Can a product be a tool for social innovation? As commercialized silk industries flood the market with low-quality, machine-made textiles, demand for the authentic, handmade products from the tribal communities in India has plummeted. Climate change and deforestation also pose a serious threat as they reduce silkworm populations. However, Dzukou's innovative project plans to bring change. The weavers, collaborating with the company, produce a value-added textile from Eri silk that is superbly soft and lustrous. In the new technique, the weavers weave the textile by directly extracting the silk fibres from the cocoons, without spinning them into threads.
A rural weaver in northeast India weaving eri-silk
The process requires specialized weaving skills and can only be performed during the months when the weavers' hands are not dry. To ensure the production of soft and lustrous fibres, only cocoons harvested in the winter months before January are used. Through this method, one of the best silken experiences can be achieved, characterized by a soft, subtle, and fuzzy texture. The first product created using this innovative technique is the Silk Uncut stole. The word "Uncut" signifies that it has been made from cocoon fibres that have not been spun into thread. The stoles are limited production as each stole is handwoven using more than 900 cocoons. They are organically dyed with plant-based ingredients to yield hues such as indigo, light olive, muted pink, beige, and white.
When invasive issues challenge an industry, only innovation can ensure sustainability and growth. Dzukou has partnered with local weavers to help them thrive while maintaining their traditional way of life. By bridging knowledge and exposure gaps, the company aims to create awareness about the weavers' sustainable practices and products in the West. To this end, Dzukou has initiated experiments, such as new weaving techniques and supplementing traditional silks with plant-based silk. These initiatives will help the weaving communities maintain stable production levels and prevent their traditional craft practices from dying.
Silk weaving culture is passed down from one generation to the next and has become part of Indian culture. Originally, it began for self-consumption, but now it has become a significant source of income for rural communities, particularly tribal groups. Not to mention, India is the second-largest producer of silk in the world. The sericulture industry provides employment to approximately 8.7 million people in rural and semi-rural areas of India.
A model wearing an uncut eri silk stole
By partnering with local communities and using a chemical-free and animal-friendly process, Dzukou is creating a high-quality product while supporting the sustainable development of the silk industry in the region. By collaborating with tribal groups, Dzukou makes sure that the local tribes are actively involved in the new sustainable techniques and earn fair wages while sourcing the silk, experimenting with the materials, and creating the final goods. While conserving the communities' traditional way of life, Dzukou seeks to promote regional economic growth.
Dzukou's Kickstarter campaign aims to raise funds for the production of the Silk Uncut stole. The money raised from this campaign will initiate production and create income for the weavers. The campaign has already gained recognition from the German government's NEEDP program and media outlets. With your support, we believe Dzukou can kickstart the production of the world's softest silk and raise awareness about these communities in the Western world. We want to revive Assam's weavers and their silk traditions, as well as promote sustainable community-based lifestyles.
Join the cause and support sustainable, ethical silk production by exploring the range of handmade products offered in the campaign.
To learn more and support the campaign, visit their Kickstarter page.
Company Name: Dzukou
Contact Person: Lars Hoogewerf
Email: Send Email
Phone: +31 6 41081212