Today, on June 21, 2021, we celebrate Sleep Day in Germany. The initiative was launched to draw attention to the importance of restful sleep with regard to health. At the same time, June 21 is the summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. A good opportunity, perhaps, to think about a good night's sleep.
Does the bed linen and textiles in our bed influence the quality of sleep?
During the hot summer 2018 Matthias, my co-founder, and I were talking about how we could barely get a wink of sleep at night because of the heat. So, we set out to research factors that encouraged good sleep and quickly discovered that the right bed linen makes a huge difference. That was the trigger for us to start our own bed linen-company.
Most people hardly give a thought to their bedding, even though we spend almost a third of our lives in bed and our skin is in direct contact with its materials. Restful sleep is not only important for our well-being, but for our health and mental fitness. In the night our body temperature drops, so duvets and bed linen must keep us warm. But if the bedding is not breathable or not made of suitable materials, we quickly start to sweat excessively. Dust mites and bacteria, which love a warm and humid climate, can spread more quickly as a result and even trigger itching or allergies.
Which materials have a positive influence on the sleeping climate?
Fibers of natural origin are anti-static and are excellent at natural moisture management. On the other hand, these materials can be delicate and high maintenance. Because of its absorbency and longevity, cotton has long been considered an ideal fabric for bed textiles. However, conventional cotton cultivation requires enormous quantities of water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Chemicals are also used in textile finishing to make the material dirt-repellent or crease-resistant. In our own search for a solution we finally came across lyocell (sold under the brand name Tencel), which we believe is a true gamechanger for our sleep as well as for the environment.
What is special about bed linen made from eucalyptus? How should it be rated in terms of the environment?
Tencel lyocell is obtained from eucalyptus wood that comes from sustainable forests in South Africa and from beech wood from Europe. Compared to conventional cotton, eucalyptus cultivation uses 95% less water and does not require the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Another great advantage is the much more environmentally friendly production process. To obtain the fiber, cellulose is dissolved from this wood in an almost closed cycle using a non-toxic solvent.
The special thing about the eucalyptus fiber is that it combines all the great properties of other materials in one, it is a true allrounder. It cools as well as linen, has the luxury appearance of silk and is even more breathable than cotton. Nevertheless, the material is wear-resistant and extremely soft, it even gets softer with every wash. The special fibril structure of the fiber ensures rapid removal of liquids that form overnight, nipping mold and bacteria in the bud. Due to its excellent hypoallergenic properties, Tencel lyocell is particularly suitable for allergy sufferers. Tests even show that mite populations in Tencel lyocell die off almost completely within 6 weeks.
Tencel = trademark
The start-up hig & chic was founded in April 2019 by Tom Gärtner and Matthias Kühr from Mannheim/Germany. With their covers made from eucalyptus fibers, the 2 men want to shake up the dusty bed linen market. Their vision: to make the entire production chain, from the environmentally friendly cultivation of raw materials to plastic-free shipping, as sustainable as possible. The first crowdfunding campaign started back in October 2019 – with huge success. After just 1 month, the goal was even exceeded. In the meantime, the cuddly soft covers are available in 3 different blanket sizes, 2 different pillow sizes and 4 stylish designs.