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Organic & Fair Trade Bedding - Review

Write By: rach Published In: Ethical and Eco Living Created Date: 2017-06-27

I've been looking for the right organic & fair trade doona cover and pillowslips for years now, after many op-shop bedding searches failing. To me, everything available in Australia that met my ethical standards was either too plain or ugly. That ended when I found West Elm!

I have finally discovered what has become in my mind a rare and precious item: ethical bedding that actually looks good! West Elm is the winner. They have a range of organic cotton and fair trade certified bedding with beautiful prints and designs. I'll share my review of a set I bought and have been using below.

West Elm started in Brooklyn (USA) and are still based there, so the stock in their Australian online store carries certification by Fair Trade USA. Their bedding is made in Pakistan (their factories in Pakistan are certified as fair trade by Fair Trade USA), and their organic cotton is certified by GOTS - rock solid! And they actually produce a large range of fair trade homewares and furniture in addition to bedding, pretty cool.

Take a look at some of their offerings:

Nice, huh? At the very least, their options are a nice change from the ethical but super plain alternatives that I have found. 

MY REVIEW

I bought the bedding shown in the first photo above - the half-moon quilt cover with 2 standard (non-European) pillow-slip covers - from the Australian West Elm store. I've been using it for a few weeks now, and am really enjoying it. It's high quality and well-made, feels nice, was delivered quickly and with minimal packaging (I don't think there was any plastic, either - can't fully remember though), and was a fair price at about $190 AUD including shipping. Running Fairtees, I understand the true cost of fair trade and organic clothing, so I was very happy to pay this amount, knowing it was giving a good income to workers and had a much more minimal impact on both the environment (compared to conventional, non-organic cotton production) and human health of the farmers and factory workers who came into contact with it on its way through the supply chain. I also know it will last me a long time, and just keep getting softer with use. I can't think of any cons of this bedding, to be honest. 

FAIR TRADE

West Elm have a goal to build the percentage of their fair trade items on offer - currently 20% of all of their items on offer are fair trade. They are moving to double this to 40% by 2019 - very exciting!

ORGANIC

40% of West Elm's all-cotton bedding is currently certified organic. West Elm are growing this to 100% organic for their all-cotton bedding in 2017!! This is certified by GOTS and OCS. 

FACTORIES

West Elm factories in India & Pakistan provide their workers with premiums - it's not clear whether a living wage is being paid but if not, it sounds to me like they are working towards providing this (Stanley & Stella, the clothing brand Fairtees stocks, are also working towards payment of a living wage in garment factories, with assistance from the Fair Wear Foundation). See here for a blog by West Elm USA showing the working conditions in one of their factories in India.

See below for an infographic about West Elm's fair trade story so far: 

Please note: Neither myself nor Fairtees are being compensated in any way by West Elm for this review. It is borne only out of a love of sharing good fair trade & organic products :) - Rach

LINKS:

West Elm USA Fair Trade offerings (they stock more options than the Australian store)

West Elm USA information on Organic production

West Elm's commitment to Fair Trade 

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