Pioneering Australia's Future Silk Industry Today
Efforts to establish a thriving silk industry in Australia have a long history, dating back to the 1800s. Over the years, various ventures have been undertaken, from targeting retail customers to focusing on large-scale industrial silk farming. To learn more about previous attempts to kickstart the Australian silk industry, you can refer to our earlier article on the subject here.
A Background on Australia's Silk Industry Landscape
In 2021, Taylor Battistella, the CEO of Seresilk, embarked on a mission to revolutionise the silk industry in Australia. Battistella's fascination with silk began during his childhood, when he started Everything Silkworms from his bedroom at the age of 12. Starting with just 100 silkworms, he witnessed their remarkable growth. In little more than a month, he had over 25,000 silkworm eggs and Battistella's entrepreneurial spirit took over... selling the eggs on eBay. Unfortunately, not long after getting set up on the platform, his account was shut down. Undeterred and determined, he decided to establish a website and over time has expanded his product line to include artificial silkworm diet, as well as classroom resources like posters and books, which he has supplied to numerous retail and school customers across the country.
Driven by his deep interest in silk's history, Battistella discovered tales of Chinese silkworm farmers known for having the softest hands in the world. Intrigued by the skincare benefits of silk and finding himself at a career crossroads while stranded in Milan, Italy during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, he resolved to create the world's first cruelty-free Australian silk skincare brand.
Battistella emphasised that one of the primary motivations behind Seresilk was "to generate demand for Australian silk". He believes that "Australia is incredibly fortunate to possess a pristine natural environment suitable for cultivating mulberry trees, the sole food source of silkworms and a crucial factor in silk production".
Introducing Seresilk: Leading Australian Silk Skincare
Seresilk stands as the first and only commercially available silk product in Australia. Its development stemmed from the desire to offer a hassle-free skincare routine that harnesses the incredible natural healing properties of silk.
Conventionally, silk is harvested through cruel rearing practices. However, Seresilk is unique. Not only is it entirely Australian, but it is also completely cruelty-free. Silkworms have an unparalleled growth rate, multiplying up to 10,000 times their original size in just one month. To put it into perspective, it would be akin to a newborn baby reaching over 33,000 kilograms in the same timeframe.
Furthermore, silk is an extraordinary material. It is the strongest and lightest naturally occurring fibre in the world! A single silk cocoon contains up to 1,000 meters of uninterrupted filament. To produce a single silk tie, approximately 1,000 cocoons are required - equivalent to a million meters of silk per tie.
Traditionally, silk production involves submerging and cooking the cocoon in water, effectively boiling the silkworm alive. However, Seresilk takes a different approach. As Battistella already sells silkworm eggs through his other business, he had an excess of silkworm cocoons. Seresilk utilises a scientific process called hydrolysis, transforming the "waste silk" into a beautiful liquid form known as "hydrolysed silk," which is then incorporated into their formulations.
By sparing the silkworms from harm and repurposing materials that previously went to waste, Seresilk ensures ethical practices and environmental responsibility.
The Seresilk skincare routine empowers the skin's natural functions. The dermatologically tested and approved four-step night routine comprises only 24 unique ingredients. Seresilk allows the wonders of natural silk to do the work, motivating and assisting skin cells in rejuvenating, replacing, regulating, and refreshing the skin. The products aim to leave the skin feeling refreshed with a tightening and lifting effect, without being overly greasy, stripping, or harsh.
Seresilk takes pride in offering a comprehensive skincare routine that is cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and proudly Australian made. The company is committed to transparency in its ingredients, taking responsibility for what goes into their skincare products and the impact they have on the planet. All Seresilk products are cruelty-free and contribute to the development of the Australian silk industry. Moreover, their product packaging is recyclable, and the boxes are made from recycled materials.
Battistella's Aspirations for the Future of the Industry
Battistella envisions creating substantial demand for Australian silk and fuelling the growth of a new industry by utilising a resource that was previously overlooked. He hopes that by producing high-quality Australian silk skincare products, he can increase the demand and in turn productivity for Australian silk and explore value-added opportunities in other aspects of the silkworm's life cycle. This includes but is not limited to developing biogas from their waste and producing high-quality garments, ultimately building an ethical Australian silk industry that resonates with consumers' values and leaves a positive impact - for an industry we can all feel good about!
We will continue to zero-in on the topics explored briefly in this story. Interested in finding out more about silk in skincare? Join the Seresilk mailing list and message firstname.lastname@example.org for any topics you'd like to see covered in future articles.