Cotton will wrinkle: plain and simple. Yet, somehow, we've been convinced that our bedding should emulate the perfect, primped beds of our home goods catalog. Clean, Crisp and Flawless, the ultimate luxury in bedding, or so we’re told. There's a movement around naturally wrinkled sheets being the next level in luxury.
THE MYTH AROUND WRINKLE-FREE SHEETS
The biggest consideration and perhaps the most misunderstood of what makes sheets “wrinkle-free” is the finish applied to textiles. Many finishes come from a Urea-Formaldehyde Resin. This is a chemical used in building materials, glues & adhesives and usually associated with embalming fluids or dissected frogs in biology class. Yikes!
Simply put, formaldehydes are considered a carcinogen & neurotoxin linked to such conditions as asthma, dermatitis, neurodegenerative disorders, and with long-term exposure, certain cancers. And considering that we spend 1/3rd of our life in our beds, sleep would effectively qualify as “long-term”.
So if it’s not good for us, why use Formaldehyde at all? Formaldehyde basically keeps the fabric fibers in place after a spin in the washing machine. Without it, the fibers become wrinkled. And as long as there continues to be a high demand for wrinkle-free bedding, manufacturers will continue to offer formaldehyde based wrinkle free treatments.
“I like my products like I like my people NONTOXIC”
An anti-wrinkle bed sheet could have formaldehyde levels well above 500ppm (parts per million). International standards, specifically the EU-REACH regulations and the Japanese government, limit formaldehyde in against-the-skin apparel and bed sheets to 75ppm. Incidental traces of formaldehyde exist from other parts of fabric finishing, hence the limit of 75ppm.
One popular non-organic standard, Oeko-Tex 100, relies merely upon government limits for formaldehyde. Oeko-Tex is a great standard for man-made fibers, but not so much for cotton. Oeko Tex certified bedding merely adopted, without improving upon, the government mandated level of 75ppm. As comparison, test results under 16ppm qualify as "Undetectable."
This is why organic textiles offer the best solution. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) offers the most stringent standards limiting formaldehyde to undetectable levels. This means the Oeko-Tex certified sheets you might be considering allow more than four times the amount of formaldehyde as GOTS Organic sheets.
There are some bedding companies who will falsely claim Oeko Tex certification is the best for cotton. Obviously, the very standards they reference prove them wrong, especially when it comes to Formaldehyde. But then again, we're textile pros with decades of experience. We know textile design, development and production: not just PR and advertising. The certification protocols are open and transparent for all to see (linked prior in this article)
Alterra Pure believes in full transparency of the ingredients of our products: whether it's required or not. We believe you have the right to know exactly what goes into your bedding, same as you'd expect for food. Whether it goes in your body, on your skin or next to your skin, it should make no difference. You deserve to know what you are consuming, and supporting with your dollars.
So yes, of course our GOTS organic sheets are tested and results are "Undetectable" for formaldehyde. But don't trust our word for it, the testing is on our website, along with every ingredient, every factory, and every supplier. We have no secrets.
At the end of the day, luxury is marked by the wrinkles of a clean sheet made in a clean, pure manner. Exceeding requirements is what we're about. We're a sustainability company with a focus on bedding.
ARE YOU READY FOR A CHANGE?
Knowledge is power, and the more you know the more informed decisions you can make about the products you bring into your home.
So we would like to propose a new perspective on what luxury looks like. One that embraces the inherent characteristics of cotton, particularly certified organic cotton, that behaves the way nature intended, and move out of the “perfection” mindset and into the “perfectly imperfect” way of living.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
EMBRACE THE WRINKLE, THE NEW LUXURY
To achieve the natural, cozy look of a well-loved bed requires little time and effort and provides greater peace of mind.
For general use, we recommend washing our sheets in cool water, using a mild, liquid detergent. Tumble dry medium and remove promptly.
For less wrinkles, wash as usual, dry on a low heat and remove promptly, before your bedding is completely dry. Shake them out and your ready to go. It’s also suggested that while the sheets are still slightly damp, to layout on bed and smooth out flat for less wrinkles.
And if you really want to move to organic but unwilling to give up the look and feel of clean-pressed sheets, then the iron will be your new best friend. Consider it a meditative act that creates value and connection with your home and it’s belongings.
THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR LUXURY
The beauty of imperfection is the New Luxury. Its natural, it’s authentic, its transparent. It’s taking a bite of a crisp, sweet apple picked fresh from a tree. It’s flowers foraged from your local landscape, elegantly arranged for your dinner centerpiece. It’s ingredients for a fresh baked loaf of bread that are healthy and wholesome, free of unwanted chemicals or dyes. It’s taking the time to connect, observe and be in the moment.
The New Luxury isn’t fast, convenient & digital. It’s slow, intentional and community centered.
This New Luxury comes at a price.
- The price of protecting the land from unwanted chemicals & pesticides.
- The price of fair treatment and wages for farmers and workers.
- The price of clean water
- The price of radical transparency
- The price of deeper connections with our families and communities.
- The price of peace of mind.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
- Henry David Thoreau