With 90% of textiles production in cotton or polyester, we believe that textiles diversity is the key towards a more sustainable textiles economy.
THE SITUATION TODAY
According to a study by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, in the global materials flow of clothing in 2015, 89% of the virgin feedstock are polyester and cotton (or some blend between the two). When the majority of the world’s textiles production is concentrated in 1 or 2 materials, an imbalance in our environmental footprint occurs.
To put things into perspective, producing plastic-based fibers such as polyester for textiles uses ~342 million barrels of oil every year while the annual production of cotton is estimated to require 200,000 tonnes of pesticides and 8 million tonnes of fertilizers.
While organic cotton is certainly a better step forward, our view is that shifting to organic cotton alone is not enough to address the problem of textiles sustainability. As written by Yvon Chouinard, the founder and owner of Patagonia in his book "The Responsible Company", a Patagonia polo shirt made of organic cotton from an irrigated field requires 2700 liters of water. Each polo shirt, from the cotton field to their warehouse, generates nearly 21 pounds of carbon dioxide.
We believe that diversity of textiles is essential for a more sustainable textiles economy. For example, bamboo rayon uses 80% less water than the cultivation of Cotton. French Linen is derived from flax, a plant that is extremely versatile and where every single part of it is used to create a worthwhile product (e.g. linseed oil).
At Sunday Bedding, the first step we are taking in our sustainable journey is to move our cotton products towards GOTS-certified organic cotton. Our long term goal will be to shift consumers towards bamboo and linen bedsheets to decrease the reliance on cotton & polyester for our textile demands.
As of our first operational year, we are happy to report that 88% of our items sold were Bamboo or French Linen.
OUR PRODUCTION PROCESS
We are grateful to be one of the few brands in the world to have full ownership and control over our factories. Sourcing for alternative materials is only a small part of the equation and we recognize that while challenging, brands should start to bear the responsibility of ensuring a sustainable textiles supply chain.