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From Everything.Sucks

Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture).

Alden Wicker for Ecocult mentioned the bad reputation silk has, "According to the Higg Index, silk has by far the worst impact on the environment of any textile, including polyester, viscose/rayon, and lyocell. It’s worse than the much-demonized cotton, using more fresh water, causing more water pollution, and emitting more greenhouse gases. Where silk causes the most environmental damage is in energy usage. Silk farms are kept at a certain humidity and temperature (65 degrees). Because most silk is made in hot climates in Asia, that requires a large amount of energy for air conditioning and humidity control. Silk farms also use steam or hot air to dry the cocoons after harvesting, which also requires a large amount of energy (just like when you use hot water to wash your clothes and then dry them). This could be provided by burning mulberry wood, but it’s most likely provided by whatever the municipal energy source is: a coal-fired plant."

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