At Shaku, we are committed to being sustainable, socially responsible and aware of the changing social environment around us: these are the guiding tenets which govern our decisions. Having these high standards means there is a tension between our dedication to create the highest quality silk scarves and the reality that not every item created will meet those standards. However, we are devoted to minimising waste while contending, and overcoming,  the unique challenges it brings.

We are proud to launch our upcycled cushion collection, the first of Shaku’s luxury accessories and homewares lines. Expertly created from our silk scarf material in our gorgeous ‘floral’ design, it brings the universal and eternal beauty of the outside indoors. 

The Challenge

Waste is a widely accepted part of life, and the fashion industry is no exception. Textile waste is a significant polluter; much of this waste is from excess fabric or ‘deadstock’ from unsold inventory, or faulty stock that suffered an error during production. While some of this textile waste is reused and recycled, some is incinerated or left to decompose in landfill.  Both of these approaches release harmful greenhouse gases while also being a waste of the original resources - the water, energy and the raw materials - used to make the fabric.

Every level of society, industries, brands and individuals, encounter the problem of what to do with the unused, unwanted and excess. But perhaps it is just an issue of perception. There are alternatives to discarding, or even recycling unwanted or imperfect items. 

Colourful stack of Shaku upcycled silk cushion collection

The Upcycling Option

Upcycling is the process of breathing new life to an as of yet unused, disregarded, or lifeless item. Where recycling takes waste and turns it into completely new materials, upcycling - also known as creative reuse - innovatively reignites the vitality of some unused product by introducing it to a new field of use.

Our sustainable silk scarves undergo the highest quality checks to ensure that every scarf is flawless. Unfortunately, the nature of creation means that a percentage of what we make does not meet our specific requirements for our scarves. It by no means suggests these materials are beyond use, but rather they do not possess the specific properties required for our treasured scarves. Instead we have invited them to a new avenue of use, where its own special properties can truly excel: luxury accessories and homewares lines.

A Limited Luxury Cushion Collection

To prevent wasting our beautiful Shaku material, we have not thrown it away but rather repurposed the fabrics into our first upcycled cushions line. 

Corner of Shaku blue upcycled silk scarf cushion
Red Shaku sustainable silk scarf cushion collectionCorner of yellow Shaku upcycled silk scarf cushion Side view of black and white Shaku sustainable silk scarf cushion collection

“Shakera gets innovative; collaborating with artisans to bring her designs back to life in the form of new luxury accessories and homewares.”

Each of our sustainable scarves is carefully inspected and these scarves have suffered an anomalous error during production meaning the finish of the fabric erred from the typical, but we believe it is no less luxurious, and possesses the same visual beauty as others so it deserves to be repurposed. Hence, a small batch of Italian silk scarves woven with Shakera’s stunning ‘Floral’ design have been reborn as a collection of decadent cushions. The intricate floral designs are woven from the finest pure silk threads at the hands of talented craftspeople in our factory in Como, Italy, and reimagined into luxury homeware.

With just 130 pieces, the collection is limited edition. What was previously a challenge, is now a cue for a celebration, a new step forward in the homeware industry. 

Shaku upcycled Italian silk scarf cushions beside a magazine