Fast Bedding: The Elephant In The Room
Textiles Large Ecological Footprint
Textiles is one of the world's biggest polluting industries and one of the 3 largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions with 1.2 billion tons of emissions produced every year accounting for 10% of global carbon emissions. From textile creation, production, intense chemical processing, manufacturing, and transportation of textiles purchased each year the impact on the planet and humans is devastating. Over 95% of the world's cotton grown for global textile use is Genetically Modified which is embroiled in tragic issues of farmer suicides from supplier debt, uses an intense amount of pesticides and an incredible amount of water. Many people think Linen is automatically eco-friendly which is far from the truth. Most of the world's global linen is grown using nitrates. Excess nitrates can get into water streams and harm our ecosystems. On the pesticides front, linen needs less than other crops but it still uses pesticides. Linen requires heavy bleaching and harmful dyes are also used. Synthetic fibres like polyester, acrylic, nylon, used in the majority of our textiles are made from fossil fuel, making production much more energy-intensive than with natural fibres. And to make matters even worse, there is severe deforestation for products like rayon in bamboo, viscose and modal fibres.
Like Fast Fashion, in Fast Bedding there is a lot of greenwashing. Currently in many bedding brands on the market we are seeing cheap mass produced fabrics being churned out using cheap labour with no audits on fair labour practices, no audits on transparency in the supply chain, an array of colours that are made from toxic dyes and chemicals that are carcinogens and hormone disruptors and should be banned, and toxic pesticides and chemicals that degrade the soil and contaminate the waterways tarnishing rivers, lakes, lands, oceans, marine life, animals and people. Some bedding brands even blatantly state they use fewer pesticides - fewer still contributes to the global problem. It should be ZERO pesticides. But no one seems to be talking about the fact that we are sleeping in a sea of toxic chemicals in materials that contribute to the Earth's degradation and has a huge hand in horrific social impacts from farmers, makers to consumers.
Fast Fashion which also equals Fast Bedding and home textiles, is really thinking about who made your bedding as well as the environmental, social and health impact it has made from seed to shelf. We need to ask the questions to the brand of who made the products, how it was made, and stay informed. Transparency is the new trend that consumers deserve. It is really important to dive into that and see what levels of certification there are - for Bhumi we have chosen GOTS certification that covers all 3 areas of environment, social and health. We have gone with the most rigorous that starts from the seed. Not all certifications have been created equal, some only account for part of the textile journey and the end product ensures it has no harmful chemical residue left in it but that does not mean harmful chemicals and harsh processing has not been used along the way. So it is important to ask the questions. To invest in sustainable bedding and home textiles, look for strict organic certifications that trace the product all the way back to the seed.
Fast Fashion = Fast Bedding
When you hear Fast Fashion, think Fast Bedding as well. The conversation of what we are wearing and fast fashion is so important, but equally important is what we are sleeping in and on. Bhumi offers you a better way that puts the Earth and Her people first. We only work with 100% certified organic cotton and linen as it makes for a healthier planet by saving water, uses ZERO toxic dyes and pesticides, offers a better life for the farmers that grow it, offers a better life for the adults that manufacture it with no child labour, and it makes a luxury product for the people who love to use it that does not cost the Earth.
We have the power and can actively make choices that have immediate impacts on the earth, the environment, and humanity. Everything you bring into your home and what touches your skin is your choice and the ripple effects are far reaching. Remember that knowledge brings power, power brings choice, and choice brings change and positive impacts on our fellow human beings and the world around us.
About the Author: Vinita is the Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton and passionate about an Earth Life Balance