Silk is an ingenious way to harness the wonders of nature
Why bother making your own silk? The Answer is Sustainable fashion!
Creating our own brand of Sustainable fashion and a keen desire to create products that are environmentally friendly while supporting local communities led us to the path of making our own silk. We wanted to gain a better understanding of what goes into the production of silk and how can we develop a product that truly helps people and adds value to the environment.
We chose to work in the state of Bihar as it not only meets all the ecological requirements needed for sericulture but also has high level of poverty and unemployment. The labour intensive nature of this project brings about a large amount of employment and up-skilling opportunities for women and men.
The process of sericulture aligns with the 3 major Millennium Development Goals set by the UN like; eradicate poverty and hunger; promote gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability.
Let’s break it down :
– Generates employment throughout the year, with an estimated 11 person days’ employment for each 1 kg of raw silk production.
– Employment, both on and off-farm activities
– Maintains and strengthens rural economies: more than 80% of the gross value of silk fabrics returns to the local area of production benefiting the farmer, cocoon growers, yarn reelers and weavers.
– Mulberry is a perennial crop. It contributes to soil conservation and provides green cover
– Waste from silkworm rearing is recyclable for agricultural use
– Dried mulberry twigs and branches can be used as fuel
– Mulberry can be cultivated in areas of often unused land, e.g. hill slopes, watersheds.
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PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT FOR WEAKER SECTORS OF SOCIETY:
– 60% of those employed in sericulture are women Low InvestmentThe investment needed to start sericulture activities is low and silkworm rearing can start within 6 months of mulberry planting
– Sericulture can be practised with very small land holdings; 1 acre dedicated to sericulture can support a family of 3, without the need to hire labour.
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Achievements so far:
- Mulberry plantation on 20 of acres of arid land.
- Established nursery with 4 Lakh saplings planted distributed to the local farmers
- 50 local farmers trained
- employment generated for over 100 people.
- 1000 kg of silk yarn produced
- Garments ready for sale