My first major challenge….

Recently we upgraded from a queen bed to a king bed.  Finding bed linen that is eco friendly has proven to be a major challenge.  Obviously, my first step was to jump on google and see what I could find.  I was very excited about the first website I came across. They had an Eco-friendly range.  Awesome!  This is exactly what I’m looking for.  Further investigation proves me wrong though.  Their eco-friendly range is made from bamboo, ingeo natural fibres and tencel.

Bamboo

At first bamboo seems like an excellent option.  It grows naturally without assistance from man.  It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world reaching maturity in about three to four years so it’s easily renewable.  It is also excellent for allergy suffers.  The downside is that because the fibres of bamboo are so small, they can not be naturally turned into yarn.  The only way to turn bamboo into yarn is through the use of chemicals.  So that rules out bamboo.

Ingeo natural fibres

Ingeo man-made fibres are derived from renewable materials such as corn. Ingeo can apparently be easily reproduced with little impact on the environment.  Thanks to wikipedia i found this description of how ingeo is made:

The process to create Ingeo makes use of the carbon stored in plants by photosynthesis in the form of dextrose sugar. The carbon and other elements in these sugars are then used to make a bio-polymer through a process of fermentation and separation.  The resulting resin, called ingeo biopolymer can then be extruded for use in textile applications.

Tencel

Tencel is claimed to be a new 100% organic fibre that is made from natural wood cellulose.  It is also 100% biodegradable.  To produce tencel, hardwood logs a chipped and chemically treated to create a pulp which is used to make fibres.  Not really sure how this constitutes 100% organic though.

The main problem with both Tencel and Ingeo is that they are produced by a petrochemical company.  So even if in fact they are eco friendly (which is questionable when you consider the info above), the money spent on these products goes straight to a company that produces petrochemicals, which to me defeats the purpose of buying them.

Wool

It was suggested to me by my good friend The Rabid Little Hippy to consider wool.  I wasn’t overly sure that wool would be suitable given the hot climate that I live in and the fact that even in winter the overnight temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees.  However, after some research, it appears that wool might be an option.  I have found a company called Aussie Wool Quilts who are producers of Australian made, chemical free wool bedding.  They use wool produced on their own farm and source some wool from nearby farms, but all wool used is produced organically. They also make quilts in different thicknesses to suit different climates, so I would be able to get a light weight one to suit this climate.  However, after emailing them to find out what the outer layer of the quilt is, I have discovered that it is non-organic cotton from China.  Although they did tell me that they make organic products for another company called Blessed Earth.  The fabric they use for Blessed Earth is certified bio-dynamic, but it is sourced from India.  It does however carry Fair Trade Certification.

I have discovered though that there is always a tradeoff to be made when it comes to Eco-friendliness. I’m thinking at this stage that I will be going with the Blessed Earth option because at least i know that the wool is grown in Australia under organic conditions and the cotton fabric, while sourced from India does carry a fair trade certification and is certified bio-dynamic.  I realise there are carbon miles involved in getting the products here but that is the tradeoff.  It seems near impossible to source a product that is made in Australia, is bio-dynamic and doesn’t incur carbon miles.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. You’re right, there always does seem to be a trade off. On the bright side, cotton is a very water hungry plant so buying Australian cotton has negatives when it comes from the driest continent on Earth. Being fair trade is fantastic too. I know so much cotton is picked by people who are economical slaves. And they are paid at a rate just low enough to keep them slaves too. We need to look out for some new quilts so I will be looking into your links closely. 😀

    Reply

  2. We upgraded to a king sized bed thanks to 2 heifer dogs insisting on forming a pack and taking over too much of the queen. We did the really sustainable thing and went hunting for linen at our local op shops. I started crochetting a bed cover but Earl, our reprobate teenaged dog chewed a huge hole in it :(. I won’t be tackling anything like that until Earl settles down a bit.

    Reply

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theroadtoserendipity

Trying to find order in all of this chaos

Rabid Little Hippy

My journey into self sustainability, eco awareness and living in country Victoria.

thetropicalhippy

A blog about going green in the tropics!

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