This is a guest post from Charlie Butler Shoes. They make great vegan friendly shoes and have a wealth of knowledge about vegan materials. We are super happy to have their contributions. Make sure you check out their upcoming Kickstarter campaign.
Silk is not vegan because the production of the material requires the domestication, breeding and exploitation of the silkworm. The way that the silk industry harvests silk results in billions of silkworms being killed.
Silk is made from collecting silk filaments from a silkworm’s cocoon.
Once the silkworm has spun the silk, it is killed and discarded by the process. The cocoon with the silkworm inside is boiled in order to kill the silkworm inside. The silk is then carefully unwound from the cocoons and woven into fabric.
Living a vegan lifestyle means carefully considering the origins of every product, to ensure that no harm has come to another in the process of the creation of that product.
Alternatives to silk exist that are less cruel. There are companies that collect the silk after the silkworm has turned into a moth and emerged from the cocoon, so that that the silkworm is not harmed in the gathering process.
Soy silk is another alternative. It is made from soybean residue that would otherwise be discarded. Soy silk is cool to touch and is extremely soft.