Hello everybody! I recently upgraded to some new sheets at home (for the longest time I have only had 1 set, and at one point that just becomes annoying AF). I started looking for good options for myself, and I asked you guys in insta if you wanted to see my findings, so I’ve made this towel/bedsheets guide to help you find a match for your home that is also both sustainable and ethical.
I would also like to add that before buying from new, it is a great idea to check out local second-hand options, I scout through my local thrift shops, as well as online platforms and Facebook marketplace for pre-loved options. There are great gems to find, and often basically unused things as well, so give that a go as well if you’re looking for a low impact option
CONVENTIONAL VS ORGANIC COTTON: Just because cotton is a natural fiber, does not mean that it is inherently sustainable. Far from, actually, for more info about the impact of convention cotton, check out my video: “THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COTTON // + is organic cotton ACTUALLY better? The cotton industry account for the majority of the world’s insecticide and pesticide use (for non-food crops), while it’s grown on just 2.5% of the world’s land – and this has a huge impact. As a result, choosing certified organic cotton is way more sustainable. Look specifically for the GOTS certification. If you want to know more you can also check out my certificate guide videos where I explain in more detail what the various labels mean (and don’t mean).
LINEN: This material has a lot of sustainable qualities, it is made from flax, which is a plant that requires less water than cotton to grow, furthermore, the flax plant usually grows without any addition of insecticides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. The general processing of linen also requires fewer chemicals. Organic linen has a much lower impact than conventional cotton, and in some cases also than organic cotton (ofc this depends on the supply chains, but overall, both these organic materials are really good options)
TENCEL™ LYOCELL: is a semi-synthetic wood pulp-based fabric, however, in contrast to other semi-synthetic, it is processed in a closed-loop system. This means that it requires a lot fewer resources to produce. Tencel is made in Austria by the brand Lenzing.
BAMBOO FIBER: another semi-synthetic is bamboo fiber, a material that does have the potential to be really sustainable and can be processed with a very low impact. However, the regulation of the bamboo fabric industry is very sparse, and as a result, you’re not guaranteed a sustainable fabric just because it is made from bamboo. Check out my impact video about this material to find out what to look out for.
Hemp: this material is definitely also a winner when it comes to sustainable fibers, it grows fast, it has minimal water requirements and you can grow significantly more hemp on a piece of land than you fan flax or cotton – actually 250% more hemp than cotton on a piece of land.
MATERIALS TO STAY AWAY FROM: polyester, polyester blends, nylon, etc release microplastic every time it is washed, the materials are also derived from petroleum and are incredibly unsustainable to produce. My advice would be to stay clear of those textiles altogether.
SHIPPING: I have categorized the brands based on their location, to make it easier to find an option close to you (the list is ever-evolving as well, so always feel free to let me know if you think a brand belongs on one of my lists), most of these companies also shipping internationally as well
- GreenByNoah(DK): 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, colored with natural dyes, all products are sustainably and ethically made in Europe
- Dawn Designs (DK): A Danish-designed company that uses a specific Stay Fresh technology on their organic sheets to make them stay fresh longer, so have to wash them less, the sheets are sustainably made in Portugal
- Erlich Textil (DE): A German brand that offers a wide range of sustainable textiles, including bath towels and bedsheets
- Kushel (DE): a conscious German brand that uses a mix of Tencel and organic cotton to makes the softest towels, the production takes place in Portugal and the company is also B-Corp certified
- Alma Green (ES): A Spanish company that produces bed sheets in a mix of recycled and organic cotton, the fabrics are also made locally and ethically
- Swedish Linens (SE): Makes beddings for adults and kids in GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified cotton with an ethical production in Europe
- WeEarth London (UK): as an overall zero waste store that also offers a variety of low impact bedsheets and towels
- Dip & Doze (UK): offer both bedsheets and towels in GOTS organic and Fair Trade cotton fabrics
- Biome (AUS): an all-around Australian zero waste shop that also sells bed sheets made from linen and hemp, they are also certified B-Corp
- Baina (AUS): GOTS certified cotton towels, in a current checkered pattern.
- Sheets on the line (AUS): offer both sustainable bed sheets and towels, the towels are made from organic cotton and bedsheets can be found in OEKO-TEX linen
North American shops:
- Grund (US): An American brand that sells organic sheets, towels, robes, and blankets. Grund is also Green Business certified
- American Blossom Linens (US): A family-owned company that makes their sheets in Georgia using 100% US organic cotton, grown in Texas, the sheets are also unbleached which also reduce their production impact
- Trade Made (US): is a collective of several sustainable and ethical brands, and here you can find all kinds of home textiles including bed sheets and towels
- Coyuchi (US): Sells organic home textile, blankets, sheets, towels, etc, and something quite unique is that they offer a rental option as well
- Anchal (US): a Fair Trade non-profit social project that empowers women in the textile industry, they upcycle saris into bedding, blankets, and pillow, they also support sex workers looking to leave the industry
- SOL organics (US): a plastic-free bedding company based in the US that is both certified Fair Trade and used GOTS cotton
- Tuft & Needle (US): organic mattresses and beddings in organic and OEKO-TEX materials
- Pact(US): sustainable bedding and towels made in a Fair Trade certified factory