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Working to promote eco textiles and fair trade ethics    

Sarah's ethos for living an ethical and sustainable life is continued through into her unique textiles and where possible she endeavours to minimise the negative environmental impact of her studio practice and promote the use of fabrics derived from sustainable, biodegradable or organic fibre. Sarah has spent a considerable amount of time researching and sourcing cloth that meet with her ethical credentials and is delighted to have recently sourced Peace Silk and also Hemp/Silk for her latest collection. When possible, Sarah is keen to employ the use of natural dyes for the patterning of her work. Below is further information about the fabrics used throughout the collections.
Peace Silk
Ahimsa Peace silk (certified by People for Animals) is from cocoons from which the moth has completed its transformation and emerges free and happy. Fact: 15 silk worms are killed to get 1 gram of conventional silk, 1500 silk worms are being killed to get one meter of woven silk cloth.

Here are some photographs below of the Peace Silk process starting from Tasar cacoons on an Arjun tree continuiung to the peace silk being woven on the loom:


 

Hemp/Silk Charmeuse

Hemp needs little or no insecticides or herbicides and produces three times as much fibre, making it more environmentally friendly than cotton.  Currently the majority of clothes and design fabrics are made from cotton. The major global fibre crop, it is also the most environmentally harmful, using 30% of the world's pesticides. The mass introduction of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides has helped keep the price of cotton and other fibre and oilseed crops low. However, as pests have become more resistant to these chemicals, larger quantities are required, poisoning both land and water.

Recent breakthroughs in fabric technology have improved the quality of hemp cloth dramatically. What many people remember as a rough, unyielding fabric is now soft and versatile. Hemp fabrics have the look and feel of linen, without the care problems.

The Hemp/Silk Charmeuse has a wonderful satin sheen on one side and a matt on the other. The strength of Hemp combined with the beauty and softness of Silk means this fabric is probably the first silk fabric that can be used in upholstery and still hold its shape as well as making stunning clothes.

The hemp/silk is sourced from an exclusive range of textiles and bespoke products derived entirely from sustainable, biodegradable and/or certified organic fibres.

 
Hemp Silk Charmeuse skinny scarves dyed by Sarah Pearson Cooke

Handwoven Silk from Studio Naenna in Thailand
This group, known as Weavers for the Environment was initiated by Patricia Cheesman Naenna who is a renowned writer, lecturer and textiles designer. The main aims of the Weavers for the Environment group are to train and offer work to women as well as research and document their indigenous knowledge of textiles. The group also aims to benefit the weavers and their families and to plant natural dye plants to create a resource for future generations.

These beautiful silk scarves have been hand woven in Chiang Mai, Thailand at Studio Naenna Company which is the marketing arm for a woman’s weaving group which was founded in 1986. Studio Naenna use only unbleached yarns and environmentally friendly dyeing methods. 


Examples of designs by Sarah Pearson Cooke using the Handwoven Silk from Studio Naenna

 

Copyright © 2009 Sarah Pearson Cooke