What does “sustainable” really mean?
Wow, way to start with a loaded question. The textbook meaning is that sustainable businesses consider the “triple bottom line” of a product, which are the environmental, social and financial impacts. The goal being to create products that have limited impact on human health and the environment in the way they were manufactured, used, and disposed. Some would argue (as we even do sometimes) that it is nearly impossible for any consumer product to be truly sustainable. This is why we focus on sustainable practices and production. We are far from a sustainable industry, but we believe that the more we support sustainable efforts, like the ones employed by the companies we work with, healthier options will become more available and affordable.
Where do your products come from?
The material is sourced from the USA, Europe, India and Thailand. Most of our products are then hand or factory made in the USA.
What type of material is being used?
We focus primarily on natural fibers and dyes including organic cotton, hemp, wool, jute and linen. We also incorporate recycled and up-cycled materials when possible.
Who manufactures the material?
We choose companies that work with manufacturers that ensure fair trade, social enterprise, and strong environmental standards.
Who makes the product?
75% of the companies and individual makers we work with are based in the USA, and half of those are based in the Denver/Boulder area.
How do you obtain health and safety information?
We rely on the transparency of the companies and manufacturers we work with to provide us with health and safety information. Unfortunately, this means at time we do not have all the information we would like. As such, we make the best decisions we can with the information we have and avoid working with companies that cannot provide information adequately.
Do you source from China?
No, we don’t source from China for several environmental and social factors. In general we try to limit our sourcing outside of the US to reduce the energy used to ship materials and to avoid contaminates used when freighting material. Unfortunately, sometimes our vendors use products from China without our knowledge (or theirs) so on rare occasions, materials sourced from China may end up as part of our products.
Are all of your products certified organic?
No, we incorporate natural, recycled and up-cycled materials, many of which do not have specific certifications available.
Does being organic mean that no chemicals are used?
No, chemicals must be used during the process of turning a fiber into a fabric. However, GOTS certified organic textiles ensure that the chemicals used are proven to not harm humans or the environment. The only drawback to GOTS is that they do not certify all types of natural fibers. This is why we choose a range of fabrics for our collection.
Do you have the same standards for factory made and hand made items?
Not quite. We understand that it can be very difficult for individual Makers and local manufacturers to have access to the same materials at the same price point as larger companies. For example, some of our Makers choose to work with small sheep farms here in Colorado, and some of these farms might not have a sophisticated wastewater recycling system like the one you can find on a larger farm in a different part of the country. However, utilizing local resources and supporting local businesses is important to our sustainable mission and so we might allow this material as long as it follows our other human health and environmental criteria.
What do you use for packaging?
Most of our packaging is from EcoEnclose, a Colorado company specializing in recycled, biodegradable, and compostable packaging. We love this company and have the extra bonus of being able to pick up the product, avoiding more packaging and reducing carbon since it doesn’t have to be sent to us. We also incorporate gently used boxes when we can and reuse packaging products.
Do you make products in house?
Yes, we love making products especially custom pillows and wall hangings. We are almost ready to launch our in house line so stay tuned.
Where does the name BedStraw come from?
The name BedStraw comes from the plant, Ladies Bedstraw which was once used for stuffing mattresses and textile dying (and cheese making which is not really relevant but interesting if like cheese). For me Ladies Bedstraw is a call back to a time when we relied on materials that were inherently sustainable, rather than harmful and wasteful. We used natural resources with care and intention, we choose materials based on quality and aesthetics. BedStraw as a company views resources and materials in the same way, and we incorporate design principles embodied in the sustainable methods of our past.
What are your delivery options?
We offer standard domestic shipping based on weight. However, we also offer FREE delivery to all residents within Boulder, Colorado city limits, or you're welcome to pick-up from the studio located in North Boulder.