Thursday, December 05th, 2013 | Author: Sylvia
Wednesday, December 04th, 2013 | Author: Kimberly
Many Lifekind customers are familiar with the term “MCS” because it stands for the medically controversial ailment multiple chemical sensitivities. People with MCS are usually sensitive to synthetic and/or scented products like hair spray, perfume, cleaning products, soaps and, of course, chemical mattresses.
The effects of chemicals and pesticides on our health can be staggering, with some cases more extreme than others. I know this first hand, and am happy to say that it’s a good thing we live in a time when we have a choice and we’re changing the norm by purchasing non-chemical, organic products!
I first became aware of MCS after I’d been sleeping on a chemical mattress for a number of years, and throughout that time was experiencing numerous “mystery” health challenges. Honestly, I now attribute those health issues to long-term exposure to the chemicals in the mattress, since my health improved after I started sleeping on an organic mattress.
When I speak to customers who are experiencing MCS symptoms, I’ll often suggest they try testing our organically certified mattress materials before purchasing a mattress. The material samples are included with an allergy test sheet that provides specific instructions for sensitivity testing. One of Lifekind’s most popular mattress for sleepers with MCS is the Traditional Innerspring Mattress, which is made of certified organic cotton and certified organic wool.
If you sense you may have MCS, a good resource is the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, TX, where Dr Ray and his staff have been helping people with multiple chemical sensitivities since 1975. They have experience in diagnosing and treating more than 40,000 environmentally sensitive patients with their innovative techniques.
Even though MCS presents many health challenges and it’s not yet fully understood, I’m happy to be a part of the new thought revolution–one organic mattress, pillow or blanket at a time!
Friday, November 22nd, 2013 | Author: Sylvia
In a move that’s sure to please anyone concerned about chemical exposure, California Governor Jerry Brown announced yesterday a new state flammability standard: As of Jan. 1, upholstered furniture sold in the state will be able to meet flammability requirements without the use of with PBDEs or other chemicals.
“Today, California is curbing toxic chemicals found in everything from high chairs to sofas,” said Governor Brown. “These new standards will keep the furniture in our homes fire-safe and limit unnecessary exposure to toxic flame retardants.”
The new rule overturns a controversial 1975 law that Brown himself signed during his first stint as governor: Technical Bulletin 117, which required furniture manufacturers to inject flame-retardant chemicals into the synthetic foam used in virtually all upholstered furniture in the state. That translated into 2-3 pounds for a typical sofa, but over the years research has increasingly shown that such chemicals pose a major threat of cancer and other health problems, with children being most at risk. When state agencies such as the Bureau of Home Furnishings – on whose advisory board Lifekind president and co-founder Walt Bader sits as a member – recommended the change, officials listened.
Now instead of foam that’s been infused with flame-retardant chemicals, upholstered products from recliners to infant swings and strollers will be made fire-safe by focusing on using cover materials that resist common sources of ignition such as cigarettes, space heaters, and extension cords. That, combined with fiber fillings that resist smoldering, will be enough to meet the new standard for most products, though it’s always important to hold retailers accountable: “While many manufacturers may elect to remove the chemicals, others may elect to leave them in due to concerns about liability,” said Judy Levin of the Center for Environmental Health. “So consumers will definitely have to be diligent and ask specific questions.”
Manufacturers may begin making products to the new standards on Jan. 1, 2014, and will have one year to be fully in compliance.
Let’s hope that other U.S. states follow California’s lead and that the trend goes worldwide to prevent chemical exposure for future generations!
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Author: Sarah
If bedtime has become a battle, read on for some helpful tips to help you get to sleep.
1. Take a bath: Few things are more relaxing than getting comfortable in your own skin, and soaking in a tub is a great way to force yourself to slow down. Adding soothing ingredients like lavender and oatmeal literally rinses away the day while releasing muscle tension and softening skin.
2. Follow a soothing routine: Planning ahead can help when developing a routine for better sleep. Try dimming the lights, changing out of your daytime clothes, and slowing things down in general. By creating a consistent routine, your body will become more responsive to the cues that lead up to bedtime and trigger relaxation.
3. Sip some herbal tea: Although “herbal” tea is not a true tea, these caffeine-free concoctions are warming and soothing, and help to calm your nerves before bedtime. Another benefit is that most are safe for children (always read the instructions and refer to a medical professional if you have questions regarding safety for your child). Some of the more popular teas are California poppy, valerian, kava kava, and chamomile; there are also many organic blends available at most grocery stores.
4. Eat to sleep: Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, or large amounts of protein before bed. Avoid these for at least 4 hours before bedtime to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night, keeping insomnia at bay. If that’s not enough, try adding extra (healthy) carbs, calcium, magnesium and tryptophan in the evening for natural sedative effects to promote relaxation both mentally and physically. Check this list for healthy sources of these natural sleep boosters.
5. Slip on a sleep mask: An eye mask filled with organic wool, cotton, buckwheat or herbs can help to block disturbing light and relax tense facial muscles after a long day. For sore, red, or burning eyes, most masks can be chilled in the freezer or (my favorite) slightly warmed to relieve sinus congestion or seasonal allergies.
6. L-Theanine: This awesome amino acid appears to elevate alpha-brain wave activity in the brain (say that five times fast), which is a sign of deep relaxation. By easing physical and emotional stress l-theanine helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night, and can also ease anxieties during the day. Since this soothing ingredient, typically found in green tea, is an amino acid, it is considered safe for most people and doesn’t have any significant side effects. It is available in chewable tablets that have a great fruity flavor and work extremely well for children.
7. Slow your mind and body with some relaxing yoga: Think calming with deep breaths – not sweaty, hot, “pretzel” yoga. Yoga increases blood flow to your muscles and brain, and deep breathing sends the “relax” message to your central nervous system. The act of simply being still with eyes closed is often enough to slow your body and mind before bedtime. If you are a beginner or tend to gravitate toward intense yoga, this blog by OMI walks you through basic poses to prep for sleeping safely. Enjoy, and sweet dreams!
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Author: Sylvia
We’re always happy to send a sample to anybody who would like to check it out — just ask. We think you’ll like it.
Thursday, November 07th, 2013 | Author: Naomi
In past ‘If Textiles Could Talk’ blog posts, I wrote about the dreadful overuse of water, pesticides, and toxic chemicals by the textile industry. Cotton is the most extensively produced natural textile fiber on the planet, and according to the USDA, in 2003 55 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on 12.8 million acres of conventional cotton in the U.S. alone.
The Organic Trade Association lists the many reasons why cotton should be grown organically in the link below.
At Lifekind, we only use organic cotton, and our colored items are not dyed. They’re made with cotton that grows in colors naturally on the plant, a.k.a. colorgrown cotton. For example, our Organic Cotton Travel Pillow and some of our Baby Products like the Certified Organic Cotton Play Mat this little farmer’s on:
- The cotton’s natural color doesn’t fade!
- It has softer feel than conventionally grown and processed cotton!
- It’s naturally pest resistant, so toxic pesticides are not needed!
- No bleaches and dyes are needed, saving energy, water, and the environment!
Kudos to Sally Fox, a modern-day textile hero, for reinventing colorgrown cotton! While naturally pigmented cotton is believed to have originated 5,000 years ago, the fibers were not long enough to be used in today’s textile machines. Through careful breeding, in the 1980s Sally created colorgrown cotton with a longer staple suitable for spinning on a modern machine.
Colorgrown cotton is being used in eco-fashion and by handcrafters. You can find these healthy, earth-colored products under the trademarks FoxFibre and Colorganic: http://www.foxfibrecolorganic.com/en/
I’m a huge fan of FoxFibre socks, and they’re available at my local natural foods store: http://www.vreseis.com/socks.html
For more about Sally Fox, read Karen Brown’s Etsy blog post:
And for more history on Sally Fox: http://vreseis.com/sally_fox_story.htm
Monday, November 04th, 2013 | Author: Naomi
If you love down pillows and are looking for a cruelty-free organic option, or want to get away from the allergens caused by the dust mites that like to cozy up in down, look no further.
Lifekind carries two pillows that possess the qualities of down pillows, but are more breathable and better for temperature regulation. The Natural Rubber Molded Pillow and the Wool Wrapped Shredded Rubber Pillow are made of pure, natural-rubber latex, which repels dust mites naturally. The wool in the Shredded Rubber Pillow also repels dust mites. You can decide on your own which one is right for you, or if you’re still unsure, call and talk to a Lifekind Product Specialist at 800-284-4983.
The Natural Rubber Molded Pillow
- Our softest-feeling pillow
- Supportive softness elevates the head without pressure
- Light, buoyant, flexible and squish-able
- Molded rubber bounces back to pillow shape, softly
The Wool-Wrapped Shredded Rubber Pillow
- Filled with small pieces of fluffy natural rubber inside an outer chamber of wool
- Can be customized by removing some fill; the more you remove, the fluffier it is, like a down pillow
- More fill has a “feather pillow” feel and is heavier
- Can be fluffed, shaped, and “smooshed” like a down pillow
Thursday, October 31st, 2013 | Author: admin
Our Wool Moisture Protector Pad is one of the most popular products we sell. It’s made of 100% U.S.-grown Naturally Safer® wool, made by us at our GOTS-certified organic factory in Northern California, and does a great job of keeping any mattress clean and dry.
Because it uses the natural oils found in wool to keep the mattress dry and breathable, however, a little extra care is required when cleaning it. The care instructions we send with every moisture pad read as follows:
* Some of our customers hand-rinse the pad in the bathtub and hang it up to dry, while others use the washing machine with warm water on the gentlest cycle and then tumble dry using the “air” setting with no heat. Either way, make sure the pad isn’t exposed to any friction or wringing, and that it’s kept away from any soaps or detergents.
* Customers sometimes ask if our Wool Moisture Protector Pad can be treated with lanolin, one of the natural oils found in the wool that make it naturally moisture resistant. This usually occurs in cases in which the pad has been stripped of its lanolin content after being accidentally washed with detergent. While lanolizing can be easily accomplished with smaller items such as wool diaper covers, it’s an exacting process that involves the emulsification of pure lanolin and then applying it to the entire product (watch the process at youtube.com/watch?v=YR4p20Onvr4). While we don’t claim that using lanolin will harm a moisture protector, we can’t guarantee that it will be effective either and, depending on the pad’s size, may have poor results.
* If your moisture pad retains any odor after rinsing, sprinkle baking soda on the pad while it’s still damp, then shake thoroughly after drying to remove the powder. This will help the pad stay smelling clean and fresh.
Have a question about the care of any of our products? Call our friendly Product Specialists at 800-284-4983.
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 | Author: Naomi
Local is the new global. When you think about it, the more energy that goes into something, the more it grows. It is inevitable that the more $$$ we spend in the US, the more it benefits our economy, and Americans in turn. Every American has heard this, and it’s time we put our money where our mouth is…and make change.
Lifekind has long adhered to these principles, and produces useful, healthy products made in the USA. Our Eco-Factory™ is located in Northern California, and produces many of the items we provide while paying workers a fair wage. Most of the other items in our catalog and web-store are also made in America!
To read more about Lifekind’s Eco-Factory™: http://bit.ly/1977uX0
With Lifekind you get:
- Better-quality products, made with your health in mind!!
- Amazing value on truly organic mattresses!!
- Peace of mind, knowing you’re supporting our economy!!
- Friendly, personal customer service with real people who care!!
Check out this link for a fresh perspective on “stuff”: http://bit.ly/1cpjhDV
It’s a blog by Amelia Urry at Grist featuring an Annie Leonard video.