By: Jessica Fillak

The Canvas sat down with Nicole Rattner, founder of Sourcery Label, a brand re-inventing our relationship with silk. Nicole began by detailing her experience as a designer for large fashion brands, in which she was able to take on roles of production, development, and sourcing.

“Through working in the industry I was able I travel the world. I went to source in China, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. This is where I learned about the back-end of the products we use. I saw with my own eyes how toxic parts of the industry are. When it came time for me to start something on my own, I decided that my own supply chain needed to be better than that.”

With that, Nicole started Sourcery, a brand using silk sourced from rural China as a sustainable alternative to polyester and other fabrics used in fast fashion. Sourcery’s silk is sourced from the Zhejiang province of China, where silk production originated 5,000 years ago.

But why silk?

“When I formulated the idea of Sourcery, I knew it had to be better for the environment, and better for you. In exploring the supply chain and exploring my options, I discovered that silk itself is an untapped material that is extremely underused in the industry. It’s also one of the most natural and low impact materials out there.” 

Nicole adds that silk is one of the best fabrics to wear, as it is naturally thermal regulating. It is also a wonderful replacement to polyester, as silk is biodegradable, and will disintegrate in a matter of months in a land fill. 

Silk is made by cultivating silkworms on mulberry leaves, which are grown without any pesticides, as this would harm the worms. Once the cocoons are formed, they are processed in nothing but boiling water, making silk processing 100% natural and organic.

“The industry has become used to polyester or synthetics out of convenience. Silk has fallen out of favor for fabrics that can be created quickly and cheaply. We have the ability to make silk much more accessible. The processing is not very expensive. It should be put forward as a sustainable option.”  

Sourcery has both the consumer and producer in mind when it comes to health as well.

“There is research conducted by the German CDC proving that our skin can absorb the dye of the clothes we are wearing. This is why Sourcery uses eco-tech centered and certified non-toxic dyes. When you buy my goods and put them on your skin, nothing dangerous is coming in contact with you. You’re getting an all around healthier product, and the individuals producing and working with the dye aren’t being exposed to dangerous chemicals.”

While silk is a great sustainable alternative to many other fabrics, it has often been overlooked because of its tendency to be a high-maintenance material. Sourcery changed that by processing silk in an innovative way that can be washed and worn the same way as other fabrics.

“Sourcery was built on the concept of being better for the environment, and better for you, the wearer. I developed a machine washable silk, so the wearer has something that is healthier for her. She’s not going to the dry cleaner, or struggling to care for the material. Sourcery is an attainable, accessible luxury.” 

Nicole of Sourcery Label is excited to continue collaborating with like-minded individuals at The Canvas. 

Shop Sourcery Label at The Canvas Williamsburg, Antwerp, and online.