The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries in the world with a market value of $406 billion. In the US alone there are about 22700 fashion designers and 1/4 of the fashion designers are self-employed. According to Fashion United, there are about 141,875 fashion designers in the world.
Even slow fashion designers use cotton, wool, or silk with different sustainable design techniques like zero waste pattern cutting, minimal seam construction, upcycling, etc.
There are very few designers that use Eri silk in their fabric designs. Below are some prominent names of the fashion design community.
Top 4 Fashion Designers Using Eri Silk
1. Daniel Syiem
A local from Shillong, Daniel along with Janessaline Pyngrope have been working with the weavers of Eri silk for many years. Daniel and Janessaline are the founders of Daniel Syiem's Ethical Fashion House with a core aim of safeguarding and promoting the hand-woven fabric of the state of Meghalaya, Ryndia (Eri silk fabrics) of the North East region.
Video Source: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1474139415950083
On their website, they stated that "The weavers need to be supported and encouraged by making their craft economically viable. It is really imperative that we work towards preserving our heritage crafts through reinvention and innovation."
2. Lucy Tammam
A fashion designer from the UK, Lucy is known for her sustainable ethical supply chains and innovative flattering cuts. Her best-known techniques and practices are Haute couture and Fair trade respectively.
Lucy Tammam (Image Source: creativelondoners.com)
"Peace silk is silk from a cocoon that is processed after the moth has emerged. Conventional silk, usually mulberry silk, is extracted by throwing the cocoons into boiling water and reeling off the filament, leaving a poached pupa in the boiling water. The silk I use the most is from a moth called Eri, which has a naturally open-ended cocoon, meaning the moth can emerge without breaking the fibers (unlike in mulberry silk the moth has to nibble through the cocoon to emerge, breaking the filament and leaving a short fiber.
In all cases, peace silk will be a spun fiber as there isn’t a single long filament available to use. This means peace silks tend to be heavier weight and less shiny than conventional silk. However with new technology and a bit of experimentation and patience, some of the silk suppliers I work with have created super fine luxurious yarns from empty Eri cocoons; therefore, many of the fabrics we associate with traditional silk are now available in peace silk options.
I don’t use any conventional silk in my designs, and we offer a range of vegan alternatives. Peace silk is especially lovely in bridal gowns and I’m glad I can offer compassionate silk in my collections." (Source)
A snippet of Lucy Tammam's Instagram feed (Source: www.instagram.com/houseoftammam/)
Visit her website to learn more.
3. Jyoti Reddy
Jyoti Reddy from Hyderabad, India, had her first experience with Assamese Eri silk when she was young. Reddy owns a two-storey fashion store in Hyderabad which is as minimalistic as Eri silk itself.
Reddy's store has a whole range of saris made from Eri silk, with some variations dyed with natural dyes.
Jyoti Reddy (left) with Amala Akkineni (Image source: indulgexpress.com)
4. Anna-Louise Meynell
Anna Meynell is a Scottish textile designer and the founder of Anna Loom. She offers beautifully handcrafted textiles with the original design from ethical and sustainable sources. Anna spent 7 years working for a high-end silk mill in India and designing sustainable fabrics across the world. She is doing research on Eri silk handweaving in Meghalaya, India, and works with the community to preserve the artisanal heritage of the state.
Anna Louise Meynell (right) with Syiem of Hima Khad Ar Lyngdoh (Image Source: www.nesfas.in)
In her blog, Anna tells her story "I was trained as a weaver in Scotland, where I also grew up. I moved to Bangalore in 2005, and my relationship with Indian textiles and traditional artisans grew with each year I spent there. With such a rich textile heritage, it is easy to develop many textile obsessions, but there is one fabric that captured my attention from the moment I came across it. Eri silk. The soft handle, the rustic and slubby texture of the yarn, the matt sheen of this unusual silk, the weight and drape of the cloth and the subtle shades of natural dyes drew me in and found a place in my mind. I was fascinated by the fabric and the place where it was produced - North East India." (Source)
A snippet of Anna Meynell's Instagram feed (Source: www.instagram.com/annaloom/)
She also talks about the indigenous craft culture of Meghalaya saying, "The main hub of Eri silk weaving in Meghalaya is the Ri Bhoi District, an area on the border of Assam, halfway between Guwahati and Shillong. It is a lush, fertile area where literally anything will take root and flourish. Traditionally weaving activities are integrated into village life in the moments when agriculture is less demanding. When women get together in the community it is not rare to see them spinning Eri silk with the takli or drop spindle, as they share anecdotes from their family life. Understanding the relationship between Eri silk production and the rhythm of the agricultural seasons is the first step towards understanding the weaving communities in the Ri Bhoi District. Eri silk in Meghalaya has always been cultivated domestically and still is today." (Source)
What Does Muezart Have in Common With These Fashion Designers?
Our team believes that sustainable fabrics can create a sustainable business can help the customer, the environment, the local weavers, and the company to win.
Daniel's and Janessaline's core aim of safeguarding and promoting the hand-woven fabric of the state of Meghalaya is what Muezart stands for and what we believe in.
Lucy Tammam primarily uses Eri silk to make fabrics. Eri silk is the lynchpin of Muezart and our work is primarily based on it, although we make yarns from other types of silk as well.
Jyoti's wide range of saris made from Eri silk and dyed with natural dyes is how our knitters dye the yarns that we sell on our website.
Anna's sees the Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya as the main hub of Eri silk weaving, so does our team. In fact, we source Eri silk from Ri Bhoi district directly.