German Sustainibility Awards Design 2021 winner, social entrepreneurship turned sustainable fashion label Cocccon, Creativity Can Care, has changed the way world perceives sustainable fashion.
Cocccon has entrenched itself as a renowned luxury fashion label, recognised for signature peace organic silk delivering exotic colours, patterns and prints. Further producing prêt-à-porter collections grounded by its aesthetics and accentuated with vibrant Indian influences.
Closely intertwined lies the label’s allegiance to premium, authentic materials promising the ultimate in quality – from organic silk to exceptional blends.
Refined and sophisticated, with a striking edge and a luxurious spirit, Cocccon offers exquisite craftsmanship, premium materials and timeless design, from Germany to the world.
The unique business model adopted by Cocccon has created abundant employment opportunities in rural India. Addtionally, expanded sustainable fashion options beyond organic cotton or hemp with high quality silk. The invention of organically produced cruelty-free silk has made a large impact on bio-diversity in Jharkhand region. The project has produced an example for the industry that fashion and nature can exist in unity. This project is also known as Fashion4biodiversity.
This Indo-German venture is based on a social responsibility platform, where sustainable utilisation of manpower, ecology and natural resources is continuously applied.
This project has greatly enhanced its’ position in international sustainable fashion and living standards of the project members. Silk rearers to weavers have a comfortable lifestyle and their children are attending local schools. The women in the group are able to adapt their new professional skills allowing for social and economic self-dependency.
As Cocccon do not use any chemical substances on the host tree for silk worms, there is possibilities of double crop production. Furthermore, cultivation of rice and potato has been successfully completed along with our host trees. Ecologically, the entire region appears significantly greener than in the past.
Social entrepreneurship project Cocccon was founded in 2012 by Germany based Indian fashion designer Chandra Prakash Jha. After spending almost, one decade in the Indian and international fashion market, he redirected his attention over to his own native state Jharkhand, where economic and social development is far away from reality.
Project Cocccon is a modern form of rural cooperation. It has a decentralised production, which allows the silk farmers, spinners, weavers etc. to work directly from their own areas. All these different units are well connected with the centralised headquarters. The storage of cocoons, yarns and ready textiles is situated at our headquarters.
Sericulture or silk farming is the rearing of silkworms to produce silk. It occurs mostly in free nature and in some cases, indoor. In this process, the use of any kind of pesticides or genetic spray over leaves or trees is not permitted. To keep silkworms safe from harmful insects or birds, large mosquito netting is attached to protect each tree where the silkworms live and breed. In some cases, Bio-Spray is used.
Once cocoons are ready, they are placed indoors on a bamboo platform. In case of Tussah silk, the cocoons are hung vertically from the ceiling using jute strings. In approximately one week, silk butterflies (moth) hatch out themselves or in some cases the cocoons need to be pierced by well-trained staff. After checking each empty cocoon, they are forwarded to our degumming department. This is why our silk is known as peace silk or non-violent silk.
The process of eliminating “Gum (sericin)” and impurities from raw silk is known as degumming of silk. This is done by adding natural bio soap in the hot boiling water. Occasionally hydrogen peroxide is used to make different shades of silk yarn uniform. This is ecofriendly and approved by REACH and GOTS. The use of toxic metals during the degumming process of ´silk- weighting´ to make silk yarns heavier by including chromium, barium, lead, iron or sodium magnesium is not permitted and completely forbidden in our production.
Four of our twenty power looms have been upgraded with solar powered motors. Spinning and reeling is completely processed either manually or with solar machines. This makes 70% of our spinning and weaving operation zero-carbon.
Packing and storing of the product is mainly done with jute bags or reclaimed cardboard. Transport of cocoons or ready yarns to weavers in different areas of Jharkhand is done by public transport, state roadways or Indian railway.
Water usage is minimised in our production process using reclaimed water by filtering old used water. Residue from cocoon degumming is used as compost for agriculture.
When examining the relationship between fashion and biodiversity intently, a need for change was discovered. The need to update technology and minimize human involvement.
Years after the first experiment on peace silk production, the vision expanded to a technological modification of the process. In 2015, the first IoT based experiment on organic mulberry and Arjun plantation was carried out. The device was able to detect disease in plants at a very early stage, monitor irrigation requirements, control weather changes and optimize production with reducing crop failure by up to 87%.
Fungicides and pesticides sprays are not used on the host tree Arjun and Mulberry as they are very toxic for ecology and dangerous for biodiversity.
Towards sustainable environment, health and development, certain innovative technologies have been developed to control pests and fungus from the host plant Arjun. The Arjun tree is covered with a large net to keep it safe from predators.
A liquid solution has been prepared by blending plants with medicinal properties such as Guizotia abyssinica (ramtilla), Azadirachta indica (neem), Brassica juncea (India mustard). This unique blend displays 90% of similar outcomes as the chemical fungicides and pesticides yet without any toxic side effects towards the ecosystem. This is also effective in curing root rot disease in the host tree.
The largest advantage of using non-toxic chemicals over the previous four years in our farming is the tremendous growth of grass on the soil, which is used for cattle feed. Furthermore, the excess (bed refusal) silkworm rearing activity is used for cattle feed. Additionally, silkworm litter or faucal matter is utilised as high-class organic manure for farming. Compost from waste Arjun leaves are considered a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer for different regional agricultures in east India.