Passport? Check. Local currency? Sorted. Clothing that is light, breathable, warm, durable and will look good in the photos you’re planning to upload to Insta? Ummmm…..
Forget about lugging around an extra bag of checked luggage, Emily Cooper from Silkbody is here to save the day with her sustainable travel-ready pieces.
A journey along the silk road
“The term ‘smooth as silk’ is a cliché for a reason,” says entrepreneur and Silkbody co-founder Emily Cooper. Given that the material is strong, durable and so so soft, silk is seen as a symbol of luxe. And now it can also be your suitcase’s new best friend!
Emily’s silk journey began when the New Zealand-based designer teamed up with her father to launch a brand with more than profits in mind – and Silkbody was born. The brand works closely with producers and manufacturers to ensure that quality labour conditions are maintained, and an ancient art is preserved.
Sericulture (the art of silk production) is an ancient practice that is a vital source of income for many families. Emily explains, “We enjoy supporting a traditional way of life for the farming families that grow the mulberry crops and tend the silkworms.”
According to Emily, the Silkbody label came about almost by accident. “Originally we looked to utilise silk’s properties for the ultimate baselayer for outdoor wear. We soon found that customers were wearing the tops as everyday basics.”
Encouraged by customer feedback and a clear market demand, they began working to design a new range that would meet the needs of their customers. Longevity in terms of quality and style is of high importance. “We focus on enduring styles,” says Emily, given that “one Silkbody top will last ten years, they need to be classics.”
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Silk as a traveler’s secret weapon
As an avid traveller, I always thought that daggy travel clothes were just part of the deal. Regardless of whether I was trekking through Southeast Asia or sauntering along the Champs-Élysées, I always thought of silk as something far too delicate and precious to take travelling. To me, silk was a fabric that would inevitably end up crushed, dejected and taking up space in the bottom of my souvenir-laden suitcase.
Turns out I was wrong – silk can actually be a godsend for travelers.
Emily believes that silk can ensure that whatever type of travel tickles your fancy, you’ll step off that plane, tumble out of that bus or prise yourself away from that humid tuk-tuk, still looking chic and fresh as a daisy. Not only that, but you’ll also spend the journey in your own luxurious, temperature-controlled cocoon.
Emily’s top 3 travel must-haves
“The Sleeveless Dress is one of those chameleon items that moulds itself to many uses. Layer it up for more coverage in cooler climates, or wear it down to the beach with your sandals then swap them for heels for an easy transition to nighttime. It is as suitable in the transit lounge as in a Paris restaurant. Plus, the Sleeveless Dress has all the usual Silkbody traits that make it the perfect travel dress – light, fast drying, comfortable.”
“The Lounge Pants easily transition from plane to relaxing day wear to elegant dinner outfit. You feel like you’re wearing your pyjamas but still look like you’re straight out of the fashion pages!”
“When facing the challenge of finding something to wear on a series of 36-hour long-haul flights, look no further than a Silkbody top. The 3/4 Sleeve Scoop gives you a great base to build from (add the Silkspun Wrap Scarf as a blanket when it gets chilly) and of course, regulates your temperature so you can transit between humid stopovers and over-air conditioned aeroplanes with ease.”
But isn’t silk difficult to care for?
“[Silk] is easy to care for and can be machine-washed. The main thing to remember is to use a mild detergent designed for delicates, such as a wool wash,” says Emily.
She recommends avoiding harsh chemical cleaners and don’t dry silk in direct sunlight, as this can fade the colour. And, if you’re as lazy as me, this will be a welcome tip.
One of the great things about silk is you don’t need to wash it after every wear as it doesn’t hold odours.
That’s right folks, it’s actually good for the garment to minimise washing – and thanks to the nature of the fabric, you won’t have to worry about any unwelcome odours hovering in your vicinity!
“Silk has captured our hearts, as it did for entire civilizations before us!” explains Emily, “It’s an amazing blend of form and function. Its beauty belies its incredible strength and durability. Its warmth rivals wool but trumps it with its quick-dry properties. No synthetic has managed to embody the unique qualities of silk.”
Images via Silkbody