Tosheka Textiles is a social enterprise that has been working hard to patent an unprecedentedly sustainable way to create their products. The brand was established by Kenyan designer, Lucy Lau Bigham and her husband, Herman Bigham. At the heart of their business, the pair aim to set a standard for trends in the fashion industry that includes ethical production and eco-friendly garments.
Essential to the values of their brand, natural fibres, recycled materials, and eco-friendly dyes are used to create all garments and accessories. While many sustainable designers boast the same criteria for ensuring that their garments do not harm the environment or other human beings, Tosheka is setting the standard for innovative procedures when it comes to rethinking how the materials we wear everyday are produced.
Tosheka is the first brand in Kenya to hold a permit to commercialize Eri silkworm production.
What does this have to do with how they make their garments?
Well, while some countries may have a patented method for using Eri silkworm, Tosheka is considering licensing the processes that are unique to their Kenyan product development. The traditional mulberry silk worm is typically boiled in its cocoon in order to extract silk. This kills the silkworm in the process. Eri silkworms, however, have a hole in their cocoons through which moths may exit in order to avoid being harmed in the process. These silkworms are also sustainable, as their food source requires no pesticides and very little water to cultivate.
Thus, by cultivating Eri silkworms, Tosheka is able to produce silk material that will be used for their silk cotton, which does not cause irreversible harm to the environment or any insects. Their silk cotton products will be similar in feel to their cotton products, but with a softer and fluffier texture.
As companies like Tosheka continue to innovate new ways to rethink the process for making the materials we wear, only more sustainable initiatives will come from the fashion industry!