We hear a lot about sustainability these days, which is a great step – but oftentimes we’re given half truths. We tend to treat the surface issue without acknowledging the root cause. Brands tout that they have sustainable practices, like leggings made from recycled plastic bottles or carbon neutral shipping. With the climate and planet in crisis, simply being neutral or having better manufacturing processes isn’t enough. We must make a change in our practices so that we’re actually doing good with our products.
That’s where regenerative agriculture comes into play. The practices involved in regenerative agriculture allow manufacturers to create products, including bedding, that are actually giving back to the planet. Let’s dig into what regenerative bedding is, why you should consider making the swap, and where to find it.
What is Regenerative Bedding?
Just as the name implies, regenerative agriculture seeks to regenerate the land it uses. If you think about it, everything we use comes first from the land, even bedding. The cotton, silk, hemp, or wool that we use comes from farms – and the way it’s grown, raised, and harvested matters.
With regenerative agriculture, grazing and farming practices are created to rebuild soil’s organic matter, restore soil biodiversity, and effectively reverse climate change. The result is an improvement in water cycles and carbon drawdown. Carbon content is a key issue here – compared to our soil’s original carbon content, today we have lost 50% to 70% of that. Carbon is not entering or leaving Earth – the balance has simply been lost, with more of it in our atmosphere than there should be, displaced from where it belongs.
From the bedding we use to the clothes we wear, the fibers and materials used have an impact on our planet. We know that natural materials are better – synthetic materials shed millions of microfibers in the wash that end up in our oceans. However, how those natural fibers are made can wreak havoc on the land. For example, traditionally grown cotton contributes to soil degradation and erosion, water contamination, and pollution.
When you switch over to regenerative bedding, the materials used are grown responsibly, restoring soil biodiversity and organic matter in the process. Practices including crop rotation, pasture cropping, cover crops, and no-till are used to ensure this.
4 of my Favorite Regenerative Bedding Brands
Regenerative farming isn’t super mainstream yet, though it’s gaining notoriety and popularity. Look for companies that partner with Fibershed and have Climate Beneficial verified products. Here are a few brands I like:
Focused on transparency, sustainability, and craft, Alterra Pure goes beyond organic. Their regenerative cotton farms don’t use irrigation, instead opting for rainwater. The water used in production is recycled and reused, so throughout the entire process, no water is wasted.
Their cotton is certified organic, and they verify that every ingredient used and product they offer is organic. On top of that, they pay their farms a fair trade premium. They’ve created initiatives to aid the villages where their organic cotton is grown, to help combat the issues that organic cotton farmers are facing.
Check out Alterra Pure
Coyuchi partners with Fibershed to produce the Climate Beneficial Wool used in their products. Their wool is made from closed-loop carbon farming. Farms with carbon farming plans actually have the ability to produce materials with net negative CO2 footprints. That boils down to saving 150 pounds of CO2 per garment when compared with conventional production.
By doing so, they promote animal welfare and soil health. They’ve recently partnered with White Buffalo Land Trust, an organization that also works in regenerative agriculture. Additionally, the linen used by Coyuchi is certified organic and the fields it grows in are rotated each year.
Check out Coyuchi and get $60 off using this link!
By mimicking natural grazing herd habits, the manufacturers of Bristol Cloth focus on holistic, regenerative farming. They use techniques to rebuild the soil, maximizing carbon sequestration, and care for the well-being of the sheep they raise for wool. They practice blade shearing, leaving an inch of wool on the sheep to protect them from the sun and weather.
Their wool is chemical-free and their practices are transparent. They use only local, organic plant dye materials and natural fibers, making the dye used completely nontoxic. By using bio-positive practices, the products produced by Bristol Cloth can be naturally broken down at the end of their life cycle, becoming food and nourishment for the Earth.
Check out Bristol Cloth
Holy Lamb Organics named their company with the goal of honoring the animals who allow them to make the natural products they proudly offer. The company sources wool through small owner-operated farms using ecologically positive practices. They don’t use any herbicides or pesticides, so the end product is biodegradable and chemical-free.
The latex used in their products comes from the rubber tree, making it a natural and renewable resource. The cotton in their products is organic. They also strive to be zero waste and avoid plastic where possible. From raw materials to packaging, they find a way to reuse it all in-house so nothing goes to the landfill. They maximize their raw materials to produce very little scraps in the design process.
They ship plastic-free and find uses for the plastic that they receive from their suppliers. For example, the plastic bags that their wool is delivered in is sent back to the supplier to be reused.
Check out Holy Lamb Organics
Switching to a sustainability-minded lifestyle happens in small steps and when you purchase a product, you have the opportunity to vote for better, more ethical products. Of course, you should continue to use the bedding you currently own – the best thing you can do for the planet is to use what you already have.
However, the next time you’re in need of a new bedspread, bed linens, sheets, or blankets – choose regenerative bedding. You’ll rest easy knowing that you made a better choice for yourself and the environment.