The true cost of cheap textiles
The global textile industry churns out millions of tons of products annually. 80% of those products are petrochemical-based, such as the non-biodegradable polyester fabrics that can be found in most athletic clothes.
To make matters worse, most textiles are discarded within their first year of life. According to the BBC, globally, an estimated 92 million tons of textiles waste ends up in landfills each year, with that number expected to increase to 134 million tons by 2030. On average, we each throw away roughly our own body weight of clothing every two years.
But the part almost no one talks about: the majority of commercially-used textile dye is made from oil, tar, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals. Conservatively, 60% of all dyes are AZO dyes – known carcinogens. Chlorobenzenes, common to both herbicides and dyes alike, are toxic when inhaled or when in direct contact with the skin. Not to mention that formaldehyde is a favorite for any fabric advertised as wrinkle-resistant (think…sheets).
And these are just the chemicals we know of; what’s really scary is that current industry standards do not require dye manufacturers to transparently report the chemicals in their dyes. Even ‘organic’ products have been found to contain synthetic and chemical-laden colors or finishing agents.
But what if it could be different: aka, getting to ZERO (synthetic chemicals)?
This is why we are so passionate about what we do. From seed to sheet, we make it our mission to create products that are good for our customers, our employees, and the planet we all share.
Inspired by ancient Japanese craftsmanship and holistic wisdom, our technology infuses soft, 100% GOTS certified organic cotton with the pigment and properties of medicinal plants, creating fabric that soothes irritated skin: no pesticides, no synthetics, no petrochemicals. And in addition to using natural indigo and organic cotton, our production requires significantly less water than most synthetically-dyed textiles, and our ‘waste-water’ is so pure that it has been used as organic fertilizer, and even skin care!
How is this possible? Michel and Misa’s search for healthy, beautiful, high-quality textile brought them to Misa’s native Japan and the ancient tradition of indigo dyeing. Aizome is a centuries-old Japanese craft used to infuse the clothing of Samurai warriors with indigo’s medicinal properties – anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties that could offer protection to wounded skin. Michel and Misa were struck – what if we could make bedding from sheets that actually protect us from bacteria as we sleep?
Together with a team of scientists, Michel and Misa developed an innovative method to unlock the benefits of plant-based dyeing for home textiles without compromising in vibrancy or durability. In 2018, AIZOME successfully launched their first bedding collection, to much acclaim from the likes of Forbes, Fast Company, and The Independent. AIZOME’s crowdfunding quickly became one of the most successful campaigns in Japan’s history.
Certifications and Accreditations
We understand this may all sound a bit unbelievable. We appreciate your discernment and invite you to see for yourself how AIZOME fabric has been tried, tested, and certified to ensure highest quality and commitment to our environment.
Good sheets should not only feel good, they need to smell good, too. Bad smells that linger are caused by microbes nesting in your sheets, and these microbes can stress your skin. AIZOME sheets are naturally antibacterial – particularly those dyed with indigo – so you sleep soundly, and smell-free. Verify the test results here.
At AIZOME, we see cotton as a precious natural material and respect the labor and resources required to grow and harvest it. We use 100% GOTS certified organic cotton to ensure that only the very best, ethically-sourced cotton is used in our products. View certificate here.
Our sheets are checked by a third-party lab for known dangerous chemicals in textile to confirm that each production batch is of outstanding quality. See the report here.