Friday, September 27, 2013

Organic Silk 101

No, no, no......I was not going to talk about that soymilk brand. Neither about Silk Smita. Nope. Nada. What were you thinking? wink, wink

I am going to talk about our favourite silk, which is an unique and one of the oldest fibres of the world, aptly titled as ‘Queen of Fibres’. After all, who doesn’t drool after silk and feel like a queen after wearing it.

So, when I came across this thing called ‘Organic Silk’, I was intrigued. We all know that silk is made from cocoons who live on mulberry trees. And we all know that organic means something that does not have chemicals. So, if silk is made from cocoons how can it have chemicals? Which means all silk is supposed to organic. Simple, isn’t it?

Turns out, nothing in this world is simple. silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori, which is a caterpillar and not a worm!! Go figure. For more technical definition of silk, you can see it here

What exactly is Organic Silk?

While I was searching for information on silk production, I found few quite graphic representations, due to which I will not be able to look at my silk sarees the same way again (at least for some time!!). But mainly the process involves, rearing the moths in captivity and dissolving them in boiling water for extraction of fibre. 

I know, I know, you get it, so I will stop blabbering.

Well, the production process is what differentiates silk from organic silk. Organic silk is extracted when the silkworm is allowed to emerge from the cocoon naturally. Also the mulberry trees are not spread with insecticides or other chemicals. No synthetic additives are added during its manufacturing process. Organic silk is also dyed with natural dyes.

Other types of Silk

Vegan Silk or Peace Silk or Ahimsa SilkVery much like organic silk where the cocoons are allowed to hatch naturally

Raw Silk – Simply Silk that has not been chemically processed.

Pros of Organic Silk

  • Some claim that it has medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. However no such research or study is there to substantiate it.
  • Since, it does not have chemical dyes, it is definitely going to help people with sensitive skin.
  • And if you are vegan, it is going to give a huge boost to your conscience.

 Cons of Organic Silk

  •  No Certification of Government regulation of Organic Silk.
  • Though available in India, it is very costly.

So that’s all for you to ponder about organic silk. Meanwhile, here are some awesome organic silk sarees from Jaypore Sarees to ogle.

While, I will see my silks and shed some tears (crocodile tears? Or maybe caterpillar tears?) till the organic silk become a little bit more affordable.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thrifty Thursday Finds

Autumn is here and winter is lurking just round the corner. This weather requires extra TLC for our skin. Here are some moisturizers, which are free of toxic chemicals, to do the same.

 Images- From their respective websites

Clockwise from left

  • Omved Intense Moisturising Cream – Rs. 440/-
  •  Omved Ultra Light Day & Night Moisturer – Rs. 490
  • Soul Tree Ayurvedic Moisturiser – Rs. 350/-(available on Natural Mantra)
  • Young Mango Butter Moisturiser – Rs. 250/-
  *Thrifty Thursday Finds is not sponsored post

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why Organic Cotton?

It’s a question that I am asked a lot of times. To be honest, I myself have asked this question. We all can understand the immediate benefits of having organic food. In simple layman terms organic food means food without chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, hormones etc. And we all understand that ingesting food has a direct effect on our health and which in turn means that chemical free food is directly beneficial for our health. Same thing goes for cosmetics, since we are putting them directly on our skin we understand the benefits of chemical-free cosmetics.

But what about clothes? Why the hullabaloo about organic cotton?

Cotton is entwined with our daily lives. Towels, Bed sheets, Blankets, Diapers, Fabric - its everywhere. It’s the most popular fabric in the world. Cotton evokes images of purity and comfort and many of us think that it is pure and natural. So we put cotton next to our skin because it breathes, absorbs and offers comfort.

But turns out that cotton is among the dirtiest crops in the world. The Environmental Justice Foundation lists 16 pesticides used in cotton growing, many of which are extremely hazardous and carcinogenic. It uses more chemicals in its production than any other human grown plant.

You may say, so what? The pesticides and chemicals are sprayed during the growing, and we are not eating cotton, we are wearing it, so what does it matter?

Turns out the story doesn't end there. Manufacturing cotton fiber into fabric and garments consists of several major processes such as cleaning, spinning, knitting or weaving, dyeing, finishing, and cleaning. Conventionally manufactured cotton must be chemically processed to become the soft fiber that consumers love. During processing, it is subjected to chlorine bleach, heavy metal dyes and formaldehyde resins (the hidden hazard of 'easy care treatments'). The bleach is almost worse than pesticides, causing myriad health problems and vast environmental damage. The chemical residues of these processes constitute the major sensitivity problems. Washing and dyeing of fabric again involves use of toxic chemicals.

Which begs the question – Would you wear toxic chemicals or let your children (who have a delicate and sensitive skin) wear them?

So, how is organic cotton good?

Organic Cotton is grown without the use of any synthetic chemicals i.e., pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic farmers rely on crop rotation to replenish and maintain soil fertility. Mechanical cultivation and botanical or biological means are used to control pests and weeds.

A field must be pesticide-free for at least three years to be certified organic, and the cotton must be processed according to international organic standards.

During manufacturing and processing organic clothing manufacturers do not add chemicals, formaldehyde, antiwrinkling agents, chlorine bleaches, or other unauthentic materials. Natural alternatives are used. Strict testing ensures the absence of contaminants like nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.

Babies and people with allergies and skin sensitivity benefit greatly from organic cotton. But, even if your skin is not sensitive, organic cotton would just feel great when you wear it, when you sleep on it and when you dry yourself with it. It would just feel right, both for your skin as well as your conscience.

So will you buy organic cotton clothes? 

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thrifty Thursday Finds

Beautiful, Funky Organic Tees*

Images Courtesy - Samtana & Do You Speak Green

Clockwise from Left
  • 1-5 - Organic T-shirts from Samtana, ranging from Rs. 499 - 599/-
  • 6-12 - Organic T-shirts from Do You Speak Green, ranging from Rs. 670 - 895/-
 *Thrifty Thursday Finds is not sponsored post

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Micro Garden - Organic Food From Pot to Plate

When I started my journey of being organic & green, I was in a hurry to do it. I would dream that I am some kind of organic diva who just waves her hand (or maybe broom) and pronto her world changes to organic. Her entire family is eating, wearing, sleeping organic. Everyday she rustles up delicious organic food, wears organic and struts her way through life while everyone is awestruck at her prowness.

But, sadly that is not how life runs. It is difficult to make others believe in something that you strongly believe in. And moreover, utter the word green (and unless it is green salad), you will be considered the jhola chhap treehugger moron who is just babbling from his/her high ground. So when the reality hit me, I decided to take baby steps. I have been incorporating small things in my 'green' life starting from my kitchen.

Another dream of mine has been constant supply of organic veggies. Oh, how I wish, I had a big garden/farm brimming with all types of organic veggies and I go and pluck them and cook delicious meals. Alas, this too is not possible, when we live in urban jungle with only a small balcony to get air and sun. And I know that this the common complain of all those with green thumbs.

But then I came across something called 'microgreen gardening', and am going to give it a go. Microgreens are herbs/greens which are harvested when they are quite young. They usually take less space and, from what I have read, are super easy to grow on your window sill or balcony.

Two or more plants can be grown together

 Some more inspiration. Recycle your soft drink bottles to grow your veggies.

 Or go vertical like this

Are you growing your food on your balcony? Share your pics with us. Send your garden/balcony pictures on and I shall share them here.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thrifty Thursday Finds - Elephant Poo Paper Products

Since we are celebrating our beloved Elephant God, I am bringing to you today products made of Elephant Poo!!! Yes you read it right. And to quote the manufacturer - 'No, they don't smell of Poo'

 Manufacturer - Haathi Chaap
You can buy these products from*

Clockwise from left
  • Set of four coasters made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 59.69/-
  • Toilet paper roll in form of notepad made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 199.69/-
  • Bottle bag made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 74.69/-
  • Collapsible card photo frame made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 59.69/-
  • Ludo made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 360/- (available at 
  •  Poom freshner - a magnet based elephant cut freshner made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 199.69/-
  •  Poodminton made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 199.69/-
  • Fridge magnet made of Elephant dung paper - Rs. 75/-
*Thrifty Thursday Finds is not sponsored post

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Eco Friendly Ganesha Anyone?

Isn't it ironic that the puja of 'Vighnaharta' becomes a 'vighna' for our waters and environment. So, lets make our own small significant difference this year, and give our beloved God some breathing space by not choking 'Him' and our environment in POP (Plaster of Paris).

Here are some websites which have resources on where to buy eco-friendly Ganesha

Ganpati Bappa Maurya!!!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Teej and Ganesh Chaturthi

Tomorrow is Hartalika Teej, celebrated mostly in Bihar, Jharkhand, U.P & M.P. As I was making the preparations of Teej, my eyes fell on Lac bangles (or laah ki chudi) which is an integral part of all auspicious events. 

I began to think, why lac? Why is it considered pure? Did some quick consulting with Dr. Google and found that - 'Lac is a clay-like material which is moulded in hot kilns-like places to make these bangles. Lac is a resinous secretion of Lac-producing insects such as Laccifer lacca, Carteria lacca and Tachardia lacca. These plant-sucking insects colonize on the branches of host trees to produce scarlet resinous pigment. Later the coated branches of the host trees are cut and harvested as sticklac. These sticklac are crushed, sieved and washed several times to remove impurities.

So probably this makes lac eco-friendly and probably that is why it is considered 'Pure'. Guess our ancestors were more environment friendly :)

Now lac is being used to make lots of other jeweleries too which are widely available. So go 'designer' or 'desi', shine bright this festival season with lac bangles. 
 Wishing you all a very Happy Teej and Ganesh Chathurthi.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thrifty Thursday Finds - For Tea And Coffee Lovers

Some organic options for Tea and coffee lovers (other than the most popular Organic Tulsi Tea).
All these products are online finds.

Clockwise from Left
  • Darjeeling Green Tea from NatualMantra (Rs. 500/-)
  •  Numi Organic Tea Jasmine Green from NatualMantra (Rs. 350/-)
  • 24 Letter Mantra Organic Green Tea from NatualMantra (Rs. 120/-)
  • Chamong Organic Chocolate Romance - flavoured black tea from Ecotokri (Rs. 160/-) 
  • Madhuban Naturals Pomegranate tea with hers from NatualMantra (Rs. 250/-) - though it says natural, it claims to be grown as per Vedic Organic Cultivation Method
  • Conscious Food Filter Coffee from NatualMantra (Rs. 99/-) 
  • Down to Earth Organic Coffee Powder from Ecotokri (Rs. 260/-) 
  • Organic Chamomile Tea with Lavender from NatualMantra (Rs. 575/-) 
  • Organic Lemon Splash flavoured Green Tea from Ecotokri (Rs. 130/-)
  • Organic Rooibos Tea from NatualMantra (Rs. 350/-)
  • Last Forest Pure Nilgiri Filter Coffee from NatualMantra (Rs. 250/-) 
  • Organic Arabica Filter Coffee from Ecotokri (Rs. 185/-) 
 *Thrifty Thursday Finds is not sponsored post

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