You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but you can make sustainable silk from organically raised and harvested silkworms, according to Bombyx, a newly launched eco-conscious textile technology firm.
Bombyx, named after the genus of true silkmoths and mulberry silkmoths, said it will soon provide sustainable, high-end silk fabrics to U.S. markets. Its silk product will be available for designers and garment manufactures to purchase via its web site on May 15, but will be sold in U.S. markets officially in August 2019, when it plans to offer a range of 100 percent silk and silk blends with Tencel, cotton or linen, with finished fabrics available in woven and knit varieties.
The company said its focus is on manufacturing silk from organic growing and production processes, alongside implementation of certified eco-friendly practices. Bombyx was founded by Hong Kong-based Profits Fund Global Holding Ltd. in 2017, as a reflection of the firm’s 23-year-old pledge to support initiatives that “honor nature and corporate social responsibility best practices.” The firm invested in a production facility located in Sichuan Province’s Yilong County in China, where silkworms are raised and harvested at an eco-friendly organic sericulture base, the company said, adding that “Each step of the manufacturing process incorporates sustainability practices such as water conservation efforts, and efficient use of non-renewable and renewable energy.”
Hilmond Hui, president of Bombyx, told WWD, “We’re interested in creating change in the textile industry, particularly when it comes to silk. We believe that innovation and profitability do not have to come at the expense of nature’s well-being, or the local farmers. Through a commitment to regenerative agriculture, the latest technologies and education, we can produce the most organic, eco-friendly, high-end silk on the market.”
Hui added, “Bombyx believes that business sustainability is synonymous with environmental and social responsibility. We are committed to producing a high-end product while resetting the bar for the industry by radically shifting the perception and approach to silk production, free trade and consumption.”
Sericulture, or the process of rearing silkworms for the production of silk, can greatly contribute to countries’ economic development, particularly in rural areas: The establishment of the sericulture bases in Yilong County initially created more than 600 jobs for local farmers, the company said. And the company said its three-year plan for expansion is to build three new facilities that enable “direct control” throughout the entirety of the manufacturing process from mulberry trees — silkworms exclusively eat mulberry leaves — to finished fabrics. Its facilities will include designated areas for reeling silk; weaving and knitting, and a degumming and dyeing space.
“Bombyx is committed to improving the local communities that house these facilities by utilizing local talent and contributing to poverty alleviation, particularly in rural counties, through job placement and fair wages,” Hui said. “Our facilities will also provide a place for local sericulturalists to improve their skills by learning the latest techniques.”
The company said it “follows the highest national and foreign technical standards and intends to introduce new technologies and concepts of environmental protection,” as its silkworm rearing process is managed by specific Council Regulations and Chinese national environmental and agricultural standards, in addition to national environmental health standards.
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