and luxury with ethics and integrity. On our search for silk material that could live up to this claim we discovered Ahimsa Silk, also called Peace Silk, a small miracle in the artistry of the Indian spinning and weaving traditions.
This natural material is produced on the principles of Ahimsa: no creature is harmed. And this really is something unique, since the conventional method of harvesting silk consists of killing silkworms that have painstakingly spun the cocoons over several days, by placing them over hot vapour. This prevents cocoons from opening to thereby produce a continuous thread of silk yarn.
Ahimsa Silk production allows the silkworms to emerge from the cocoons, grow into moths and lay eggs, i.e. complete their natural life cycle. So, each dress made from Ahimsa Silk is the equivalent of setting up to 2000 butterflies free!
The working conditions, too, are exceptionally good: our Ahimsa Silk is the product of a welfare project based in the North-East of India, where it is both spun and woven providing good employment for many families.
In keeping with the principles of ecological production methods, the silkworms are left to feast on organic feed bereft of pesticides. This also gives rise to eco-farming as an offshoot that further generates healthy job opportunities. Though this in itself is rewarding, our quest at all events is for silks of the highest aesthetic value and perceptible quality.
By a novel, special method developed in India, the fibres damaged by silk worms emerging from the cocoons are manually spun into one long, fine strand of silk. It is thus possible to get high quality silk woven from Ahimsa yarn, that until now was only seen in conventional silk. What’s more, this process has even got the GOTS* certification.
Our silk satins and silk crêpe de chines have a sheen, an elegance and sensuality that is twice as gorgeous. The true splendour of intrinsic and extrinsic qualities.
Ahima Silk is more expensive than conventional silks on account of organic feeding and culture yielding smaller harvests and ecologically sustainable production methods used under fair working conditions. Mass produced silks from China, known for unfavourable working conditions and excessive use of chemicals, by contrast come at a fraction of the cost.
It is the ethical and qualitative considerations that have led us to the conscious decision of adopting this unique Ahimsa Silk. And correspondingly to opt for eco-friendly dyes and GOTS* certified prints to produce our clothing items under fair working conditions.
It is thus a happy union of luxurious feel and a very good conscience. Putting out a complete collection in Ahimsa Silk makes skarabis a pioneer in the fashion industry.
*The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a stringent global standard for production and processing of textiles made from organic fibres. It defines environmental criteria along the entire organic textile supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.