Why did you decide to do what you do?
We see the waste problem in our fashion industry, and we wanted to establish an accessible system that would yield less waste while using ecologically and socially sustainable materials – one we can confidently pass on to the next generations. We imagine a world in which everyone’s happiness and livelihood are considered. The desire to realize this vision through this project is our motivation. This project is an effort to be kinder to the environment and help facilitate stability for local farmers. We want to spread this spirit along with the collection to as many people as possible.
Tell us a bit how your journey started.
Guided by our motto “Happiness For All,” the ERI SILK project was started in the hope of spreading a sense of sustainability and community that would make everyone in the world happy. We want to be able to establish a positive foundation that we can proudly pass forward to the next generations. When we visited a spinning mill in Thailand for the NO WASTE project, another sustainable system in progress, we were introduced to ERI SILK and invited to join. We visited farmers and started to create original ERI SILK yarn collections. We felt this was the right partnership based on our mutual belief in the importance of making this project sustainable both environmentally and socially.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
We face a challenge in achieving prices that are accepted by the market and allowing the process to be labeled as fair trade. While an important part of our goal is to support income for the cassava farmers, it can also contribute to the challenge of achieving more accessible pricing.
What advice would you have for suppliers thinking about becoming RWS/RDS/GRS/RCS/OCS/CCS certified?
As brands and consumers shift towards more responsibly made garments, there is an increased need to be able to prove your compliance and efforts. We recognize the increasing importance of seeing it as a responsibility to include transparency and traceability in the production process, to offer safe and reliable quality products in the market.
What is your main focus at the moment?
We are working to develop a project that will be accepted by the market while considering both price and quality. Our goal is to bring fashion and sustainability closer together as they are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. With this in mind, we will continue to develop new technologies to recycle material that can be accessible to the market.