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Sensuous, Sensible, Sustainable Sheets

Sensuous, Sensible, Sustainable Sheets

I’ll take cotton sheets over their synthetic sisters in a heartbeat—but the thought of all those pesticides used on cotton crops has been elbowing me in the psyche lately. Looking for organic cotton bedding, I found these instead and couldn’t believe my skin when I first slipped into a set of such soothing, eco-friendly sheets. So soft, so supple, so sustainable.

Who would have thought that bamboo—yes, bamboo!—could be spun into such a miracle fiber. The resulting textile is durable and strong, and its resilience allows for superb color retention through multiple washings. It has excellent wicking properties and dries faster than cotton, which results in decreased odor accumulation. It is even hypoallergenic and antibacterial. Performance aside, it is the feel of the textile that leaves me swooning—sleek and silky beyond compare. This is how I imagine one million thread count cotton sheets might feel, but with a better conscience.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, cotton is the most toxic crop on the planet. (If you are utterly devoted to your non-organic cotton sheets, you may want to skip this paragraph!) Cotton crops account for more than 25 percent of all the insecticides and 12 percent of all the pesticides used in the world. And these aren’t in the “gentle” category of toxins—we’re talking some of the worst of the worst. As found in an EPA report, in California (one of the only states to require pesticide-use reports) 12 of the top 15 pesticides used for cotton caused birth defects, 10 caused multiple birth defects, and 13 were toxic or very toxic to fish or birds or both. Yikes. If that isn’t bad enough, cotton crops generally use up to seven times more fertilizer than they do pesticides. Cotton fertilizers are best known for spoiling the air and polluting rivers, groundwater basins, and aquifers everywhere the crop is grown. Bamboo, on the other hand, is rapidly renewable and flourishes naturally without the use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers.

Enough said, right? So let’s just cut to the chase here, and sleep a little easier:

100% Bamboo Sheets

Mad Mod Bamboo Comfort

Viva Terra

Bamboo/Cotton Blend Sheets

Gaiam

The Company Store

Target (yes, Target!)

Read more: Home, Bed & Bath, Green Home Decor, Health & Safety, Household Hints, , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

47 comments

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6:54AM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

interesting

7:25PM PDT on Oct 2, 2012

hmmm... bamboo...

10:25AM PDT on May 20, 2011

did not know they were made

5:13PM PDT on May 16, 2011

thanks for the article and readers comments. I'll take this as consideration

9:13AM PST on Nov 14, 2010

I am wondering if anyone has bought Bamboo sheets from Tuesday Morning. The Brand is Home Environment and there is nothing on the Internet about that company. I found that in the process of creating the bamboo fabric, some companies use so many chemicals and dyes that, the sheets become toxic and some companies have created a very natural and safe manufacturing process. So, how to find out which ones to buy?

9:30PM PDT on Oct 1, 2010

Yes, bamboo, some people have it in their back yard and it does grow naturally without herbicides and pesticides. Good post ! Thank you for the article.

1:05AM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Dear Beau,

Sorry to say but few textile proffessionals and goverments will agree with Baeu statements. Stated it feels like silk or cashmere it is Rayon which it has been compare with. To verify the statements 2 links has been added.

1. Viscose / Rayon Bamboo is clearly a Regenreated fibre. It can not based on common understanding and the law be called bamboo. See Canadian goverments guide to labelling:

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03021.html

2. Mechanicly processed bamboo is rare and expensive. It can be compared with Flax / Linen and Rami.

Please do not become Bamboozled:

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/00520.html

5:34PM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Bamboo is not just rayon. It uses a similar process, but there is more than one way to make fabric out of bamboo. The difference lies in the cultivation and source of the original plant, and of course the chemicals used to transform the plant into viscose. Bamboo is actually not a bad alternative to the other options we have out there. Its pros outweigh its cons when compared to other fabrics and modes of production. That's something forgotten easily.

A really good brand for bamboo linens is Shoo-Foo, a Canadian-based company. They actually have organic certifications for their materials and processes. They recently launched a new bedding line which is super soft and so elegant, and also a 300 thread count, which is very high quality (so don't be shocked at the price! It's totally worth it!).

To give an idea of what 300 thread count means, the lowest priced IKEA duvet cover I could find was about 140 to 180 thread count and felt rough and almost like it was sheer. With these bamboo beddings you get a sustainable product that is super high quality and feels like cashmere. You can get them at two places, www.bamboobeddings.ca or www.shoo-foo.com

Also, an important distinction is that people often compare bamboo to cotton. When comparing fabrics, that is not going to give a consumer a good idea of the feel and texture of bamboo. Think of bamboo as more of a replacement to silk or cashmere. Then the price and the whole idea of it will make much more sense.

8:32AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

also had no ideea of the existence of such a bamboo fabric. I love my bedspreads but i will give this a try

8:30AM PDT on Aug 9, 2010

"According to the Organic Consumers Association, cotton is the most toxic crop on the planet" - i work in this field but i never knew that.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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