Butterfly Creations Silk Textiles

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Malati Gadgil shares an eco-conscious design aesthetic with TreeHugger--one that's more hip than hippie. Her sumptuous Indian silk bedding and toss pillows are both eco-friendly and socially responsible. The silk she uses to design and produce her textiles is one of the few varieties that does not require pesticides in order to be produced and many of Butterfly Creations' products are either unbleached and left in their natural shades or are colored with vegetable dyes. Though some of her items do use synthetic dyes to achieve their rich colors, the quality of this silk requires less than one-third the quantity of chemicals that standard cotton would use...

The textiles are gorgeously hand-woven and, amazingly, made without any use of electricity (a scant commodity in rural India) at a weaver's collective that employs nearly 300 weavers, 100 of whom are tribals.

Charmingly, that's not the end of the story. Gadgil has overcome the looming doom of the powerloom by installing sewing machines at her production facilities that are solar-powered, and built on a sustainable model of economy and the tailors in her studio do not work more than eight hours per day.

Due to recent trade agreements, competition from power looms, and "crappy Indian government policies," according to Matali, many handloom weavers in the area have had to shut down production. In some cases, this has even led to suicides among weavers. "Paradoxically, power looms are not a sustainable alternative in rural India," explains Matali, "where recent power cuts--up to six hours a day--have been announced due to electricity shortage."

Major TH props go to Matali for showing that a business can be run this way, and with beautiful results to boot. Contact Matali at malati@butterfly-creations.biz to order. ::Butterfly Creations (Web site under construction) [by MO]

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