WHY ORGANIC COTTON?
Conventionally grown cotton occupies only three percent of the world’s farmland, but uses 25 percent of the world’s chemical insecticides and fertilizers. It is the most chemical intensive crop on the planet. Unbelievable but it’s true, it takes 2 lbs. of chemicals to produce 1 lb. of cotton. Conventional cotton also uses numerous toxic chemicals at each stage–silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, heavy metals, ammonia and formaldehyde–to name a few. The health of conventional cotton farmers, consumers and the planet are all negatively impacted by these chemicals.
Organic farmers rely on practices like crop rotation, beneficial insects, and composting, not chemicals, to grow their cotton. Organic farmers use only untreated seeds. Things like, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are strictly prohibited. There are no toxic chemicals used in the processing of their cotton. The chemicals needed for conventional cotton are costly and a lot of farmers find themselves in a cycle of debt to produce their crops. Organic farmers are paid a fair price for their product which allows them to thrive and build a healthy community free from toxic chemicals. They are able to spend money on things like educating their children and safe water supplies. Their healthy practices make a positive impact on the overall health of our planet – which ultimately impacts our health as a world population. We can make a difference with what we choose to live with in our homes. Support organic farmers by choosing organic cotton.
WHAT DOES GOTS CERTIFICATION MEAN?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world-wide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, The aim of the standard is to define global requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.
WHY IS HEMP ECO- FRIENDLY?
Hemp grows like a weed so it can easily be grown without the use of harmful toxic pesticides and fertilizers. It has a deep root system that maintains soil fertility and prevents erosion making it a great rotation crop. It’s one of the strongest of all naturally occurring fibers and can help reduce our dependency on petrochemicals and conventionally grown cotton. We think hemp is a beautiful thing.
HOW IS ALPACA SUSTAINABLE?
Alpaca fiber is a natural fiber known for its sublime softness. We have partnered with yarn suppliers who are dedicated to protecting the environment in the Peruvian highlands where the alpacas are raised. They make sure there is one alpaca per acre which minimizes the impact on the environment and allows grazed pasture to regenerate. The alpacas are sheared every 12 months with no harm to the animals. The fiber is then hand sorted and dyed with eco-friendly dyes. We are very happy to be working with such conservationists and are thrilled at the superior quality of their yarns and the beauty of their deep, saturated colors. We are committed to our use of natural fibers that are grown under sustainable practices or organic certification. We believe that everything we can do to create our products in harmony with nature makes a difference.
WHAT IS PREMIUM ECO-WOOL?
Local Sourcing: Wool is sourced only from small sheep farmers in the U.S. This year most of the wool is coming from small farmers along the West Coast. This is quite a political issue, since most of the wool used in the U.S. is imported from New Zealand and Australia, greatly undermining our own local farms and economy.
Sustainability Guidelines: All of the U.S. farmers who sign onto the Premium Eco-Wool program are educated in sustainable farming practices that are good for both the people, the land and the animals. In turn, for following these sustainable principles the farmers are paid twice the amount they would receive in the general wool pool. It is a win win situation for everyone and a great example of how what is good for the environment is also good for the economy.
Clean Wool: Not all wool is the same. It depends on the machinery. Our wool mill uses additional breakers and carders to produce an incredibly clean wool that is dust free and virtually vegetable matter free. We have seen a lot of wool over the years and you would be surprised at what passes for good wool.
About Organic Wool: We do offer a few products that use organic wool, but we believe the Eco-Wool is currently the better product. The majority of organic wool that is available in the U.S. market suited for making bedding comes from New Zealand and Australia. While it is great that there is a growing market of organic wool, we believe that local wool which supports small U.S. farmers and creates U.S. jobs is far more advantageous than a certified organic wool- especially considering that there is a rigorous program to ensure the wool is produced sustainably. Our wool is currently working on promoting organic wool from U.S. sources.
WHAT MAKES AN ECO-FRIENDLY DYE ?
All of our dyes are water-based and contain no toxins or heavy metals. Our eco-friendly dyes for our alpaca wool products are made in Switzerland.They are low impact and comply with Switzerland’s strict guidelines for eco-friendly products.
WHAT TYPE OF PACKAGING DO YOU USE?
Amenity products are packaged in a biodegradable cellulose bag with informational cards printed on recycled paper. Amenity no longer mails printed catalogs, opting for an email only format. We are aiming to leave the lightest possible footprint. When we do provide packaging and marketing materials we love working with greenerprinter.com!
Amenity is committed to reducing waste wherever possible. You will most likely receive your order in a pre-used box. If not, it will be in a box made of recycled materials. All packing materials are either pre-used or recycled and we encourage you to re use these materials for your own future use. Please recycle!
WHY ARE RECLAIMED WOODS BENEFICIAL?
We believe in the idea that something old can be used again. Our exclusive use of vintage reclaimed wood has many advantages; the grain of the timber with its tight growth rings shows the superior density of the wood from ancient trees, and the natural, aged patina and color of the old-growth timber is preserved in the manufacturing process, giving the furniture a look and feel that cannot be replicated in new wood. Much of the reclaimed wood was originally harvested and milled 50-100 years ago and has been seasoned in Sunny California for decades, which gives the wood unparalleled stability which combined with our craftsmanship, makes exceptionally solid furniture.
We are losing more than 137 species of plants and animals every single day because of rain-forest deforestation. Toxic paints and finishes are among the leading cause of indoor air pollution which according to the EPA, is one of the top 5 hazards of human health.
We strive to make beautiful furniture in the most sustainable way. We do not use tropical hardwoods, MDF or toxic glues. We use low VOC finishers and non-toxic stains. All woods are reclaimed from local sources, reducing clear cutting, landfill use and air pollution. No trees are harmed in our manufacturing process. Our local manufacturing leaves a far lighter environmental impact than imported furniture.
WHAT DOES FSC-CERTIFIED MEAN?
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
Certification is a way to verify to consumers they are supporting practiced forestry consistent with FSC standards. Independent, certification organizations are accredited by FSC to carry out assessments of forest management to determine if standards have been met. These certifiers also verify that companies claiming to sell FSC certified products have tracked their supply back to FSC certified sources. This chain of custody certification assures that consumers can trust the FSC label.
In many forests around the world, logging still contributes to habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples, and violence against people who work in the forest and the wildlife that dwells there. Forest Stewardship Council certification is one way to improve the practice of forestry. It’s our social responsibility to become good stewards to our forests.
We can all make a difference with the way we live and what we surround ourselves with in our homes. Creating products that benefit the whole and bring a sense of soul and beauty to the home is what Amenity is all about.