One way to avoid being duped, is to avoid cotton entirely...
The Egyptian Cotton Scandal
Renowned for long threads, quality, and softness... As a consumer, when you spend a premium buying "Egyptian Cotton" bed linen, there is an assumption that it is genuine...
Unfortunately it has become a fairly standard industry practice for cotton producer to lie about the origin or blend with poor quality cotton. This is in a large part due to a lack of regulation, but is driven by dishonest businesses chasing profits.
Customers being tricked into buying "Egyptian Cotton" is very well documented and still goes on today.
But Egyptian Cotton is made in Egypt, right?
Well, wrong... This comes down to economics. Given the popularity of its cotton, Egypt is unable to produce enough cotton to keep up with demand. Lower global cotton prices and the removal of government cotton farming subsidies means that Egyptian cotton production is at historic lows (over 80% less than 10 years ago). This is in spite of consumer demand for luxury bed linen being at an all time high...
So if it isn't being grown in Egypt, then where is it grown? Well, usually it's grown in China and is labelled as long-staple, luxury Egyptian cotton by the manufacturers. They're more than happy to cut corners in order to maximise profits. So it's quite possible that the luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets you carefully selected and spent a lot of money on may not contain a single thread of Egyptian cotton.
Organic Cotton, Egyptian Cotton or Eucalyptus TENCEL™?
A previously coveted fabric, Egyptian cotton is rapidly losing its appeal given that less than 1% of the "Egyptian cotton" was grown anywhere near Egypt. Organic cotton has been making a rise, mainly by environmentally conscientious consumers that still want cotton bed linen, but want more reassurance over the production quality.
However, neither Egyptian Cotton nor organic cotton compare to Eucalyptus in terms of suitability or luxury for your bed linen. Some things to consider:
- Our 100% TENCEL™ is made from Eucalyptus trees in Austria. They're renewably grown on sustainably managed, responsibly governed farms which in no way deplete natural Eucalyptus forests.
- Naturally softer, more breathable, and more absorbent (hygienic) than cotton.
- Sustainably made. We use approximately 95% less water and far less land than the equivalent cotton sheet. That saves around 5 years' worth of drinking water vs a cotton set.
- Hypoallergenic, zero static, with zero herbicides or pesticides used in production.
Things to look out for when shopping for your bed linen
- Find a smaller brand where there is full disclosure and traceability of the thread (whether it is organic cotton, linen or Eucalyptus).
- Long Staple Fibres, because the short staple threads will cause the fabric to pill and bobble over time/.
- Fairtrade or BSCI certification to ensure that farmers and factory workers are paid a proper living wage, have safe working conditions and importantly that the factories are free from child labour and slavery.
Check out our blog about how we make our bed linen out of Eucalyptus!