Posted by: A Part of the Solution | February 15, 2010

Towels and Bathrobes

I have a fabulous source for my organic linens. The folks at the Organic Mattress Store sent me to Suite Sleep (suitesleep.com) for them. Suite Sleep understands that as a hospitality pro, I have different needs than householders shopping for themselves. Suite Sleep does mattresses– mostly to the trade. But they also have a modest selection of high quality, open stock (I don’t have to buy ‘sets’) organic linens.

And they were able to work with me to bring me organic towels–700 gram weight (per square meter, very luxe, 400 gram weight is standard)–since I’m just nuts about organic cotton. And no, before you wonder too hard, most of my clothes are not of organic cotton. What they are is second hand.

No one has to put more pesticides onto the soil of the Earth to keep me in jeans. Part of being Green is reducing resource use by reusing whatever has already been made. And I’m cost conscious enough, when it comes to not-very-durable goods like clothes, to want to spend just as little as I can. But all this folds no laundry….

We have a teensy water condition on this farm. There’s enough manganese (the element that makes rose quartz a good strong pink at 9ppm) in our water that nothing washed here over time will stay white. Adding bleach to the water only reacts with the manganese violently and results in a bad, homemade tie-dye as well as being offensive to my chemical sensitivities (I’m sensitive to the idea of adding poisons to my immediate environment).

So I’ve purchased organic bed linens in blue and natural. And I’ve bought organic towels in natural. And I’ve bought organic bathmats (not available from Suite Sleep, but sufficiently luxe to meet my criteria) in natural. And then I hit the wall. Bath sheets? Or Bathrobes?

My start-up budget is not infinite. I’d always planned to have the best organics I could lay my hands on, at the best price I could scout. Even so, I can have bath sheets or bathrobes in my first year or two of business, but I can’t stretch to both. That’s why I’ve been polling the various persons with whom I’m in regular contact. Nearly universally, the votes were for the bathrobes.

Affordable (as in less than $150 each) organic, cotton bathrobes are available almost exclusively in white. I went up the Information Superhighway and back down again most of today trying to find products of the quality upon which I insist at a price I wouldn’t regret for the rest of their serviceable  life. And not in white. If I visited one site, I saw twenty.

Then I decided to look the other way and go ahead and get the darned things for more than I wanted to pay and way, way less than I could buy anything calling itself a robe at Coyuchi (coyuchi.com) or Rawganique (rawganique.com). Don’t get me wrong: when I decide to upgrade to maximum Michelin stars, those are the places where I’ll start shopping.  Until then, just you wait until you get here and have a chance to experience what I did choose!

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