While this Recycle Less is about all things linen, it’s also a reminder to myself why I’m recycling less. Or trying too. As I’ve mentioned many times animals, nature are 2 things I care very deeply about. We as humans tend to discard nature by keeping up with the Joneses.
I started watching on Netflix, Broken. A documentary looking at the true price of things we buy. Not in any particular order and I did leave it by the wayside for Korean dramas. Just saying. The one that made an imprint was Makeup Mayhem. The episode focusing how people’s need to have the latest beauty products fuels counterfeit goods. What shocked me more was the amount of waste. Watching the legit independent beauty brand ColourPop’s production line I was amazed by the amount of plastic packaging for just one pot of eye shadow. This is just an independent label. It blew my mind how much say an established beauty house uses plastic, what’s sold, what’s not, what’s discarded. The the amount of plastic and transport involved in counterfeit goods. Even the amount of plastic at the Port of Los Angeles! 5.5 million containers go through that port every year. Imagine the plastic inside! I also started watching Deadly Dresser episode looking into fast furniture of the furniture industry such as Ikea. I only watched 3 minutes but seeing the trees cut down illegally from National Forests in Eastern Europe for is enough for me to say no more cheap furniture. Thankfully the Ikea products in the house are lasting (I also think this is down to assembly. Yes a nod to P!). I’ve read forest wardens are being killed in the last primeval forests of Easter Europe by illegal loggers. Ikea has been taken to court for purchasing illegal primeval forest land in Romania. I know people need furniture and not everybody can spend money on items that will last as they need something now. It’s a huge mess, it’s complicated and I don’t see a way out.
I’m not sure how to continue this post after that. Little steps can make big steps cooperatively. I guess I didn’t need to replace the cushion covers. They were about 4-5 years old and I wanted a change which I didn’t realise until out shopping. Excuses! In perhaps the worst place to recycle less I was in H&M Home. I came across a tan/light brown 100% linen cushion cover that said NAT over here! Long story short, linen is a great alternative to polyester or nylon cushion covers. Easy to recycle at the end of its life if not mixed with synthetic fibres, it’s biodegradable as it’s 100% natural, produced from flax plant. Production is a little easier on the planet, fibres don’t get washed into the water system when laundering. They weren’t too expensive, €9.90 each with only the zip fabric being polyester. They do have cotton and modal mix cushion covers, such as the cream cover below but you have to hunt and look at the labels!
H&M Home cushion covers purchased in store aside from the plastic tag attaching the price label are packaging free!
H&M Home Linen Duvet/Comforter Set
I was also last year after new duvet covers. After 2 years the old sets needed replacing. I’m sure the cotton was starting to go. Yes, cotton can go ‘rotton’ or bad! If it rips easily the fibres are worn out. It’s an organic fibre! Also if it starts not to dry as quickly that’s another sign it might need replacing. H&M Home have at the moment good quality 100% linen duvet sets. Thankfully the 2 sets purchased were on their 20% members day. They’re not cheap, €99 for the duvet cover and 2 pillow cases. Linen is a great all year round fabric. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter thanks to its breathability making them more ideal than cotton. I also wanted this year to break shopping at Zara Home as all previous linen has been from Zara Home. Zara Home have at the moment linen bedding at a cheaper price, perhaps nicer colours however the quality doesn’t feel as good. As my Mum says, go for the best quality you can afford.
The only plastic the packaging it came in. I was impressed the press studs are metal. H&M Home also sell organic cotton pillow cases which are worth a mention. As I didn’t want the bedding all grey I picked up 2 dusty pink sets as it’s 1 case per pouch. The only plastic the tag! The cases come in a small colourful organic cotton draw string bags which will be great repurposed for travelling, storing jewellery, produce bags, whatever you want unless they become a white elephant not reused.
The old cushion covers I took to a local second hand shop/company that sorts into items to be further recycled such as fibres or sells them in their shop. The old duvet covers, I’m holding on to for now however storage is an issue. I also had to replace all the cushion fillers. Years of washing them hadn’t been kind. I took the old fillers to the same second hand shop for further recycling. Tried as I could to find non synthetic fillers I had to get new polyester fillers. I couldn’t find any with non synthetic stuffing that wasn’t down.
I was also after new pillow cases for the decorative bed pillows which also double as an headboard. In the end these new pillowcases became the main pillowcases with the H&M Home linen set ones becoming the decorative ones. I was impressed by Zara Home’s new packaging. They’ve ditched clear plastic packaging for elastic ribbons that can be reused. I think the only hard plastic may have been the electronic security sticker tab on the back of the label. Online purchasing may involve more plastic packaging with shipping. There may have been plastic tag holding the ribbon in place (I can’t remember. It’s been a few months). This is huge step for such a big retailer, whether due to customer demand, or policy change within themselves. When a big brands starts others soon follow to keep up.
Old and new Zara Home packaging. Some ribbons are elastic others are non elastic.
Have you found any plastic free bedding? Please share in the comments below! The world now seems a scary place where perhaps plastic free bedding is the last thing needing purchasing with the Covid-19. Which makes this post seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Life will return to normal. It has too. A different normal new with the natural world still needing being protected against unnecessary plastic.
Here in China if I need any furniture it’s going to be Ikea, hands down. It’s the only place where I have a chance things don’t contain nasty chemicals. Chinese furniture is infamous for containing formaldehyde. People who move into a newly built or refurbished home here usually keep the windows open for at least a month to try to remove the chemical fumes… it’s crazy.
On the other hand, I haven’t bought new cushion or bed covers in ages, haha. Still using the same ones I got when I moved to Suzhou 8 years ago. I’m just cheap. They’re fine anyway.
It’s crazy how the Chinese seem to know the dangers, buy it then air the place? Surely this should make the manufactures think again or the buyers complain? I have an air filter for the same reason (along with air pollution), which will only work properly if I replace the filters. Reminder to myself!
Good for you still using the same linen bedding and cushion covers! My Mum’s the same. I swear her fleece sheets are the same from when I was little! Maybe it’s the cotton, but I find I have to replace every 18 months bedding. I think linen also lasts longer than cotton or that’s what I’m hoping!