Green Matters - July 2013

Updates On The Eco-Friendly Sector
By Wanda Jankowski

The Raj Stripe flat sheet from Raksha Bella Organic is made with 100 percent organic cotton and is shown in fuchsia.
Robin Wilson Home supplies pillows, mattress pads and comforters sold at Bed Bath & Beyond that are made from cotton and recycled poly-fill. They are not treated with chemicals and are packaged in recycled plastic.

Robin Wilson and Carrie Peters, both involved in supplying eco-friendly home textile products, weigh in on issues of the day

To bring you up to speed on what’s happening in the eco-friendly sector, LDB Interior Textiles presents this mini-discussion with two experts. Robin Wilson, founder/owner of Robin Wilson Home, is an eco-friendly and healthy space interior designer with licensed products in several home categories, including bed and bath textiles. Carrie Peters, owner, Raksha Bella Organic, produces hand-blocked bedding for the home made with Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton sateen and printed with Azo-free low-impact dyes.

LDB: When the price of cotton soared a couple of years ago, some suppliers turned to microfiber and poly/cotton blends. Now that the price of cotton has decreased, will natural material’s demand increase?
Robin Wilson: “Cotton has already made a comeback, and is the preferred raw material for textiles of luxury manufacturers. The momentum will probably come from consumers, although retailers can sometimes specify certain requirements for suppliers, which will drive demand. I think that we have to hope for innovation that allows a new method for cotton growth that uses less water and fertilizer to help the environment.”

Carrie Peters: “Cotton is always popular and desired; it always has been. The touch and feel, and how people want that will never change.”

LDB: Jill Sands wrote in the Winter 2013 edition of “The Trend Forecaster” newsletter: “The green trend is becoming invisible. Like technology, it’s become a part of our everyday lives, so we don’t see it. It’s here, it’s all around us, yet no longer in our faces!” Do you see more consumers opting for “green” choices today than in the past?

Robin Wilson: “I do not use the term ‘green’, but prefer to use the term ‘eco-friendly’. The word ‘green’ is used less frequently today by companies as there is a lot of ‘green-washing’ from manufacturers who just use the word as a marketing term. Consumers can see right through false claims and they may chuckle, but they ultimately will not trust those companies.

“The best way to describe eco-friendly products is that a product is non-toxic for the home environment and less impactful for the global environment. For example, there are companies that have been eco-friendly for decades – such as Holiday Kitchens based in Rice Lake, WI. It has eco-friendly and sustainable practices used in the manufacture of its custom cabinetry, such as use of low-voc paints and stains, and adhesives that are non-toxic. This is an example of a holistic approach to make ‘green’ invisible, but part of the DNA of a brand.”

[Wilson is the first woman to license her brand to a line of eco-friendly kitchen cabinetry sold through Holiday Kitchens.]

Carrie Peters: “I think one always has to practice discernment. We all make choices every day that effect our environment in both positive and negative ways. The goal is to do it in positive ways most of the time, and negative none of the time, if you can get there.

“One feature in Sunset magazine not long ago had a family who doesn’t purchase anything—food, electronics, anything—with any kind of plastic wrapping. Now that’s making a positive daily change. I would like to think being green doesn’t have to be ‘in your face’ anymore, (not that it really ever was), but we still have a lot of educating to do.”

Resources

• Raksha Bella Organic, 510-898-1981, rakshabellaorganic.com
• Robin Wilson Home, 212-863-9197, robinwilsonhome.com


LDB INTERIOR TEXTILES is published by EW Williams Publications Company
Phone: 1-201- 592-7007 Fax: 1-212-988-0588