Look for sustainably-made bed linen in natural materials for a good night’s sleep guaranteed …
Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. A place to unwind and forget about the issues of the day. To relax and read a book or listen to some music. And most importantly, to sleep. During the pandemic we know that many people have struggled with their sleep – according to a recent Time magazine headline (which was particularly well received among Irish Twitter users) “quarantine has completely bollixed up your sleep cycle, wrecking what might have been the most predictable and peaceful eight hours of your day.”
It’s well documented that sleep can be affected by stress, anxiety and worry, instability and interruptions to your regular routine. And while there are things that may help with these issues – meditation, therapy, journaling, exercise – one other thing that may aid you in your quest for a better night’s sleep is knowing you are sleeping soundly on natural, sustainable bedding from Irish brands.
New to the market is NAPS, a slow linen bedding studio designed and made in Ireland. Founder Kate Aleshnikova launched the brand late last year after noticing a gap in the market when she couldn’t source consciously crafted, well-made, local and sustainable bedding that was a perfect fit for her own bed. “I spend eight hours a day (sometimes more) in my bed and yet I don’t even know where my bedding comes from or who made it,” explains Aleshnikova.
So began a search to find natural linen fabrics produced sustainably that she could use for bed linen production. Sourced in Lithuania, all linen used in NAPS bedding is Oeko-Tex standard. What’s more is that the brand works on a made-to-order model (working closely with a factory in south Dublin, near the brand’s studio), meaning there is no unnecessary waste. Any remnants left over are used to make linen bags that customers can use to store their NAPS bedding inside. Stocking five products – a duvet cover, pillowcase, flat sheet, fitted sheet and blanket – the collection is designed to be like a capsule wardrobe for your bed, all made to a custom size to ensure a perfect fit – and a great night’s sleep.
For Hannah Murphy, founder of Irish natural bed linen company, Amurelle, it’s the touch and feel of natural fabrics that makes them perfect for bedding, as well as the environmental impacts. “Due to the lack of chemicals needed to produce natural fabrics the end result is bedding that is kind to skin and naturally soft to the touch, which in turn is a mood booster,” she explains. “We spend one third of our life in bed so it is important to think about what we are sleeping in and its impact on both the environment and our own health. There are some really great health benefits to choosing natural fabrics to sleep in such as breathability, avoiding skin irritations and regulating body temperature.” Since launching last year, Amurelle has just released its newest collection featuring two new shades, rose and sand, available in 100% certified French flax linen or 100% cotton, designed in Ireland and made in Portugal. “All Amurelle items are Oeko-Tex certified which guarantees your sheets are made with respect for the environment and are entirely free of harmful chemicals so that you won’t lose sleep over how your bedding has been made.”
One of the main benefits of choosing natural fibres such as cotton and linen is the lack of chemicals required during production – synthetic materials such as polyester (which are often blended with cotton in bedding production) require the use of alcohol based chemicals to be processed. This in turn leads to harmful particles being released into our waterways and eco-systems which is damaging to already delicate marine life. In addition, natural fabrics are 100% biodegradable whereas poly-blended fabrics will end up in landfill and can never fully decompose. So not only are you treating yourself to a good night’s sleep, you are also helping the environment.
Better yet, these pieces will likely last you a lifetime (linen fabrics are known for their durability and actually get softer with every wash) so an investment now will pay dividends when you work out the cost per use. Cotton and linen are breathable fabrics and are naturally insulating so they keep you warm in winter and cool in the warmer months, meaning you can enjoy them all year round.
And if the panic of the pandemic has affected our sleep patterns, it has also caused us to look closer at the products we are buying and what we choose to surround ourselves with at home. “It seems that while the world outside is uncontrollable and frightening, we can create a haven in our own homes – ensuring we get the best sleep possible on beautiful bedding, enjoying home entertainment with comfy throws and blankets on our sofas, creating a ‘home spa’ experience with beautiful towels and bathrobes in our bathrooms,” says Rebecca Winckworth, co-founder of natural Irish bedding company White & Green. “We have definitely seen a rise in people investing in their homes during the pandemic. As we could not go away on holidays or treat ourselves to restaurants or social events over the past number of months, people were spending more on their homes and ensuring it was as comfortable and peaceful as possible.”
It makes sense then if we are opting for wellness, peacefulness and a good night’s sleep that we would choose natural fabrics, even if it will cost us that little bit extra: “Natural fibres are a non-negotiable must-have for good sleep,” continues Winckworth. “Organic cotton is without a doubt better quality as it has not been chemically-treated in production. It is also safer for our skin. We are finally waking up to the fact that eating food sprayed in chemicals is really dangerous and unhealthy for our bodies. The next revolution will be the realisation that our clothing and bed sheets are also covered in toxic chemicals and bleaches, which, just like our laundry detergents, are absorbed into our skin.”
For extra benefits and an even sounder night’s sleep, you can also opt for sleepwear made from natural fabrics. For a luxurious option look to The Ethical Silk Company. Designed in Ireland and produced sustainably and ethically in India, the Andaman Collection includes mulberry silk pyjamas (€245) and shorties (€180), robes (€195), slips (€95), camisole and shorts set (€120) and eye masks (€30) available in Andaman Blue and Andaman Green. Better yet? They are all machine washable.
If you prefer linen sleepwear, new Irish label Loom (pictured above) offer luxury pyjamas in 100% Irish linen. Loom’s linen is milled in Co Antrim, the pyjamas designed in Co Tipperary and manufactured in Co Dublin, making it a truly local product. We also love Kindred of Ireland‘s golden linen Lulu robe, which can be worn both lounging at home and out and about.
We’re sold. Though be warned, with these winning bed linen and sleepwear combinations you may be tempted to hit the snooze button more than once come morning…
Main featured image: NAPS Studios via www.kharytonova.com
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