College is a great time to experiment (with bedding)
Oh, college. That wonderful time when we had our first taste of freedom, obscene amounts of down time, and absolutely no money.Because we were broke (and partly because mom wasn’t around to do our laundry), we opted for jersey sheets – the old, broken-in T-shirt of bedding. Jersey sheets are nice because they’re wrinkle-resistant, low maintenance, and super soft.
Now that we’re a little older and a little wiser, it’s time to put away the jersey sheets for something just as wrinkle-resistant, soft, and easy to care for but also sustainably made. That’s right, we’re talking about Grass Bedding. Ever wanted to sleep on your lawn? Now you can!™️
We’re kidding. Obviously. S&G Grass Sheets won’t be available until late 2021 (they take awhile to grow)*. We’re talking about our 100% Eucalyptus Lyocell sheets.
But for now, let's talk about why jersey sheets should be left in the dorm room along with the 6” mattress, polyester pillows, and fairy lights.
*This is also a joke. Forgive us.
What Is Jersey Made From?
Way back in medieval times when jersey was first developed, it was made from wool, but technological innovations have led to the use of synthetic fibers and cotton instead. Why? Because cotton jersey is less expensive than wool, and synthetic fibers make the fabric more durable.
Today, most jersey sheets are made using cotton blended with synthetics.
The problem with jersey sheets
We’ve already discussed the environmental drawbacks of conventionally-grown cotton in a previous blog post, so we won’t bore you with the details. You can bore yourself by reading the post here.
The problems with synthetics are well known: From the environmental consequences caused by the mass emission of microplastics in our oceans and landfills to the fact that they require thousands of chemicals to produce and collect even more “by-products, residues or chemicals...during transport.” Gross.
Even semi-synthetic blends pose a problem. Jersey is often blended with Modal, a semi-synthetic beech-tree fabric. Although the material is made from plants, the production process includes soaking the fabric in chemicals like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfate, which can be environmentally destructive.
S&G Eucalyptus Lyocell sheets are sustainably made from eucalyptus trees in a closed-loop process that reuses nearly 100% of the water and solvents used. We employ two NGOs to ensure there’s no wastewater runoff and that our farms are responsibly-managed and biodiverse. We also plant a tree for every order. Guess you could say we have a little crush on Mother Earth. Shh, don't tell.
But, wrinkle-resistant is good, right?
Not really. Fabrics derived from cotton, rayon, or linen that advertise themselves as wrinkle-resistant have been treated with chemical additives like urea or formaldehyde. So jersey sheets achieve their wrinkle-resistance through either chemical additives or blending with synthetics.
Our eucalyptus sheets are wrinkle-resistant, but without the use of chemicals or synthetics. We discussed this in a previous blog post, as well, including reasons why S&G opted against the wrinkle-resistant treatment. The short answer is because we chose a few wrinkles over a whole bunch of unnecessary chemicals.
Washing jersey sheets
Manufacturers recommend washing jersey knit sheets in cold water to avoid shrinkage. While cold water prevents shrinkage (well, not in all cases), it isn’t very hygienic. You need warm to hot water to get rid of dust mites, bacteria, and other nasty bed sheet freeloaders. The catch is if you wash jersey sheets in hot water you can damage them. (It’s a good thing our immune systems were in their prime back in college.)
For the record, you can wash eucalyptus sheets in cold water without worrying about dust mites or bacteria build-up. That’s because eucalyptus sheets are 1.) Zero static. They don’t attract dust, dirt, and pet hair the way jersey sheets and other fabrics do. 2.) They’re moisture-wicking. Instead of trapping moisture, which breeds bacteria, they absorb it, spread it out, and allow it to evaporate quickly.
congradulationsIf you're looking to graduate from college bedding, check out our eucalyptus sheets. They're just as soft and cozy, but they're also responsibly sourced and sustainably made.
And if you're still attached to your jersey sheets, well, that's okay, too. Maybe when it's time to replace them you'll give eucalyptus the ol' college try.