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Turtle Doves Silk

It’s amazing what you can do with an old silk sari...
Scarves Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

Turtle Doves stole our hearts with its beautiful cashmere gloves, throws and ponchos, which are all made from pre-loved cashmere jumpers.

Now the team has launched a gorgeous silk range of snoods, bandanas, scarves, hugs and ponchos – perfect for the festival season or for adding some extra glamour to any outfit!

Silk is beautifully soft and light to wear and, being a natural fibre, it’s perfect for cool or warm weather.

‘All our products are recycled – partly because, like most people, we are concerned about how we use the Earth’s resources. However, I have also always loved old things; I think that they have more character than new and I find the ‘worn in’ feel of pre-owned fabric irresistible.’

Kate Holbrook, Turtle Doves

The recycled nature of the garments does mean that there may be natural inconsistencies; when possible, Turtle Doves will patch pieces if necessary.

Ponchos and shrugs

The new poncho design is great for any season and can be worn in various ways; the maxi cut is generous so there’s lots of gorgeous soft silk to wrap yourself up in.

Worn as a simple poncho it makes a lovely statement piece – add a belt and a pair of jeans for a great look that’s bang on trend. Alternatively, swish all the fabric to the front to make a glamorous winter scarf.

The stunning hug, which measures 55cmx95cm when flat, is a reversible, continuous scarf that can be worn in lots of different ways. It’s light and soft but warm too when necessary. Elegant and versatile, it’s a perfect travel companion.

The colours range from soft plum, dusky blue and neutral shades to vibrant purple and peacock paisleys.

One-off pieces

After washing the saris, Turtle Doves selects the pieces it uses for each product with great care. Every product is unique, though sometimes two garments can be made from each sari, meaning two can end up being very similar.

‘The silk is selling really well. When we launched the product range it nearly sold out in the first week and we had to sew really fast to keep up with demand! We have just had a delicious shipment of saris in so there will be more products on the website very soon.

‘Our cashmere fingerless gloves are still our best-seller (they are great for warmth when you’re snuggled in only a cardi on a British summer evening) but the silk is catching up!’

Kate Holbrook, Turtle Doves

Branching out

When Turtle Doves first started it recycled post-consumer waste jumpers bought from local charity shops. They were all garments that couldn’t have been re-sold on the shop floor because of holes, marks and general wear and tear.

As the company grew it soon needed more jumpers than it could get locally, so it started to buy from textile waste merchants. In the time it bought locally it spent over £10,000 in charity shops.

Turtle Doves still uses only post-consumer waste and always aims to use as much as possible of the material it buys.

Indian silks

While most of the jumpers that end up in the cashmere range are picked up from charity shops, the silk accessories are all made from vintage and pre-owned saris which are imported from Bangalore, India.

Getting the silk hasn’t been easy; ideally Turtle Doves would like to source the saris in the UK but the company is still looking for the right contact.

‘We don’t throw away left-over fabric waste; we save the smaller pieces for littler projects and what is left goes back to textile recyclers. When designing products it is always really important to us to use as much of the garment we’re re-working as possible; this factor is what has driven our unique, ethical accessories and clothing ranges and will continue to be how we pursue our designs in the future. For us re-use is what it’s all about and we like the new items we make to be useful and lovely, too.’

Turtle Doves

Turtle Doves also recycles vintage and pre-owned cotton saris as part of its festival range, which will hopefully be available on its website soon. The company has also been known to reuse denim and is planning to make bags from some vintage Japanese kimonos it’s got its hands on.

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