By Colin McIntosh of Sheets & Giggles
When I first conceived of Sheets & Giggles, I had one goal in mind: build a profitable business by selling truly eco-friendly products. And to foist bedding puns on the whole world. So, two goals.
Whenever we create a new product, sustainability is not an afterthought. It’s our first thought. I’m proud of the high-quality, sustainable products we’ve created over the past 3 years. Because of our commitment to quality and the earth, we’ve established a loyal following – people who love us so much that they let us know when we can do better. So, basically, our moms.
In May 2018, we offered a handful of Eucalyptus comforters on our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and they were glorious – super soft, good heft, and snuggle-tastic.
But they weren’t perfect. Many of our initial backers told us that we didn’t go far enough with respect to sustainability.
The original comforter was filled with 100% polyester (as we didn’t have the best sourcing capabilities and network early on). Unfortunately, polyester isn’t sustainable at all. It’s thirsty, it’s energy-intensive, it’s not biodegradable, and it can be found throughout our oceans in the form of microplastics.
Yep. Our backers were right, we could do better.
So we shut down production and went back to the drawing board. We experimented with different fills and techniques and decided to move forward with a thermally-bonded filling composed of 50% Eucalyptus Lyocell fiber and 50% recycled polyester made from repurposed, discarded plastic bottles.
Why plastic bottles? For starters, all over the world, a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, and it takes about 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade. In fact, enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the earth four times.
But one man’s trash is another man’s comforter, as the old expression definitely doesn’t go.
Our comforters take discarded plastic bottles that would have otherwise entered the soil or the waterways and turns them into something useful again.
In the end, our newly redesigned comforter is more expensive for us to produce, but it’s 100% sustainable on top of being more breathable and lighter than the old 100% polyester fill. A rare win-win.
By the way, our community also asked us to eliminate all plastic from our packaging, which we also did. We’ve always been good listeners.
I wrote this post not to brag about our wildly popular, highly-reviewed, ludicrously soft eucalyptus comforter, but to prove that profitability and sustainability go hand in hand.
If you go the extra mile to ensure your products are responsibly-sourced, sustainably-made, and eco-friendly (even if it costs you a little more), people will sit up and take notice. People want to support a company that takes corporate responsibility seriously and doesn’t just pay lip service to the green movement. We will continue to put sustainability first and to keep listening to our community to help us improve and push things forward.