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How to Choose the Perfect Pillow

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 | Author:

You may be thinking….that’s easy, you go down to the bed and bath store and pull a few off the shelf and squish, press, lay your head on them and whichever feels good and is within your budget will be fine (trial and error, I guess?). Or maybe you’re replacing your old pillows with cruelty-free, organic alternatives, but don’t know where to begin.

Everybody is unique, so there is no one “perfect” pillow for everyone. It’s just not that simple. Deciphering the “pillow puzzle” might have you throwing in the towel and settling for anything soft-ish to prop your head up on. Read on for advice on how to best match your comfort needs to various types of pillows.

Sad man holding pillow

 I believe the first thing to consider when purchasing anything really, is what it is made of. Since about 1/3 of your time is spent in bed and pillows are right in your face, I wouldn’t recommend petroleum-based poly-fill or memory foam, which is found to contain 60+ toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The healthiest choice is always organic.

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The inside of our Organic Cotton Pillow

Next, consider your sleeping position(s) and the pillow loft (or height) needed:

  • Side sleepers: Choose a pillow that is the proper loft, so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position. For example, if the pillow is for a child, you may need a light-loft pillow. If it’s for a person with broad shoulders you may need a full-loft pillow, and medium- and full-loft pillows are generally best for the average-sized person.
  • Back sleepers: A puffy, light- to medium-loft pillow is usually best, to gently lift your head without putting too much pressure on your neck.
  • Belly sleepers: Try a light-loft pillow, or none at all, so your head isn’t too high.

PillowChart1

 

Now for the fun part. What a pillow is stuffed with greatly determines how it feels. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, click on the links to the organic pillows after the question, and that pillow could be the best one for you.

If you’re still unsure, just call and talk to one of our knowledgable pillow experts at Lifekind at 1-800-284-4983. I love getting calls about pillows, because I enjoy using adjectives like “puffy,” “shmooshable,” “buoyant,” and “moldable.”

Category: organic certification, organic materials | Leave a Comment

All you need to know about organic cotton

Friday, December 20th, 2013 | Author:

All you need to know about organic cotton, courtesy of the Global Organic Textile Standard:

Cottoned_On_Infographic

Category: chemical exposures, organic certification, organic materials | Leave a Comment

FTC cracks down on “green” claims

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 | Author:

Gratifying news today for advocates of truth in advertising: The FTC has blown the whistle on three companies for making false organic claims. The federal agency, which oversees advertising claims, has filed suit with Ecobaby, Essentia, and Southern California-based online retailer Relief-Mart for falsely asserting that their products are “VOC-free,” “chemical-free,” and contain “no chemical offgassing.” In addition, Ecobaby has been barred by the FTC from making false claims about third-party certifications after making up a fictitious organization and claiming to have their mattresses certified by it.

Read the full story at the FTC’s website.

Get up to date on Lifekind’s certifications here.

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Textile Truth: A Parent’s Guide

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 | Author:

{re-blog from OMI}

We are an organic company, so using organic products is a no-brainer for us.  But we have to remember that not everyone has the same immersion into the world of organics, and new parents need to know when it is essential to choose organic products.

This great info-graphic,  put together by our friends at Harmony Art, is a great visual aid for new parents, and puts the “how” and “why” of buying organic for your baby into an easy-to-digest graphic that takes away the guessing game:

TextileTruthsBaby

To read about how this piece came together, be sure to check out Harmony Art’s blog.

Category: mattresses, organic certification, organic materials, pregnancy, products, purity, sleep | 2 Comments

FTC Revises Green Guides

Monday, November 12th, 2012 | Author:

Since we opened our doors, we have always been committed to being as organic and pure as we can be.  We know that it sometimes costs more money to make sure that the raw materials we use are sourced from organic and American sources.  We spend extra on our raw materials to make sure that they have the certifications to prove their purity, and we even spend money to test our finished products to make sure that we maintain the level of purity that our customers expect of us.  Because we go to these lengths to show that we are doing what we say, it has always miffed us a little bit to see new companies popping up with these great claims of organic purity, being “all-natural” or environmentally friendly, without any way to back up these claims.

We were happy to read today that the revised Green Guides have been released.

“In terms of furniture and bedding, I think there are still a lot of general claims being made by the industry and the updated green guides are very loud and clear (that) there should not be unsubstantiated claims made.”

We feel especially proud since Walt, our president/CEO advised on the new green guides.  The revisions are written to make sure that marketers are not making any deceptive or misleading claims about the purity of their products. To see the full text of the revised green guides visit the FTC’s website where you can read about the changes and download the full guide.

Blog originally posted on omimattress.com, our sister company and the manufacturer of all of Lifekind’s mattresses and bedding.

Category: general, organic certification, organic materials, US manufacturers | Leave a Comment

Washed Away

Saturday, May 08th, 2010 | Author:

Imagine seeing an advertisement in the paper for a new Corvette, at the cost of a generic sedan. Pretty exciting, right? Like most people, you’d probably be tempted to go check it out. When you arrive at the car lot, however, the salesperson shows you what actually appears to be a shiny new Honda Civic. While there’s nothing wrong with a Civic, it certainly isn’t comparable to a Corvette. This particular Civic has Corvette brake lights, and is therefore being advertised as “Corvette Certified.” You, my disappointed friend, have just been a victim of carwashing.

Ok, I made that term up. Greenwashing, however, a similar concept that’s frighteningly popular in the mattress world, is very real.

As a Product Specialist, part of my job is to research and be informed about our competition so I can better assist customers who have questions about those companies and how they compare with Lifekind. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no one else who does what Lifekind does. There are imitators and companies that come close, along with those who blatantly lie to make themselves look like they come close, but I wouldn’t want to trust “close imitation” or “blatant lies” with my sleep.

As a consumer, it can be daunting to sift through the marketing baloney and find the real thing. There are “organic” mattress companies who post logos of trusted certifiers on their website because one of the many ingredients they use might pass that standard, even though the final product does not. Others display logos of “certifiers” that in fact do no such thing, but are merely membership organizations. (I’ve seen, for instance, companies claiming to be “National Geographic Certified,” even though National Geographic is merely the parent company for The Green Guide, a consumer organization that doesn’t certify materials, finished products, or anything else.)

I’m personally vexed by companies that make what I like to call “natural-lite” products, such as the “20% natural-core” mattress I saw advertised the other day. While it’s commendable that someone is making a product with 20% natural ingredients, what exactly is the other 80% made of?

Be cautious and ask questions. I have seen companies use a GOTS logo to infer that their manufacturing plants and products are GOTS certified, when in fact just one raw material component is able to boast GOTS certification. GOTS certification for a facility is not obtained easily; they are very, very strict about their standards, and they conduct random inspections, so there is virtually no room for error. We conduct business in accordance with their standards because we want to be able to show that we make the purest mattress, not that it’s just our opinion that we make the purest mattress.

Many companies claim to support American industry, but outsource the production of anywhere from one to all of their raw materials to other countries. This not only takes away potential green American jobs, but also risks contamination of the raw materials by fumigation when they are imported to the U.S. Add this to the uncertainty about organic standards from country to country, and there is ample room for doubt in exactly how pure outsourced materials really are.

On a similar note, beware of companies that use words like “Organic” or “Natural” in their company names to make them seem purer than they actually are. Without certification to back up the name, it’s simply the name of a company, like Bob’s Mattress Factory.

The moral of this story is to look before you leap into that new bed. Ask the tough questions of companies who want your business. Ask where their raw materials come from, who certifies them, and what has been added. Ask about their manufacturing processes and who certifies the final product.

Ask as many questions as you can, because an educated consumer base is the best defense against greenwashing.

Category: organic certification, organic materials, purity, US manufacturers | Leave a Comment

The Green House

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 | Author:

bo-obama-family-dog-01

After planting the first organic garden on While House property, the Obamas are making history again with the possibility of making the White House green. No, they are not painting it, but instead are looking toward earning LEED certification for the building through the U.S. Green Building Council. The end result would be a more energy efficient White House with efficient water usage and cleaner indoor air quality that is virtually free of VOCs.

For more information, click on :

http://www.sierraclubgreenhome.com/green-news/the-greenest-white-house/

-Rowena, Product Specialist

Category: organic certification, sustainable living | 2 Comments

Something Comforting About these Labels

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 | Author:

I was in San Francisco and did some shopping this weekend. I stumbled upon a store that sold mostly organic cotton shirts, skirts, and dresses. What caught my eye and separated this company from most others were their labels. In bold letters they read, “Cotton is GOTS certified organic.” It is in my nature to trust people. If someone tells me something is organic, I tend to believe them. And yet, there was something comforting about these labels. I didn’t need to ask the sales associate where the shirts were made or what kind of material they were. The company had nothing to hide and I was not secretly wondering if they were being truthful about the details of the product line because they were certified by a third party.

Third-party certifications on  material items can turn you into a responsible shopper without having to do much work. Truthfully, I was going to buy a skirt no matter what. The GOTS certification was the tipping point, as I now want to revisit the company because the clothing is high quality, fits well, and is made from sustainable materials. I can have my cake and eat it too, and the store benefits because I’ll certainly patronize this store again and again.
-Sara, Product Specialist

Category: organic certification, organic materials, sustainable living | One Comment

Investing in your health!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 | Author:

Organic mattresses aren’t just a fad. Why? Most people are concerned about their health, and it makes sense to avoid unnecessary chemical exposure. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in the bedroom. Why would you want to poison your body with chemicals, flame retardants, other toxic ingredients if you didn’t have to?

Our opinion is that if you’re going to invest in a nontoxic mattress, you should invest in the best. Here at Lifekind®, we’re setting the purity standard for our industry.

No regulations monitor the manufacturing, marketing, and advertising of organic mattresses. This means that an “organic” mattress found on a website may contain a percentage of organic ingredients, but also a plethora of undisclosed synthetic ingredients — Tyvek®, recycled newspaper, polyester, boric acid, and formaldehyde. This tactic is known as “greenwashing.” Even if a mattress does contain mostly organic ingredients, the components can be very low grade. (We’ve dissected quite a few “organic” mattresses to find cotton fibers that look similar to what you’d find in the lint screen of your clothes dryer.)

Lifekind is different. You’ll never find undisclosed ingredients in our mattresses, and our Purity Promise guarantees that if you can find a purer mattress, we’ll give you ours for free.

We hope you’ll take us up on it. Your body will thank you.

Rowena, Product Specialist

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Category: mattresses, organic certification, purity | Leave a Comment

Lifekind®: Organics You Can Trust

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | Author:

Just 20 years ago, anyone who was into an organic lifestyle was likely to be considered a little odd. Organic choices were limited back then; nowadays they’re everywhere. Now that being “green” is a trend, even major chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target are carrying organic food and bedding.

But what does it mean to truly be organic? The roots of the organic movement stemmed from the early 1900s, when synthetic fertilizers were introduced in the early days of industrial farming. Even after WWI, with more pressure being applied to farmers to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for a larger yield, ecological farmers, though a minority, stood firm in their beliefs. Pioneers like Rachel Carson helped shed light on the dangers of these newly introduced chemicals. By the 70s and 80s, certification standards for organic food came into effect, thanks to various farming and consumer groups demanding more government regulation.

With organic certification, consumers should feel confident that the goods they desire are truly organic. However, there is an absence of government regulation in the production of non-food items. With the sprawling popularity of organic finished goods, many large corporations are cashing into the “green” market by using some organic materials, yet compromising purity to achieve a lower price. 

In a competitive marketplace where businesses want your money, it can be tough to read between the lines. If you look in the right direction, however, the writing is on the wall: Without government regulation, consumers must rely on third-party scrutiny to assure that finished goods, not just raw materials, are truly organic. Certifying organizations such as Oregon Tilth (OTCO) guarantee that products meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and other regulations to ensure that you are getting a truly organic product.   

It’s the only type of assurance that actually means anything. And at Lifekind®, it’s all we do.

Rowena, Product Specialist

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