Silk And Panda

By Jacalyn Bennett

 I love working with silk in my lingerie designs, though silk is now endangered as are so many of our precious natural resources. I shall share with you a quick glimpse of what is happening in China that is causing the prices of silk to sky rocket. In short, the silk mulberry tree farmers are selling their precious land to developers, who are displacing flora and fauna for human habitation.  Farming and harvesting of silk worms is a thousand plus year old tradition. The only way it will be saved is to continue the need, sale and demand of silk through our Fashion driven direction.

The trees that are the food for the silk worms are being harvested for wood and buildings are being erected in their place.  It’s the continuing sad story of humans displacing the natural environment for housing, and other business development.  Once this very particular ecological environment, so precisely particular to the habit of the silk worm is lost, Its Lost Forever;  lost, not only to the silkworm, but also to the building developers exploiting it for their own commercial goals.

The farmers are not to blame here.  Farming is a devotion of the heart and very demanding upon the physical body.  When innocent farmers are offered huge sums of money for their land….for them, it’s an opportunity for freedom for themselves and their families and a life, unfortunately that they aspire to….the way of the West

It is my personal goal to keep these fragile ecosystems alive.  I have discovered in my 35 years in the Fashion Industry, that through Fashion I have the ability to actualize saving and protection of our Fragile Global Environment

We /our world are losing this precious land.  Silk production is smaller and smaller, hence the rise of silk prices over the last few years.  I hope that this helps to understand what we are facing as silk producers /manufacturers.  There is a difficult balance for people to understand that price and demand and environmental change are interconnected.  That is why it is so important to keep silk alive in our Fashion Industry and necessitates the need to have all parties educated.

Perhaps for consideration would be a hang tag explaining how very precious silk is in our delicate World Balance. The quality of silk that we use can only be produced in what is called the Silk Triangle in Central China. But Silk is an integral part of the Lingerie Industry and important to the heritage of our product.  We should all find ways to sustain this critical commodity.

2 Discussion to this post

  1. Frannie Stanzione says:

    Thank you Jaclyn for giving me the remarkable experience of learning and seeing how silk is made. I still look at my photos of one of my trips to China, exploring how the silk cocoons are processed. I am amazed at how fortunate I was to have such amazing experiences. I cherish my travel memories in silk mills, weaving and knitting mills, dye houses and printing factories. You gave me this opportunity! I am so grateful.

  2. Terri Fisher says:

    Thank you Jacalyn for this eye-opening commentary. I think more people would buy, sell and wear silk knowing the information you have so eloquently provided. Thank you for helping to keep our industry educated and empathetic on world fiber issues.

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