Almost nothing compares to the luxury of a night in silk pyjamas, sliding on a silk eye mask, and resting your head on a silk pillowcase after a long day of hustling. It’s no secret that the production process of silk is not quite so pampering on the environment, but luckily, Cupro fabric has provided eco-consumers with the answer to our sustainable, silken prayers.
The earliest record of traditional silk production originates in China 8,500 years ago where underground tombs with evidence of the material were discovered. Traditional silk is made by mulberry silkworms who excrete a single strand of silk fibre and use it to weave cocoons which encase their larvae. These cocoons are then boiled and unravelled by a silk harvester who then cleans and bleaches the fibre so that the silk fibre can be dyed and woven to the buyers’ preference. 2000-3000 cocoons need to be unraveled to form around 500 grams of silk which makes the process rather laborious.
The production of traditional silk uses more water and emits more greenhouse gases than polyester and cotton, two of the most demonised textiles on the market. Large amounts of heat and water that are needed to make silk, and the history of child labour used in the silk industry, has given environmentally conscious consumers enough reason to increase their demand for Cupro; a more sustainable silken-like textile, in place of traditional silk.
Cupro is a textile made from recycled cotton which has been in production since the 1800s in Japan. It is made through dissolving lint fibres found in cotton waste or recycled cotton in a solution of copper oxide. The treated lint then has the ability to be spun into very fine strands which allows for a large thread count and a silky-soft feel.
Nilüfer Bracco, founder and designer of the luxury sleepwear brand
Before founding NiLuu, Nilüfer’s fashion career began as a stylist in New York before she moved to Miami and started her brand which combines her experience in the fashion industry with her passion for the environment. Through NiLuu, Nilüfer fulfilled her goal to make “beautiful products that I love to wear with sustainable principles, no animal cruelty and supporting business in my birth country of Turkey that support and create jobs for women.
“I get that silk is a wonderful fabric for luxury products but I am super excited about bringing to market something that feels even better and that does away with the unnecessary cruelty,” she adds.
This encapsulates the strong ethics of the brand to be both socially and environmentally engaged. Nilüfer’s atelier, Sera Sera, is woman-owned and managed, and supports the abolition of gender inequality and discrimination
From finding the fabric, setting up the atelier, deciding on the colour and cut, and organising production, the brand took an impressive 18 months to launch in August 2020. NiLuu has both men’s and women’s robes, pyjama sets, pillowcases and eye masks – currently available on the brand’s website.
The future of luxury eco-design is looking exciting, with eco brands such as NiLuu leading the way. The quality of the material, design and comfort is not compromised in sustainably sourced luxury brands. Fashion powerhouses like Bottega Veneta have also demonstrated this in their production of rain boots made from cocoa beans. Nilufer predicts “this is a trend that is shaping the future of fashion” – and here at 10, we’re ready for it.
Photography courtesy of NiLuu.