Jacquard have confirmed that all of their products are vegan (with no animal products) except for Cochineal which is made from insects, and Dorland's Wax which contains beeswax.
We have had customers enquiring about Ahimsa/Peace Silk, where silkworms are allowed to naturally emerge from the silk cocoon. This leads to much shorter lengths of silk as they eat their way out, and as it takes much longer the price of the silk is much higher. I found the following extract from the Wormspit blog to be interesting: "Most cultivated Ahimsa Silk is Bombyx Mori. It is raised just like conventional cultivated silk, right up to the point where the cocoons would be stifled, or processed with heat, in order to kill the pupa and keep it from breaking through the cocoon. The Ahimsa cocoons are all allowed to hatch and breed, and the silk is processed from the hatched cocoons. In some cases, the cocoons can be cut open and the pupa tipped out; this avoids the moth soiling the cocoon with urine. The main issue that I have with this style of cultivation being vegetarian-appropriate, is that each fertilized female moth will lay between 200 and 1000 eggs, averaging around 500. In some strains, the eggs will require refrigeration - without refrigeration, the living embryos within the fertilized eggs will wither and die over the course of a month or two. If they are refrigerated, they will hatch upon removal from refrigeration, in which case they have to be fed immediately, or they will die of starvation and dehydration. Either process will require the destruction of approximately 200 - 300 embryos or hatchling silkworm per moth, for any amount that exceeds what is required for the next crop. Instead of killing one pupa for the silk of the cocoon, it kills hundreds of caterpillars. In India, where the vast majority of Ahimsa silk is being raised, most silkworm strains are multivoltine. This means that the silkworms do not undergo refrigeration, and the eggs will hatch approximately two weeks after being laid. The ones that are not fed will die within a day of hatching, from a combination of dessication and starvation. In a batch of, say, 20,000 cocoons, this means that the next generation (if they were all raised) would be two and a half million, and the generation after that, three hundred twelve million. It's just not possible to feed so many. While it may be true that the individual caterpillar that spun the cocoon didn't die inside it, its offspring will have to be ruthlessly culled. Is it considered more virtuous to create conditions of wholesale starvation, to avoid killing the pupa quickly with heat?" See http://www.wormspit.com/peacesilk.htm
We have been asked to supply silk scarves without plastic wrapping. Unwrapped silk scarves are easily damaged, creased or marked, and also could be miscounted as they are difficult to separate. They could be damaged by water during transport, and also insect damage in storage. We are open to suggestions as we have given this problem much thought. We supply fabrics by the metre in sturdy polythene bags which can be reused, although scarf/tie packaging is likely to be single use. We are currently comparing different methods of packaging, but these may lead to increased shipping costs.
We will be adding to this section as we receive more information from suppliers.