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WHY I’LL ONLY BUY ORGANIC SHEETS

CREDIT TO:  Annmarie Skin Care > Healthy Lifestyle > Why I’ll Only Buy Organic Sheets

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Contributed by our friend Destiny

Any time I buy new clothes or sheets, the first thing I always do is wash them. Detergent, warm cycle, cool rinse. I do it because that’s just what you do, because factories are dirty, and what we buy travels a long way before it makes its way to us.

Short of sanitary reasons, I never gave this little routine of mine much thought, until I got pregnant with my first child and decided, quite suddenly, I wanted to know exactly what I was washing out of my clothes and sheets every time I bought them.

What I learned was that an industry responsible for clothing us and tucking us in at night was doing a lot more than just transporting and dying our fabrics. What goes into the materials that spend all of their time right up against our skin was, to be honest, pretty sketchy. That was when I decided enough was enough — organic sheets and clothes, from here on out.

flame retardant chemicals and our sheets

First things first, your sheets, your bedding, your clothes — just about any conventional fabric you come into contact with — is treated with flame retardant chemicals. There are federal manufacturing regulations that often require it, particularly since most fabrics these days are synthetic and particularly quick to burn.

When I looked into flame retardant chemicals further, I learned that, while they had come a long way from the proven carcinogenic PBDEs of the 70s, these new chemicals were still linked to reproductive and respiratory disease, and were proven endocrine system disruptors.

As I looked at crib sheets and onesies, the reality of that set in — these fabrics would be right up against my brand new baby’s face.

pesticide exposure in our clothes and bedding

When I had officially written polyester and nylon off, it occurred to me that natural fibers, at the very least, had to be better. They weren’t made of petroleum products, and they didn’t require as much, or sometimes any, flame retardants to be safe to use.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that conventionally grown cotton consumes 24% of the world’s insecticides every year, and 11% of the world’s pesticides. Ironically, this fluffy, pure white plant was one of the dirtiest crops in the world.

Cotton and other fibers go through a lot of processes before they wind up hanging on store racks, but were they being adequately rinsed of pesticides? In a world bent on reassuring us of their safety, I wasn’t so sure.

stripping toxic chemicals from fabric

All of this information lead me to one conclusion — I was about to start taking my new clothes routine a lot more seriously. The bottom line was, I’d rather take my chances with fire than flame retardants, and so I started stripping all of our sheets, clothes, and towels.

There isn’t much scientific research out there to back up how to remove flame retardants and pesticides from clothes, but ultimately, my research seemed to point towards breaking down those chemical bonds with what was essentially an acid soak.

I mixed up big buckets of vinegar and lemon juice to break down the chemical bonds between the flame retardants and the fibers. I don’t know how much it helped, but it gave me peace of mind to see that water change colors. For 48 hours, I soaked buckets of fabrics, then washed them thoroughly, hoping to make the best with what I had.

It’s worth noting though that removing flame retardant chemicals from flammable materials is a catch-22. On the one hand, I felt better about snuggling up next to these fabrics, but on the other, I was trading chemicals for an increased flammability.

Which was worse? I’m still not sure.

the alternatives i can’t live without

I decided I didn’t want to have to keep making these choices.

I decided, from here on out, my family would spend one third of their life in bed next to cotton sheets that weren’t grown with pesticides. They would sleep in pajamas that didn’t have to be saturated with chemicals to keep them from bursting into flames. And we would support clean, sustainable agriculture that didn’t endlessly consume our planet’s resources.

I didn’t throw everything out and start from scratch. Even as I write this, I’m sitting in an ancient black polyester spandex tank top. Not being of celebrity wealth status, replacing my entire wardrobe and linens collection all at once just wasn’t in the cards, nor was it how I wanted to do this.

What I did instead was start looking at alternatives, so that when it came time to replace those hole-y socks or those threadbare sheets, I could do so with materials I felt great about buying.

ORGANIC COTTON

Soft and breathable and made 100% without pesticides or insecticides, organic cotton is my go-to fabric for sheets and pillowcases, in addition to socks, underwear, and shirts. It’s easy to care for, and getting cheaper all the time.

WOOL

Wool is a natural insulator, which doesn’t just mean that it keeps you warm, but keeps excess heat out, too. Naturally antimicrobial, it’s worth the extra trouble to treat it delicately in the wash, and I LOVE it for duvets and shirts!

NATURAL LATEX

Memory foam, move over, because your eco-friendly buddy is here, and he doesn’t stink. Natural latex is a natural thermal regulator, so it doesn’t make you sweat like a memory foam mattress does, it lasts longer, and it’s free of flame retardant nasties. If you like the floating-on-a-cloud effect of sleeping on a memory foam mattress, you need to try a latex mattress—you’ll never look back!

KAPOK FIBER

This interesting little fiber feels like silk and cotton had a baby together. Soft and fine, it’s a great vegan alternative to down for pillows and duvets!

BUCKWHEAT HULLS

I discovered buckwheat hulls when I met a girl who slept on a buckwheat hull mattress, and it blew my MIND. They feel like a beanbag when stuffed into a pillowcase, and are incredible because they’re non-toxic AND 100% biodegradable.

we’re all just doing the best we can

I get a lot of funny looks from friends and family when I pass up crazy sales on sheets and baby clothes because of what they’re made of.

“Huh? Wha—. But…it’s on sale!”

And I get it, because in the end, we’re all just trying to keep our families clothed and our beds made, and what they’re actually made of is often the furthest thing from our minds.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes I see an ugly Christmas sweater at Target, and I lose all resolve — retail instinct kicks in, and before I know it, I’m on my way home with a tinsel-covered abomination.

But now that I know better, I try to do better. I only buy organic sheets. I’m really picky about the clothes I buy for my family. And when I shop, I look at more than just the price tag. I see the manufacturing plants that were responsible for producing what I’m putting in my cart, and I take pause, I think about what that purchase means a little more before I make it.

If you’re ready to know what’s in your sheets and feel good about what you sleep on, check out White Lotus Home. Organic sheets, mattresses, and pillows for babies, kids, adults, and even futons, this store has it all!

10 Ways to Improve Sleep!

10 Ways to Improve Sleep!

10 Ways You Can Get Better Sleep  

It's 7:00 AM and your alarm goes off. It went off ten minutes ago, but you couldn't pull yourself out of bed. You still feel like you can't, so you hit the snooze button one more time, roll over, and pray your coffee maker was set correctly the night before so you can get some caffeine in your system ASAP. 

Sound familiar? When it comes to modern day living, sleep can feel like a scarce commodity. We often go through our days already exhausted right off the starting line.

Sometimes improving the quality of your sleep means making a few lifestyle adjustments and taking a good look at what you're sleeping on every night. Here are 10 ways you can get back to giving your body and mind the rest they need to wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to go in the morning.   

  1. Exercise 
    While exercise is a great way to help relieve any tension, stress, and anxiety that may be keeping you up at night, getting a good work out in can physiologically improve your sleep too. Exercise can trigger longer periods of slow-wave sleep which is the deepest and most restorative phase of sleep you can get each night. Still not enough to get you to the gym? Polls have found that people who exercise regularly, even if they don’t get any more sleep than those who don’t, actually report better quality of sleep which means they wake up feeling better than their non-exercising counterparts. Go break a sweat!

  2. Find the Perfect Pillow 
    Do you wake up feeling like your neck is stiff in the middle of the night? Maybe your shoulder hurts from laying on it, and you toss and turn frequently. These problems can be solved by finding the perfect pillow. It may take a little experimentation before you find the right fit, but once you do, your body will thank you.  

  3. Clean Up Your Diet 
    It's probably not much of a surprise that the pizza you ate yesterday wasn't sitting well by the time you brushed your teeth before bed. Ditch inflammatory foods, sugar, and anything else that could be causing sleep disturbances like acid reflux and indigestion for a better rest. 

  4. Reduce Stress
    Feeling a little worried about that project that's due early next week? From work to relationships to difficulties with finances, reducing stress is often easier said than done. You might have to think outside the box a little, but coming up with ways you can change your lifestyle to reduce stress can help rest your mind and relax your body when it's time for sleep. 

  5. Cut The Caffeine 
    No one wants to hear that they should give up their morning java, especially if they're already feeling like they need a jump start. But if you're having sleep trouble, it's important to consider reducing your caffeine consumption, particularly within 6 hours of bedtime. You might not notice a difference right away, but if you dodge caffeine for a few days, you'll probably find you're sleeping better. 

  6. Use a High-Quality, All-Natural Mattress 
    Cheaping out on your mattress purchase means you could be cheating yourself out of some invaluable, high-quality sleep time. When shopping for a mattress, it's important to find one that's made from all-natural materials so that you can avoid any off-gassing from petroleum-based foams that can smell harsh and reduce your sleep quality. To top it off, synthetic fibers like memory foam and polyester make it harder for our bodies to regulate their temperatures. Shoot for mattresses and toppers made out of natural fibers like ecofoam, natural latex, cotton and wool so you can sleep easier and more comfortably.

  7. Consider a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
    If anxious thoughts are keeping you up at night, a weighted blanket might be the perfect fit for you. Weighted blankets work by providing deep pressure touch stimulation without uncomfortable restriction. The deep pressure from the weight of the blanket causes the body to produce serotonin and endorphins all night long while you sleep. Serotonin and endorphins are necessary to help us feel relaxed and calm.

  8. Say Goodbye to Screen Time Before Bed
    Studies have found that people who use phones, iPads, light-emitting eReaders and other similar devices at bedtime take longer to fall asleep and have disrupted circadian rhythms. If you're going to read before bed to relax, stick to books and ditch the screen. 

  9. Keep Your Bedroom Cool 
    Don't make it so cold that you're uncomfortable, but research suggests sleeping in cooler environments as low as 66 degrees can help you sleep better. 

  10. Reduce Clutter in Your Bedroom  
    Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says "A messy room equals a messy mind". If your sleeping space is cluttered and full of distractions, you might have trouble relaxing and getting to sleep. Clear the clutter and see what happens! 

Sleep is something that directly impacts your life every day. Keep up to date on all the latest and greatest tips for getting the best sleep by subscribing to our newsletter here!

Your Clean Green Laundry Routine

Your Clean Green Laundry Routine

Your Clean Green Laundry Routine

Toxins and unwanted chemicals lie in more places than you might think, and when it comes to bedding and linens, the last thing you want is to sleep in residue all night long. Naturally laundering your linens and avoiding harsh chemicals benefits you and your local environment in a number of ways. If you're looking to clean up your laundry routine, here are some natural practices you might like to consider: 

Use Vinegar and Wool Dryer Balls 

Fabric softener and dryer sheets are perhaps one of the biggest offenders in conventional laundry practices. Quaternary ammonium compounds, called "quats" for short, are the chemical compounds found in liquid softeners and dryer sheets that make your clothes feel soft. The problem is that these compounds can trigger asthma and linger on the clothing you wear and linens you sleep in long after they've been removed from the dryer. That means you're carrying these chemicals with you all day and sleeping with them all night long. Combine quats with all the other fragrances, colors, and preservatives found in fabric softeners, and you've got yourself a wearable chemical cocktail that sticks to your clothes, pollutes the air in your home, and gets dumped right into your local water source with every wash. 

The great news is that avoiding fabric softeners doesn't mean you have to wear stiff clothing or sleep in scratchy sheets. You can use vinegar in the washer and wool dryer balls instead to help soften your clothes and linens naturally. Wool contains a natural oil called lanolin that is released from its fibers when heated by your dryer. As an added bonus, if you want to naturally scent your clothing, just put a few drops of your favorite essential oils right onto your wool dryer balls before each cycle. Most wool dryer balls are about the size of a baseball and can be purchased online, or you can make them yourself by balling up and felting some 100% wool yarn. 

Sun Your Stains Out

Chemical bleaches and stain removers might be effective at removing stains, but they are harmful for the environment, harsh to breathe in, and can damage your skin if you accidentally come into direct contact with them. Did you know that you can actually remove stains by drying your clothes and linens out in the sun? Even some of the most stubborn stains can be bleached out in a sunbath. The next time you have a rough morning and spill your coffee on your shirt, don't sweat it. Save yourself the cash, time, and hassle of dealing with stain removers by simply hanging your stained fabric outside in full sun after it's just come out of the washer. Usually, two to three hours will do the trick. Keep in mind that sun bleaching is often more effective when the fabric is wet, so even if you don't want to wash the whole thing, wet down the stained area before hanging your fabric out in the sun to get the best results from this all-natural, chemical-free, age-old stain removing method.

Consider Natural Laundry Detergents 

Fortunately for conscious consumers, new all-natural laundry detergents are being added to the market all the time. You can find a small selection at almost any grocery store, and if you're someone who enjoys an occasional DIY project, you can even make natural laundry detergent yourself! There are all sorts of easy DIY laundry soap recipes online, so you can experiment as much or as little as you please to find whatever concoction works best for you.   

Want more info on how to keep your home cleaning routine simple and natural? Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly inspiration on living a greener lifestyle!  

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About

We believe that we can make a difference in the green and organic bedding industry by setting an example for others. We believe that quality and fair value are more important than low prices and a quick profit. We are opposed to the exploitation of the planet and all its inhabitants. Above all, our people, products and business practices are socially, politically and environmentally responsible.