Sustainability of the Silk Sisters blouses
An important change is taking place with regard to the acceptance of fashion: focus is increasingly being placed on sustainability! An increasing number of people consider it to be important that the manufacturers of their clothing act ethically and take measures to reduce, or ideally completely avoid, the negative impact on the environment. At Silk Sisters, it is important to us to meet this desire for sustainable fashion. Our work is determined by the thought of what improvements we can make with respect to the environment and sustainability and how we can minimise our environmental footprint. We do our utmost to produce our blouses and dresses honestly, transparently and in an environmentally friendly manner. That is an inspiring challenge – and we are gradually getting better!
„Be the change you wish to see in the world“
Natural raw materials and environmentally friendly processing
Our blouses and dresses are made of natural materials such as cotton, linen and silk. They are free from microplastics and are tested for harmful substances. The cotton meets the requirements of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and is spun, woven and finished by Somelos Tecidos S.A., a long-established Portuguese traditional company that is equipped with ultra-modern technology (Ökotex Standard 100). The linen jersey that is produced for our blouses and dresses is created from flax, a plant that binds 3.7 tonnes of CO2 per hectare each year when it is grown! Many mechanical processes, but no chemical processes are applied to make flax into linen. Linen itself is a real miracle of nature: it is hypo-allergenic, has an antibacterial effect and has a heat- and moisture-regulating quality. We import our high-quality, 100 % pure silk raw and undyed from Uwant in Chongqing because the best silk is now produced in China. The natural elasticity of the silk blouses occurs without admixtures – the special weave “Crêpe de Chine” alone makes the fabric so flexible and wonderfully smooth.
Our Silk Sisters blouses are then processed and piece-dyed in Portugal. We choose our raw materials suppliers and the weaving mills, dyeworks and sewing shops in a targeted manner on the basis of their sustainable practices, their technological know-how and their environmental endeavours (reduced water consumption, compliance with EU directives and environmental certification) as well as their energy savings. The same applies to the additions that we use for blouses and dresses, all of which have at least an Ökotex 100 certification, e.g. buttons from the German manufacturer V.I.P. or hangtags from the German provider Dacor.
For more sustainability – local, fair, social
We produce the Silk Sisters blouses and dresses with small partner family-run companies in the EU that are personally known to us, for example in Portugal or the Czech Republic. Due to this long-term, very personal and transparent cooperation, we can be sure that fair working conditions prevail there, that the local labour market is promoted and that the pathways between the suppliers are short. For example, we purchase our cotton from the traditional family company Somelos in Guimarães and have it cut and made into blouse-style T-shirts, shirt dresses or long blouses by our sewing shop in the same place.
Avoidance of overproduction
We are taking another step on the path towards sustainable fashion, as all the Silk Sisters models are only made to order. This enables us to avoid overproduction and means that we do not have to destroy any textiles. This is possible because our blouses are not mass-produced in the Far East; instead, we work with flexible partners in Europe, who even produce small quantities.
Slow fashion for more sustainability
Silk Sisters dissociates itself from the existing fast fashion system. The fast-turnover, seasonal fashion business, in which every collection is out-of-date after a few months or even weeks, puts a strain on both people and nature in many respects. Each individual blouse and every dress at Silk Sisters meets the requirements of the “perfect piece” – without being restricted to a season, trend or occasion. Therefore, our blouses are made of high-quality fabrics in timeless cuts and colours. We design long-lasting classics that you can incorporate perfectly into your existing wardrobe even years after purchase and thus represent an important step towards greater sustainability.
Clever design reduces the environmental footprint
The cuts and fits of the Silk Sisters garments are based on tried-and-tested basics and a clever design ensures that even small variations and minimal details produce completely new styles. This enables us to reduce the number of prototypes as early as the development phase for the blouses and dresses, which in turn leads to savings with respect to the materials and the shipping costs. This sustainable procedure works so well because we have known our Europe-based producers personally for years and therefore communicate smoothly with them without language barriers or barriers arising from different mentalities. Therefore, it is sufficient to visit our businesses once a year, which improves the environmental footprint of our travelling. We are able to completely dispense with long-distance trips, for example to Asia, thanks to our focus on the European continent. The short transport routes for Silk Sisters blouses within Europe also come into effect later during delivery. Our blouses and dresses do not have to travel around the world either in an aeroplane or in container ships powered by fuel oil.
Silk Sisters love of blouses = sister love
The “Sisters” in our name emphasises the familial character of our brand and primarily stands for the many strong women who are involved in the creation of our blouses and dresses. Women determine the design, the companies are managed by women, our blouses and dresses are cut and sewn by women and our fabric suppliers are also female. We ensure that all the employees of our partner businesses receive fair wages, have regulated working hours and holidays and are covered by social security. The end result is that our Silk Sisters customers enjoy the casual and feminine blouse styles that show in their details that this is a fair product that was created by women for women – real sister love!
Advice for the care and storage of the blouses
To ensure that our blouses and dresses remain sustainable even after they have left our company, we will provide you with detailed advice on the correct care and storage of the garments. For example, a properly organised wardrobe provides a better overview and saves time when you are choosing your clothes on a day-to-day basis. Not every garment has to be washed every time it has been worn. On the contrary: depending on the material, it is often sufficient to hang the garment in the open air for 1-2 hours. Crumpled blouses or dresses can also be hung out in humid air (for example in the bathroom). And when you do wash the Silk Sisters blouses, even a delicate cycle should consist of several garments so that the washing cycle is worth it. Dryers (energy guzzlers!) must not be used, and neither must detergents containing phosphates, tensides or microplastics. In our Silk Sisters washing instructions, we will provide details of what you should pay attention to when caring for the different materials used for our blouses and dresses.
Recycling sustainable fashion correctly
Correct recycling is also part of a concept that prioritises sustainability. If one of our blouses has to leave your wardrobe, for any reason whatsoever, we will take it back and you will receive a 10 euro voucher for our Silk Sisters online shop.