Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Organic vs. Sustainable Fibers: Which is a Better Choice?

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Now that we're beginning to find organic sheets and towels in the stores, I've started a bit of drooling. I'm due for a new set of sheets, and would dearly love to say we are snoozing on the best. But, then, what exactly is THE BEST?

That's a complicated question--a conundrum much akin to choosing between organic produce and local, conventional produce. They each have their unique pros and cons.

Cotton is a natural fiber that is highly labor intensive and costly to harvest. Hemp has its own set of problems related to its illegal status in the U.S. We'll allow hemp to be sold here, but not grown here, which means costly shipping from other countries.

Linen sheets can be found in most bedding stores in natural shades, but I admit I'm not crazy about their tendency to wrinkle. Am I too picky?

Clearly, bamboo is the most sustainable of the fibers that are widely available. Finding organic bamboo is, well, difficult, at best.

So, I'm stuck between sustainable, fast-growing bamboo that is not organic, or organic cotton, which is not as desirable.

There is another complication, as well. In my search, I am finding organic cotton to be largely sold in lower thread count sheets, and not so easy to find in deeper pocket sizes. I suppose this is done to keep the price more affordable, but at this price level you would think the producers should know that buyers are willing to shell out the extra for the better product.  Is it too much to ask for just one set of naturally colored red or denim blue 18 inch pocket Bamboo sheets at 300 or higher thread count? Apparently so! 

In the meantime, do any of you have any sources or suggestions on where I might find some additional options? Let me hear from you; hit the comment link below the post:

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