Reader Jen emailed the other day and said “I am searching for some bamboo sheets, and am trying to figure out the most eco-friendly way of getting them, as well as what brand has the most sustainable practices. Of course, price is a factor as well!” I emailed her back directly but it got bounced back to me, so I decided I would put my answer on the site as well for anyone else thinking the same thing!
Keeping price in mind can be difficult when shopping for organic cotton or bamboo sheet sets. Many online boutiques sell them for over $200 a set – well above and beyond what anyone probably wants to spend for sheets. (At least in my house it is!) Jen is also rightfully concerned with the business practices of the company making the sheets, and that is actually very hard to find out. Many companies buy their sheets from the same manufacturers in China – and then proceed to sell them at different price points. Unless you are buying direct from the person you know who made them (100% unlikely) or have a few hundred dollars to spend, it is very difficult to find out much of anything about the process involved. So where do you go from there? How do you determine price vs. business practices? Well, I had to make a decision when we bought our latest set – since I couldn’t find out who made the sheets but I was on a limited budget, I had to stick to the budget. For all I know my sheets are being sold by someone else for triple what I paid for them, so I relied on the size of my wallet to make my decision for me. It’s kind of like when people pay $200 for a pair of jeans when a pair that looks just like them is $59 at the Gap. Which is better? Who knows…so you have to have some other way or measuring the difference, and the easiest is by cost. But at least you are buying the eco-friendly and renewable alternative to pesticide-filled cotton!
I found our last bamboo sheet set at Target for $49. Are they perfect? Probably not. But are they any worse than the $150 set at Gaiam that was made in Germany? Probably not again. Since both Target and Gaiam don’t say who made the sheets or how the cotton or bamboo was harvested, it’s very hard to make a truly informed decision. Thus, I choose with my wallet as to which is “better”. Our sheets have lasted a very long time and are incredibly soft and comfortable still to this day, so I feel like I made the right choice for us. Had they ripped in the first month I would have thought differently. But I bought the eco-friendly version, at a price I could afford, and they have lasted us. For us it was the right thing to do. There are many places that sell eco-friendly bedding now so the choice can be more difficult to make – Target, Gaiam, Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, West Elm, etc. – they all have eco alternatives at very different price points. So find the balance between what you want, what you can spend and the quality of the product you are buying, and then be happy knowing that you are at least doing the best you can in making these decisions!