As a sustainably minded, health conscious vegan, I’m constantly searching for ways to improve my health and protect myself from unnecessary toxic chemical contact. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. And while it doesn’t absorb everything, it does absorb and incredible amount of what we touch.
It’s quite clear that many of the skin products we use eventually end up in our bloodstreams. Even babies in their mother’s womb have had 287 chemical toxins detected in their umbilical cord. So where else are these chemicals coming from and how can we avoid them?
The truth is, there are almost innumerable sources, from the food we eat to the packages it comes in, and furniture in our homes to the spray we clean our counters with. Unfortunately, we can’t control everything, but there are a few decisions we can make to minimize the impact.
Starting with the food and drinks we’re putting into our body and products we are using is incredibly important. Making sure we’re consuming whole foods, grains, and beverages, pesticide-free whenever possible is essential. Same with using beauty products that don’t just say natural on the label, but actually contain only ingredients found in nature.*
And while it’s great to use all the organic produce in the world and all the clean beauty products money can buy, have you ever thought about what you’re skin’s touching eight hours every night?
If you do a little research, it’s clear that many sheets and other fabrics in our home today contain formaldehyde and don’t have to disclose it on the label. And while better for the environment, even organic sheets aren’t necessarily chemical-free. If the company adds chemicals during processing they can be just as bad for your health.
We spend a third of our life in bed. Why not take a extra few minutes and money to make sure that third’s a healthy one?
While investing in a chemical free, sustainably made mattress, bed frame and pillows would be an incredible start, the quickest and cheapest way to do so today is to simply change out your sheets.
A few companies in America are helping kickstart this revolution, but for the Japanese it’s simply a return to the past.
This week I was lucky enough to talk to Michel May and Misa Muto of Aizome Bedding, a company whose mission is to bringing traditional indigo dyeing in Japan, but in a more efficient, eco-friendly way.
Michel used to work in an antiques shop and became fascinated by the quality of old Japanese sheets. He couldn’t believe how big the difference was between what you used to get and what you now find at cheap stores for $12.
When his mom got cancer, he moved home to take care of her and became incredibly frustrated trying to find sheets soft enough for her skin. With chemotherapy, your skin becomes incredibly sensitive to fabrics and everything they found was irritating. Somewhere along the way, he remembered that indigo was known for its antibacterial, skin-healing properties and did a little more digging.
By using high frequency waves and new technology, him and his team have now found a way to dye sheets with indigo that doesn’t pollute, is just as fast as chemical dye and uses far less water. All it takes is fermenting indigo leaves in a bath, adding the fabric, and washing it once after and they’re ready to go.
Unlike other dark dyes the color doesn’t rub off on you, is strong against bleach and is only minorly affected by sunlight. Not to mention indigo-dyed cotton is breathable unlike many common polyester blends today, so not only is it good for your skin but you won’t sweat or smell as much as you sleep!
Michel and his team could not be more passionate or committed to creating safer sleeping spaces for families and small children. Working directly with the organic cotton farmers and production team every step of the way, with their first few tons of cotton they will be able to produce whole sets for around $190 US dollars.
Once their kickstarter launches on Indiegogo April 30th, they’ll start taking orders and since the campaign will only be available for 30 days you can bet I’ll be first in line. In the meantime, you can subscribe to get all the updates before the launch or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Life is short. Don’t waste it on shitty sheets.
Images courtesy of Aizome Bedding.
*PS: There are tons of amazing brands focused clean beauty today, and I’m going to feature a few in a later post!