SAWANG BORAN INTEGRAL STANDARD of organic production, fair trade, and sustainability for the artisanal production, dyeing and weaving of silk
This standard, of which we know no equivalent in the world, was developed with the support of Green Net for and on the basis of the traditional silk-making of our artisan community in Northeast Thailand. It is specifically for artisanal silk, and thus very different from the dominant form of standards designed for the industrial world.
The full text of this standard can be sent to you upon motivated request.
We can provide practical advisory services to any group wishing to implement this standard.
We expect courteous use by third parties – with acknowledgment of our cultural intellectual property.
Anyone using this standard must understand that every part of it is integral to the whole, and should not be used separately. If such separate use is made, it should not in any fashion produce effects detrimental to the name and reputation of Sawang Boran.
An earlier, unfinished, version of this standard has been disclosed without our prior knowledge and consent to a major global organisation. We take no responsibility for the way in which that version is used and further circulated, as this is beyond our control. By making our standard available on our own terms, we claim intellectual property over a pioneering document that is a cornerstone of all our work. We hope it can serve other honest grassroots-level communities, and facilitate the mutually supportive networking of such initiatives.
1. SILKWORM RAISING
silkmoth varieties must be local/indigenous varieties and well adapted to local conditions; systematic local-level reproduction must be pursued, to ensure varietal authenticity and continuity, as well as better income generation; mulberry trees must be organically grown.
2. PRODUCTION OF YARN
firewood for heating water must be harvested sustainably; processes must use traditional manual tools; use of chemicals in yarn production is prohibited; yarn must come from members’ own production; waste water must be safely recycled to the environment.
only natural and organic materials are to be used for dyeing; they must be grown organically by artisans; harvesting must have no adverse impact on the environment; environmental sustainability requirements are not separable from the overall organic and ethical standard; mordants must be local plant materials, and other non-toxic traditional substances; no chemical detergents and bleaches are allowed; fuel for dyeing must be obtained and used in a sustainable manner; waste from dye operations must be recycled or disposed of in a safe and sustainable manner; dyeing work must be safe for dyers; individual members’ research and development in natural dyes must be recognized as their intellectual property.
members weave only silk yarn obtained and processed in compliance with this standard; only organic natural substances can be used for conditioning and washing; striving for excellence in weaving is an integral part of members’ ethics.
5. ETHICAL AND FAIR TRADE RULES
the artisans, as a group governed by Sawang Boran principles and by these standards, sell their silk products under the name Sawang Boran that guarantees the application of these standards and principles; Sawang Boran provides interest-free pre-financing to members as required for their work, and bears the cost of specific training as required; SB pays fair trade prices directly to its member artisans upon receiving their products, based on a collectively agreed fair price grid, and on a work-day of 5 to 6 hours; additional bonuses reward excellence; possible future profits must be used solely for furthering project goals; distribution of money individually among group members is prohibited.