If Textiles Could Talk: “I’m clean and green with nothing in between!”

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:

GardenKOWhy colorgrown cotton is great:

  • 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

Why Wool is Wonderful!

Here are eight fun facts about one of Lifekind’s favorite organic, ozone-sanitized fibers.

1.  Wool is the fiber of choice in desert environments to sustain natural climate control through the centuries.  The shape of the wool fibers creates air pockets to hold body heat for warmth in cool weather, and when it’s warm, the moisture-wicking properties trigger the body’s cooling system, like sweating to cool off on a hot day.


2.  The springy shape of the wool fiber helps to move moisture away (instead of absorbing it), creating natural mold and mildew resistance.

3.  According to the American Sheep Industry, “…one wool fiber can be bent back more than 20,000 times without breaking and is said to be comparatively stronger than steel new balance classic shoes
.” Wow, maybe Superman should rethink his suit!
4.  Wool fibers are able to absorb a wide range of frequencies, and dense layers can be packed into small spaces to effectively absorb sound, making it perfect for soundproofing.

5.  Thanks to testing done by University of Bochum in Germany nike air max trainers cheap
, it is confirmed that Merino wool has a UV protective factor (UVP) of 30+.   Upwards of 70% of samples had a UVP of 50+ (http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/mens-health/health/galleries/photo/-/14496251/the-wonders-of-wool-in-all-seasons/14496263/).


6.  Most wool allergies are actually reactions to lanolin, toxic chemicals used in processing/carding, or dermal (contact with skin) sensitivities.

7.  Wool is a natural fire retardant. The keratin proteins and high sulfur content of the outer cuticle layers in wool fibers cause more of char, or foaming, rather than bursting into flames.  Think about the last time a stray hair or corner of your nail burned new balance womens running shoes
.  It smells awful, sizzles, melts and singes, but will not burst into flames – thank you keratin!  Still not convinced?  Watch this burn test to see our organic wool in action!

8.  Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water (moisture) without feeling wet air jordan retro 3
.  Once again, the shape of this fiber is to credit for such amazing practicality.  The coil shape allows moisture to stay on each individual fiber while moving away from the source , which translates into absorption without the damp, clammy feel other natural fibers have.  That being said, anyone who has ever washed a wool sweater knows it also gets 30% heavier when wet.
Did I forget your favorite reason why wool is wonderful?  Comment below with your favorite fun facts.

Is There Baking Soda In My Mattress?

Fortunately knock on wood I have never experienced a stove fire. Yet I have always kept a box of baking soda in the cupboard above the stove, just in case. And while it’s true that baking soda has been used for many years to stave off fires, I was surprised to learn that it has also been used in mattresses. So when I asked the president of Lifekind, Walt Bader, his opinion on this subject, I got quite an explanation — and, I must say, a major education.bakingsoda

According to Walt:

“There are some mattress manufacturers that say baking soda is safe because we bake with it, brush our teeth with it, and, in the form of carbon dioxide, even put it in beverages. So how can it not be safe?

“Technically, we don’t breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2), we excrete it in our breath as a waste product. Re-breathing into a plastic bag can cause carbon dioxide poisoning. At higher levels you can experience panic, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, unconsciousness, or even death. And even though we’re talking about CO2, not baking soda, when baking soda is involved in a fire, it produces…guess what? Carbon dioxide. And it is absolutely possible to experience anoxia (total depletion in the level of oxygen) or asphyxiation from breathing CO2, which is created when harmless baking soda reacts to the heat of a fire.

“CO2 can kill you. In a fire environment, I am less concerned with CO2 reducing levels of oxygen than I am with the fact that it regulates breathing function because of changes in pH in the sleeper’s blood.

“This is why we use the more expensive option of wool as the only flame retardant in our mattresses.”


Travel plans this summer? Here are our top 7 essentials.

Summer can be a busy travel time. Since having children, gone are the days of grabbing the toothbrush, a change of clothes and some gas money, hopping in the car and driving off.

It’s nice to travel light, but remembering some key items that will make the trip simpler later is a valuable, learned skill.

These seven Lifekind products will simplify or enhance your traveling experience this summer, and they are all made in the USA!


1.     Keep it simple with our super-clean Personal Care Travel Kit, available in lavender or unscented. It’s lightweight and designed to meet airlines’ carry-on luggage restrictions.

Lifekind Organic Travel Pillow

2.   If car travel is in your plans, be ready with an Organic Cotton Travel Pillow or two.  Your passengers will thank you later.


3.   Keep an Organic Chenille Throw in your car all summer (along with the Travel Pillow), because you never know when you’ll need to wrap up after cooling down, at the beach for example. I like to keep a blanket in my car year round.

4.   If baby is in tow, you’ll need a Wool Moisture Protector Pad to protect guest beds. The 25×30” Puddle Pad is just the right size for travel, and will slip under any mattress pad and sheet.

Bath Ball Filter

5.   For bathing those babies at home or away, the Bath Ball Dechlorinator will remove over 90% of the chlorine in the bath. Just swirl it around in the water before your child gets in.

6.   Don’t settle for conventional chemical cleaners. Naturally Safer Laundry and Cleaning products come in convenient sample sizes, perfect for travel.


7.   Grab your favorite pillow on the way out the door. Don’t forget a camera, water bottle and healthy snacks, and you’ll be good to go.

Sleep for Detoxification

Moderation is my default setting. I’m always looking for that comfort zone: Love the heat and sun but must find shade; happy in the winter snow with enough gear to keep me warm; I eat whatever I feel like but not too much (mostly organic of course). This pattern has kept me happy as a clam and moderately healthy for years.


Sometimes I wonder if I might need to step it up and, you know, DETOX. It’s spring, no better time, right? I would do it if I had to… eat raw foods only or fresh juice for weeks, but that’s just not my thing. Remember this is me – medium me. If you enjoy a good spring cleanse all the more green power to you!!



Recently, I was listening to a health issues show on our local non-profit radio and the guest was a naturopathic practitioner who was answering callers’ questions. One question was, “what is a good detox diet?” Imagine my relief when she replied that she doesn’t recommend regular detox programs to people who are otherwise healthy. In fact good sleep was her remedy as our bodies go to work detoxifying at night, naturally. I’m thinking… sleep… I can do that. Not a problem.
detox rox


That got me to thinking about my quality of sleep, which is now a priority to address with my newly found resources here at Lifekind. Here’s my realistic, long-term detox plan:

  • Replace chemical bedding (automatically less toxins).
  • Continue to sleep 7-9 full hours each night.
  • Go to bed by 10:00 more often (according to Ayurvedic wisdom, an hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours after midnight. Also, the phase intended for detoxification is between 10pm and 2am.)


Here’s to your health!




Our biggest, most anticipated sale of the year is finally here.  Our 16th Annual White Sale will not disappoint, with up to 60% OFF select items plus free shipping on orders over $99.


Don’t wait till the end of January to take advantage of these great deals!

This year’s White Sale catalog introduces several new products at huge discounts.


Our new Organic Cotton Jacquard Bedding Collection has a delicate diamond white-on-white pattern.  The diamonds seem to shimmer in the light, adding a touch of beauty to the silky-soft material. Made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, they’re free of dyes or synthetic components. The collection contains sheets, pillowcases, and duvets.  Each piece is sold individually for your convenience. The pillowcases and flat sheet have a 7″ attached hem, and the fitted sheet is elasticized all the way around with 15″ pockets. These sheets are imported from India. The major reason I love them is because there’s no guess work when it comes to which direction to put the sheets on after I wash them. During the White Sale, the whole collection is 50% OFF.

We are also pleased to introduce two new items in our Baby Department.

Lifekind Dot Organic Crib Skirt

The first is our new Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt.  This dappled organic cotton percale bed skirt finishes the crib on a sweet and simple note. Fits standard cribs, with a 16″ ruffle. (Imported from India). I love this cute crib skirt because I can hide all my baby supplies under the crib and no one is the wiser!  During the White Sale, the Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt is 50% OFF.



Lifekind Organic Cotton Fleece BlanketThe second new baby item is the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket. Super-soft fleece makes this the perfect snuggling blanket, lightweight enough for swaddling. This snowy-white crib-size blanket is sure to become baby’s (and your) favorite, made in the USA from GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton. During the White Sale, the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket is 50% OFF.  (I recommend stocking up on these blankets – in my experience, you can never have enough swaddling blankets). Swaddling can help your baby stay calm and sleep better.  Here’s a great refresher, or if you’re learning for the first time, check out Babycenter.com on how to swaddle a baby.

I could write a whole blog on how helpful swaddling is. Warning: Don’t watch the swaddling video too many times, or it will make your biological clock tick:)

Along with these great new items, we also have awesome staple items on sale.  Here is a list of just a few of our customer favorites:

  • Organic Cotton Youth Robe   60% OFF


Don’t forget:  Mattresses are on sale too!  Now is the perfect time to order the organic mattress you’ve always dreamed of. During our White Sale, you can purchase a top-of-the-line organic mattress for 20% off plus free shipping.  So what are you waiting for? Order online or call 1-800-284-4983 today!


Behind the Scenes: Where in the World is Lifekind?

Here at Lifekind, we’re blessed to be able to work in a beautiful part of the world. Our little town of Grass Valley is located in Northern California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s part of the “gold country,” or Mother Lode, region to which thousands of people came from all over the world during the 1849 Gold Rush. Grass Valley was the richest town in all the Mother Lode — at least if you talk to local historians. The Empire, its most profitable mine, operated until 1957, and is now a popular state park.

Most of the mining is over now, but vestiges remain. The Lifekind offices are located on the site of the Crown Point Mine, and rusted mining equipment and remnants of an old stone wall overlook our parking area. Our corporate offices are here, along with our warehouse, from which we send out smaller items such as sheets, pillows, and personal-care products. (Mattresses, pillow tops, and other made-to-order items are sent from our factory, in Yuba City, 40 miles away.)

Stone wall behind Lifekind’s office


Grass Valley’s Victorian downtown, oak-covered hills, river canyons, and vibrant arts and cultural scene are major tourist draws, but there’s a fair amount of manufacturing here, too – especially high-tech and video-systems equipment. We’re surrounded by Tahoe National Forest, and our more cosmopolitan neighbor, Nevada City, is right next door. We can leave in the morning and be in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, or Yosemite by lunch. It’s a good place to live.


All that AND being able to work at an organic company that’s truly making a difference in the world. What’s not to love?     🙂

What to do if the lights go out

I just spent my weekend in the quiet and candlelight… because the storms we had here in Northern California knocked my power out!

Here at the office, everyone knows to ask me if they have a question about the weather. Not only is my heavily-treed neighborhood very susceptible to power outages, I also try to keep an eye on winter storms across the country because they can directly affect our customers’ mattress deliveries.

Thankfully our town was spared major destruction, and the flooded areas drained once the rain stopped.  But, we are heading into another week of heavy rains, and even though I am ready for it, a friend called who’d been a bit more unprepared. He was without charged flashlight batteries or emergency candles, and was using his cell phone to light his way. It got me thinking: What are the most useful things to have on hand when modern life is interrupted by Mother Nature’s plans?

10 important ways to be prepared if you lose power during a storm:

1. Before the storm arrives, bring outside items inside if they could be picked up by the wind.  If they’re too big to be brought in the house, make sure they’re secured so they don’t blow around and cause more damage.

2. Clear gutters of debris so your roof can drain properly, diminishing the chances of your house flooding.

3.  Fill the gas tank in at least one car so you’re sure to have transportation even if you can’t get to a gas station or the lines are long.

4. Store important documents — passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and deeds — in a watertight container, and make sure you know where it is.

Keep the following items on hand:

5. A three-day supply of water and food, allowing one gallon of water per person per day. Make sure foods are non-perishable and high in energy, such as canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, peanut butter and jelly, salt-free crackers, energy or protein bars, trail mix or nuts, dry cereal, and cookies or other comfort foods. (Don’t forget the can opener!)

6. Flashlights with extra batteries.

7. A battery-powered radio or weather radio, also with extra batteries.

8. A first aid kit that includes latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; and petroleum jelly. (In my case, I would also add Rescue Remedy flower-essence blend!)

9. Cell phones and chargers.

10.  Warm clothes and blankets stored in watertight containers.

For more tips and complete emergency preparedness lists, visit the American Red Cross, and Federal Emergency Management Agency online.

Behind-the-Scenes at Lifekind: Warehouse Edition

I just walked back to the warehouse, and was greeted with a mountain of boxes getting shipped out today. Since I sit in a different department it is always fun to see the fruits of our labors headed out to our customers across the country.

Data Entry supervisor Lola, checking orders for accuracy

So what happens when you place an online order? After you hit “submit” and our data entry department processes it (yes, we still process every order by hand so nothing gets missed!), the order gets sent back to our warehouse to be packed and shipped. Michelle, our warehouse supervisor, has been with Lifekind for more than 10 years, and she runs a tight ship. Each order is pulled by hand, double checked by a different person, and then triple checked again before being packed for safe transport.

Our warehouse supervisor, Michelle

You may notice when you get an order from Lifekind that the box is lined with Kraft paper, with your products packed neatly inside with corn-based biodegradable packing peanuts. Before taping the box up, our warehouse staff even secure a piece of cardboard inside the box to make sure you don’t accidentally pierce your order if you open the box with a knife. I know the first time I saw Michelle pack an order, I was impressed with how efficient she is, and how nice her boxes always look.

Once the order is packed and run through the UPS computer, the package is checked again to make sure that the shipping details are correct and that if there are multiple boxes, they are all included in the shipment. We then notify the order entry department that your order has been shipped, and it isn’t until then that your card gets charged for your order. We do it this way in case something comes up (say an item is back-ordered, or you make a last-minute addition to your order) so you are getting charged only for what gets shipped to you.

Double checking shipping addresses

And now you have had a little peek behind-the-scenes at Lifekind. Even better though, make sure you put “Hi Michelle” in as a promo code the next time you place an online order over $99, and we’ll ship it to you for free (offer expires 12/2/12. Some exclusions apply). Interested in more Lifekind behind-the-scenes? What would you like to see?

How do you tell when you need a new pillow?

We all have a favorite pillow on our bed that we love and gravitate toward. Mine has a special pillow cover, so I know exactly which one it is. It started out so nice and tall, and slowly, over time, became as flat as a pancake without my even realizing how much it was changing.

It got me thinking: How do we really know whether a pillow is right for us or when it’s time to replace it?

Here are some questions that can help you determine when it’s time to replace that beloved pillow. A “Yes” answer to any question is a good indicator it may be time to move on:

Is your pillow misshapen or lumpy?

Place it on a flat surface. Rather than laying flat,  do you notice lumps or a misshapen surface?

Does your pillow fail the “force test”?

For latex pillows, place your hand in the center of the pillow and push down. Is there sufficient resistance, or does your hand go all the way down to the surface underneath?

For down pillows, fold them in half and then let them go. Natural-down pillows should slowly regain their shape, while synthetic down should spring back quickly. If they don’t, it may be time to move on.

Do you ache when you wake up in the morning?

Did you buy your pillow more than 24 months ago?

Do you wake frequently to readjust your pillow or change your head’s position?

Having an inadequate or uncomfortable pillow can cause pain and prevent a restful night’s sleep. If your neck or back hurt, it may mean your pillow isn’t properly supporting your neck throughout the night.  If you wake up periodically to readjust your head, it’s also reducing the amount of rest you’re getting. Without good, deep sleep, it can be harder to function throughout the day.

Discovery News posted an article explaining why pillows become heavier as they age: “With just two years of use, one-third of a pillow’s weight is comprised of dead skin cells, bugs, and dust mites and their droppings.”  (For more information on what may be inside your pillow, visit Discovery News at http://news.discovery.com/human/pillow-insides-110627.html.)

I found that my pillow was in need of replacement, so I made sure to get a healthful and comfortable one from Lifekind. I chose the Wool-Wrapped Shredded Rubber Pillow, along with an Organic Cotton Pillow Barrier Cover.  Now I sleep peacefully through the night, and I love my new favorite pillow. I’m also glad to have the barrier cover so I don’t have to worry about it getting dingy or being full of things I’d rather not mention or even think about.

If you’ve determined that you need to replace your favorite pillow, give us a call or visit  www.lifekind.com so we can help you find a new one!

Next Week: How to select your perfect pillow