Between the sheets (Day 153)…

bedsheets

While changing my bed linens the other day, I noticed that parts of the fitted sheet looked ever so slightly less white than other parts. I wasn’t sure if it was an actual stain or just the glare from my ugly compact fluorescent light bulbs, but then I remembered that these were sheets given to me by my parents a few years ago when I moved into my apartment, and they weren’t exactly new at the time.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed the elastic had stretched out and the stitching was getting loose. I concluded it was time to cut it up into hankies and get a new one.

Normally, I get excited at the prospect of shopping. But to be honest, I can’t think of anything I’d rather not have to buy than sheets. Well, maybe socks. And also watch batteries … man, that was so boring.

Anyway, I knew I wanted a good quality as well as eco-friendly brand. Treehugger had written about the benefits of bamboo sheets, but they’re not easy to find and can get expensive. Eventually, back at Grassroots, I found some unbleached organic cotton sheets for $60, made by a company called Coyuchi (the best is their tagline: “a natural opulence” — see, high thread-count snobbery is totally bio!).

On their site, they explain how the cotton seeds they use must be non-genetically engineered and that the plants must not be exposed to pesticides. Furthermore, the cotton is grown at family-run farm cooperatives, where workers are paid higher than average wages.

The only downside to this product was that it came wrapped in plastic. But I’m not sure it’s even possible to get sheets that don’t come packaged like this — there must be some sort of hygiene law that prevents it. Kind of like those mattress tags that threaten jail time for anyone who removes them.

Photo by Mr Luke Harby at Flickr

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18 Responses to Between the sheets (Day 153)…

  1. sam says:

    FYI: Target sells Bamboo sheets for under $50 in a bamboo sheet bag. (I am trying to rember if there is any plastic wrapper on them or not, if there is I think it is pretty minimal)

  2. Lori V. says:

    I also found bamboo sheets at Bed, Bath, & Beyond… but they, too, had a plastic zippered pouch (which you really COULD reuse for storage)… I LOVE the feel of bamboo; I think they are comparable to a nice 400 thread count or higher cotton set.

  3. Nixie says:

    I got some organic sheets and pillow cases from Target a few months ago. Totally plastic free and they come in these little draw string bags made of the same cotton that I use to carry produce. Only bad thing is they come all the way from Turkey =/

  4. Louise says:

    That’s a lot of hankies! I admire the effort that you are putting into all the changes you are making. I wish I could get around by bike/public transport and do away with my car as well!

    FYI, I’ve never found it necessary to replace sheets until they are worn through, although loose stitching can be difficult to fix if you aren’t crafty. ‘Yellowed’ white sheets can be refreshed by soaking for a day in oxygen bleach (environmentally-friendly of course), or by simply leaving them in the sun for a few days in summer (preferable, as bleaching too often weakens the fibres). I have almost all white linen and a few of the sheets are slightly different shades but with careful use of bleaching, they are close enough that no one except me would notice the difference. I guess it depends how bad the yellowing/stains are (probably from sweat, so they ought to lighten up and even out).

  5. Kevin says:

    Bed in Vancouver sells a huge range of sheets without any packaging whatsoever. Beautiful, simple sheets.

  6. gettinggreen says:

    Grr! We don’t have Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond here in Canada… we’ve got Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and just about everything except for those two, and Trader Joe’s. Darn. Maybe I’ll check at Linens ‘n’ Things (worst name for a store ever). Thanks for the recos!

  7. sweetea says:

    Just stumbled on your site – I love the idea of making one change every day! Good work woman!

  8. pat farquharson says:

    there is a horribly expensive store in Hazelton lanes above Whole foods that sells bamboo everthing. You might need a mortgage!

  9. Marnie says:

    whoah – i second the lots of hankies! and i second the drying them in the sun – we recently started using the clothesline and wow! i thought it was just me, but then my husband (!) noticed how white the sheets were…and actually the elastic would’ve been a cinch to replace – you can even get natural rubber elastic! Not trying to rain on your parade (because i like your parade – your parade looks like fun!), but maybe fixing them would’ve been in better keeping with your earlier post about fixing what you can?
    And to those who commented about bamboo…some caution is warranted there – the bamboo industry in certain countries is only contributing to deforestation!

  10. gettinggreen says:

    Yeah, bamboo is a tricky one. I was pretty sure it was renewable and grew like crazy but you never know. Or at least I don’t. I definitely would have tried to fix it, too, but I really did think the sheet itself was getting pretty threadbare. Next time I’ll give it a shot though!

  11. RobinB says:

    My friend who is a clothing designer told us that the bamboo fabrics are quite non-green! Apparently the chemicals used to break the bamboo down to usable-for-fabric fibers are harsh.

  12. Jamie says:

    NO! Bamboo is not acutally green. As RobinB says..the chemicals are harsh. It also takes more energy to produce it. I have sheets by a fine linens company called SDH, it’s from their “Purist” line. They are organic cotton sheets that I love! So soft and comfy! Try going to elegantlinenspc.com/SDH-Bedding.htm. – they have other products that I havn’t tried but I love the set I have!

  13. Lyse says:

    Long life to sleepbamboo. October 10, 2008
    Reviewer: Genevieve C. from Montreal Quebec
    Hi,

    I had been told that Bamboo sheets were cool in the summer and warm in the winter… As I needed sheets and was warm in July, I ordered my Bamboo sheets…

    When I got then 4 days after the order, I was pleasantly pleased as it really felt like silk to the touch, exactly like the advertisement. No kidding…

    Sleeping it my bamboo sheets is like sleeping in a cloud. I have never slept in clouds before, but it must be like that… Do not worry I do not take any drugs…It is very soft, and to my surprise, yes it is cool in summer and warm in, now, the fall. I love them.

    I would also like to mention the excellent post sale customers service that I have received. No, this is not a paid commercial. When I first received my sheets, I had ordered queen size and King size sheets were sent to me. I thaugth… “How will I get my queen size sheets, it was ordered online…I should have bauth them in a regular store…” I was nervous as I had never dealt with online buying before. Well, I wrote a email to Sleepbamboo. The next day I had an answer that my queensize sheets would be in the mail tomorow with a sticker for the returning of the king size and for my trouble they sent me an extra pair of pillow cases.

    I am french speaking, I hope that my message will be well received . Translating is not always the best thing… If you think my message is not positive enough, I could write in French.

    Long life to sleepbamboo.

    Lyse de Champlain
    l_dec@yahoo.com

  14. Phil says:

    Hi
    i am in organic textiles.
    Just like to say that bamboo is made with chemicals, but only at the very begining where the hard bamboo plant needs some help with machinery to bReak it down into pulp and then into fiber.

    Don’t be fooled!!!!!!

    So does cotton, rayon and other cellulose derived fabrics , and please dont get me started about polyester or today’s so called microfibers.

    They are filed with toxic gases and chemicals residue.

    In cotton the PLANTATIONS are sprayed with very harful pesticides and chemical fertizers that seep into the plant. This is all in the fabrics we wear my friends , I have seen tests to prove it.

    Search on the net you will see….

    So, bamboo is grown with just water. That IT!!!

    It needs no other chemicals after the initial mild chemicals used in the breaking down of the plant.

    Most certified manufactures reuse the chemicals many times and dispose of them properly.

    Water based dyes and proper care all the way through making bamboo certified fabrics a heck of a lot better for us, and the PLANTET!!!!!!!

    REMEMBER THAT!!!!!

    Bamboo generates more oxygen than equivalent stands of trees – if we planted more bamboo, more photosynthesis would help to cut the globally rising levels of carbon dioxide.
    SO IT COULD JUST REPAIR THE EARTHES OZONE LAYER PROBLEM.

    Bamboo fabric is also highly biodegradable.

    Over all, bamboo is much better for the skin on 95% of the people who wear it.

    Phil ,who cares!

  15. Kim says:

    If you want some really luxurious natural bedding go to the Elegant Linens website and check out the Purist bedding from SDH. It may be more costly than the sheets at Target, but remember how much time you actually spend in bed. I love these sheets and if taken care of properly, they will last a long, long time.

  16. Tama says:

    If you are looking for some truly organic sheets check out the website from Elegant Linens. Elegant Linens carries a wonderful selection of SDH Sheets including the Purist line, which is dye free and chemical free so you know you will be sleeping all natural sheeting. The quality is exceptional and if cared for properly will last for quite some time. Nice linens are well worth the investment.

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