A decisive change is taking place in the acceptance of fashion: The focus is increasingly on sustainability! Increasingly, many people feel it is important that the manufacturers of their clothing act ethically and take measures to reduce or, preferably, completely avoid negative impacts on the environment. At Silk Sisters, we feel the need to respond to this desire for sustainable fashion. Our work is driven by the idea of what we can improve in terms of the environment and sustainability, and how we can minimise our ecological footprint. We do everything we can to produce our blouses and dresses honestly, transparently and in an environmentally friendly way. This is a motivating challenge – and we are getting better step by step!
For our blouses and dresses we choose fabrics made from natural materials such as cotton, linen, silk and cellulose from renewable raw materials. All materials are free of microplastics and of course tested for harmful substances.
Our cotton meets the requirements of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and is spun, woven and finished (Ökotex Standard 100) by Somelos Tecidos S.A., a long-established and at the same time technologically highly modern Portuguese company. From 2022, we will only use GOTS certified organic cotton.
Linen has a very high ecological value and is a real natural wonder: it is hypoallergenic, has an antibacterial effect and has heat as well as moisture regulating properties. The primary raw material is flax, a natural product that requires no artificial irrigation, no fertiliser and no pesticides during growth. The flax for our blouses and dresses is grown in Belgium. All parts of the plant are used, so there is no waste. During the processing of flax into “our” linen, many mechanical but no chemical processes are used. The special thing about our linen fabric: it is 100% made in Europe – from cultivation on the Belgian Old Atlantic coast to spinning in Lithuania to weaving the finished fabric in Italy at Vittoria – a traditional Italian family business near Naples. Because what hardly anyone knows: usually almost the entire harvest of European flax is shipped to China for spinning and only woven into fabric again in Europe. This is not in line with our concept of short distances and we are happy to have found an environmentally friendly alternative. The linen fabric is also 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
With silk, purely European production is almost impossible. There are suppliers from Italy, but the price is exorbitant and the choice of qualities not so great. We have therefore been importing our exquisite, 100% pure silk fabric from Uwant in Chongqing for many years. The natural elasticity of the silk blouses is created without admixtures – the special weave “Crepe de Chine” alone makes the fabric so flexible and wonderfully supple.
The fibres known as Lyocell or Tencel come from Lenzing, the leading company for renewable raw materials. They are obtained according to its strict guidelines from various woods from controlled sustainably managed forests in an environmentally conscious, closed-loop manufacturing process with low ecological impact in Austria.
The blend of two different cellulose fibres produces this incomparably silky and flowing fabric. Cotton linter, a by-product from the cotton plant, and sustainably harvested beech wood are combined in an integrated pulp-fibre process. Production is energy self-sufficient and uses environmentally friendly processes that conserve water. Born from nature, back to nature: the Cupro-Tencel mix is biodegradable and compostable.
We select our raw material suppliers as well as the weaving, dyeing and sewing mills specifically for their sustainable production methods, technological know-how and ecological efforts (reduced water consumption, compliance with EU directives and environmental certification) as well as energy savings. The same applies to the ingredients we use (buttons, labels, etc.) for blouses and dresses, which are all at least Ökotex 100 certified and come from local suppliers in each case.
We produce the Silk Sisters blouses and dresses in small family-run businesses in the EU, such as in Portugal or the Czech Republic, which we know personally and are linked by partnership. Due to this long-standing, very personal and transparent cooperation, we can be sure that fair working conditions prevail there, the local labour market is supported and the distances between the suppliers are short. For example, we source our cotton fabric from the traditional family business Somelos in Guimarães and have it cut and made into blouses, dresses, skirts and trousers in the neighbouring sewing business.
On the way to more sustainable fashion, we have all Silk Sisters models made to order only. This way we avoid overproduction and do not have to destroy any textiles. This is possible because we do not mass produce our blouses in the Far East, but work with flexible partners in Europe who also produce small quantities.
Silk Sisters distances itself from the existing fast fashion system. The fast-moving, seasonal fashion business, in which every collection is outdated after a few months or even weeks, puts a strain on both people and nature in many ways. Every single blouse and dress at Silk Sisters has the claim of the “Perfect Piece” – without limitation to season, trend or occasion. Our blouses are therefore made from high-quality fabrics in timeless cuts and colours. We design long-lasting classics that integrate perfectly into the existing wardrobe even years after purchase and thus represent an important step towards more sustainability.
The cuts and fits of the Silk Sisters garments are based on tried and tested basics and are so to the point through clever design that even small variations and minimal details create completely new styles. This allows us to reduce the number of prototypes already in the development phase of the blouses and dresses, which in turn saves on materials and shipping costs. This sustainable approach also works so well because we have known our European-based producers personally for years and can therefore communicate with them smoothly and without language or mentality barriers. Thus, it is sufficient to visit our production plants only once a year, which reduces our travel for the benefit of the environment. Thanks to our concentration on the European continent, we can completely dispense with long-distance travel, such as to Asia. The short transport routes of the Silk Sisters blouses within Europe naturally also come into play later when they are delivered. Our blouses and dresses do not have to travel around the world on huge container ships!
The “Sisters” in our name underlines the family character of our brand and stands above all for the many strong, female forces involved in the creation of our blouses and dresses: Women determine the design, most of the businesses are run by women, our blouses and dresses are cut and sewn by women, and our fabric suppliers are mostly female as well. We make sure that all the female employees of our partner companies receive fair wages, have regular working hours and holidays, and are covered by social security. In the end, our Silk Sisters customers are delighted with the casual-feminine blouse styles that show in the details that a fair product was created by women for women – true sibling love!
To ensure the sustainability of our blouses and dresses – even after they have left our house – we will be happy to advise you in detail about the right care and storage. For example, a neatly sorted wardrobe provides a better overview and thus saves time when choosing clothes every day. Not every item has to be washed after being worn once. On the contrary: depending on the material of the blouse, it is often enough to hang the piece out in the fresh air for 1-2 hours. Wrinkled blouses, dresses and skirts will also hang out again in damp air (for example in the bathroom). And when washing Silk Sisters blouses, even delicates may consist of several pieces to make the wash cycle worthwhile. In recent years, a number of start-ups have established themselves that produce environmentally friendly detergents with really excellent cleaning performance. No-no’s are tumble dryers (energy guzzlers!) and detergents with phosphates, surfactants or microplastics. In our Silk Sisters washing instructions, we show you in detail what you should pay attention to when caring for the different materials of our blouses and dresses.
Proper recycling is also part of a concept that emphasises sustainability. If one of our blouses has to leave your wardrobe at some point – for whatever reason – we will take it back and you will receive a voucher for 10 euros for our Silk Sisters Online Shop.