Activated Silk™ Peptides & Sustainability

We’re a biotech company that specializes in barrier technology. Our mission is to design new products that advance the health of people and the planet. When we started Evolved By Nature in 2013, sustainability wasn’t just a tenet, it was our foundation.

A lot of unsustainable industries are scrambling to address the health and environmental concerns of their consumers. Sometimes this is done in good faith, though often it results in greenwashing. This kind of corporate behavior muddies the waters and makes it difficult for consumers to make informed choices. So when we talk about sustainability, we want to be as transparent and clear as possible.

Evolved By Nature is committed to:

As a core business principal, we’re committed to the sustainable management of environment, health and safety (EHS), and to the enhancement of sustainability and responsibility by providing a safe, injury-free workplace and minimizing our environmental impact. All our partners sign a code of conduct, so we know they uphold the same ethos.

Our silk protein comes from small, family-run sericulture farms, who irrigate with rainwater and avoid pesticide use. Unlike many types of agriculture, sericulture can be a lower-impact industry—it requires sunlight and the leaves of mulberry trees. And because mulberry trees stay rooted in soil season after season, it supports healthier soil quality while also working to sequester carbon.

The silk we use is the byproduct of an industry that produces food sources, mainly for marine life. They use the silk pupae to feed fish and then we purchase the cocoons, which would otherwise be discarded. This allows us to use one industry’s byproduct to create our products, which is easier on the planet.

A circular economy involves designing out waste, keeping materials in use, regenerative farming, renewable energy and other practices that allow what is created to go back into the system in a way that’s beneficial. We strive to achieve circularity in everything we do, because it’s a more actionable way to think about sustainability.

In manufacturing Activated Silk™ peptides, we don't use materials derived from fossil fuels, ensuring this key ingredient is not made with endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals.

We like to be careful with the language we use

because “clean” and “sustainable” have no agreed-upon definition, and they can mean different things to different people. That’s why we avoid “clean,” and go with the slightly longer:

Activated Silk™ 33B is:

  • naturally derived
  • biodegradable
  • made without harsh chemicals
  • cruelty-free
  • non-GMO
  • hypoallergenic & gentle

Are Activated Silk™ peptides Vegan?

Are Activated Silk™ peptides vegan? In a word: no. Like honey, Activated Silk™ peptides are naturally derived, biodegradable, cruelty-free, and sustainably made from renewable resources. We source responsibly raised silk cocoons that are discarded by local fishing industries, because we strongly believe that up-cycling and circular economies are the best path to a sustainable future.

It’s important to clarify what it means when a product is designated vegan. Vegan does not mean sustainable, nor cruelty-free. It does not mean clean. It does not mean petrochemical-free, nor biodegradable. A misunderstanding of vegan skincare has become a convenient (and cheap) way for skincare companies to greenwash their products. They rely on the confusion around “vegan” to signal a commitment to health and the environment, without having to take steps toward either.

Honey is a good example, because we all have a basic understanding of what it is and how it’s made. A moisturizer that uses ethically produced honey from local beekeepers is not vegan—though it is renewable, biocompatible and biodegradable. Compare this to dimethicone —a non-renewable ingredient commonly found in vegan moisturizers. Dimethcone takes a massive amount of fossil fuels to produce and is not biodegradable, which means it lives forever in our oceans and waterways once you wash your face. Or consider petrolatum, a well known vegan moisturizing agent that is a literal byproduct of crude oil refining and if insufficiently refined is a known carcinogen. In this light, does the vegan designation help you make the best consumer decision about supporting your health and the diversity of life on earth?

There is nothing wrong with veganism. Is the meat industry hurting the planet? Yes. But does that make every vegan product the better option for our environment? Far from it. The mission of our biotech lab is to promote the health of people and the planet. We know finding solutions is complex and requires a very nuanced approach to how things are made and where they end up. Which means we look at every step of the supply chain from the way our ingredients are grown, sourced and transported, to our manufacturing facilities and eventual consumer use and disposal. At each of these phases we ask ourselves what is the effect of acquiring these resources and what are we putting back into the earth. These decisions affect the environment, our ecosystems and communities that are often already marginalized. Never has the need for smart decisions been more dire.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at Or for more information about this and other complex issues regarding sustainability, check out our Instagram page


We adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (also known as UNSDGs). These goals were adopted in 2015 as a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.”

The SDGs take an holistic approach—recognizing that each goal affects the success of the others. There are 17 categories in total. Some apply to businesses, others are achieved at the government level.

Evolved By Nature’s technology and working practices contribute to 8 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: