Will organic cotton linens—sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers—ever become common in our industry? Now, they are a rare find even in upscale hotels and resorts. They are not used in Pure Rooms. Nor are they used in Stay Well rooms. Yet, according to experts, organic cotton linens provide an environmental and wellness advantage over standard cotton linens.
According to Anna Sova, a provider of luxury organic cotton linen, conventional cotton makes up only 3 percent of the world’s crops but uses 25 percent of the world’s pesticides annually. Every pound of cotton grown has been treated with one-third pound of pesticides. Pesticide residues often can remain in the fabric through the processing and finishing stages of the garment.
It is not just pesticides that should cause all of us nightmares. The chemical used to make linen wrinkle free, wrinkle resistant or stain resistant is formaldehyde. Yes, that same chemical used to prevent decomposition once we kick the bucket.
Potential Health Problems from Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde can produce a long list of health problems. These include watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, and coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.
“You are laying on linen for six to eight hours,” says Dan Bornholdt, owner of Green Suites Hotel Solutions, another provider of organic cotton linen. “Your face is in your pillow case. The chemicals in the fabrics are pretty heinous.”
In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen—certainly a good reason to ask your supplier whether formaldehyde was used in the finishing of the linen you purchase.
The elephant in the room when it comes to organic cotton linens is cost. There is at least a 25 percent premium as compared to standard cotton linens. Organic cotton linen is certainly a better match today for hotels offering a more luxury experience. Hopefully that will change soon. For any hotel using organic cotton linens there is an opportunity to better tell a green story and better appeal to green-conscious and chemical-sensitive travelers. Organic cotton linens can certainly complement other wellness-related items in a guestroom to form a room type that you can upsell.
OEKO-TEX and GOTS
Two certification organizations to look for when purchasing organic cotton linen are OEKO-TEX and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). As part of STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, for example, important legal regulations, such as banned Azo colorants, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, cadmium, nickel, and other chemicals and substances are considered. A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade “organic” must contain a minimum of 95 percent certified organic fibers whereas a product with the label grade “made with organic” must contain a minimum of 70 percent certified organic fibers. GOTS also considers inputs such as formaldehyde as well as packaging material.
My article posted this past week on organic cotton linens includes four suppliers. Be sure to check them out.
How to Search on Our Website
Like other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.
Who is Your Sustainability Champion?
Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for Guest Columnists
Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Planning Advertising for 2018/2019?
Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2018 or 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.
Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation
The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 8,471. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail email@example.com to be added to our list.
Green Lodging News & Social Media
Green Lodging News now has 1,788 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 914 Facebook likes.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.