Silk: ethics, sustainability and culture
Play • 29 min

Culture is a part of history that holds great importance to those who are part of the communities that have carried forward ancient traditions. The feeling of embracing your culture through practicing ancient customs is what keeps community members attached to their cultural heritage. However, as time calls for change in perspectives and actions, the fear of losing even the smallest part of your culture with our evolving world can feel daunting and confusing.

For Agrita, becoming a vegan meant that she had to give up dairy, honey and other animal products (except meat) that hold great cultural and religious significance but were also substances that she didn't feel comfortable in consuming/using anymore because of the reality of their production. Similarly, silk, a material that is still revered in India, was a natural fibre that Agrita had to move away from because of the abuses of human rights and silk moth rights that occur to produce conventional, and even ahinsa/ahimsa (peace), silk.

Despite not using silk herself, Agrita knew that just like dairy and honey, silk would also need to be omitted from the list of potential natural materials she could use because the production of silk went against the morals that were given to her by her Indian culture and Hinduism. In this episode, Agrita explores the origins of silk from China and India, the unsustainable and unethical practices of producing the luxury material and how allowing cultures to evolve over time to meet the needs of contemporary society is not only important for community members but also for the rest of the living world.

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