What is CiCLO and why is it in our Eucalyptus Comforter?
sustainability is our middle name
Just kidding, it's Ampersand.
As a sustainable bedding brand, we hold ourselves to a very high standard when it comes to the materials we use and our impact on the environment.
Eucalyptus Lyocell is the main ingredient in all of our bedding products. In fact, many of our products are exclusively made with Eucalyptus Lyocell: our 100% eucalyptus sheet sets, our duvet cover, and our heavy throw blanket, for example.
At times, we've made certain compromises in order to create a better product and that includes our comforter. Yes, there's polyester in our eucalyptus comforter. Before you faint or toss it in a bonfire, let us explain why we made this choice.
a short history of our comforter
The first version of our comforter was filled with 100% polyester. Not only is this not very sustainable, it also made the comforter very hot. We received feedback from the S&G Community on both issues, so we went back to the drawing board.
Our newish eucalyptus comforter (we released this one nearly two years ago) is filled with 50% eucalyptus lyocell and 50% polyester. The two fibers are thermally bonded for durability and for aesthetic reasons, i.e. so they don't bunch up in the wash or after a night of vigorous snoring.
Comfort-wise, this one strikes the perfect balance between hot and cold...so, warm and cozy without overheating you.
But what about the polyester fill? How is that sustainable? Two reasons.
The polyester in our comforter is recycled
The 50% polyester fill inside our comforter is recycled. It's made from repurposed plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill or in the ocean.
This is in contrast to virgin plastic or plastic bottles made for the express purpose of being "recycled." It's a real thing and we were just as appalled as you probably are right now. We opted to use existing plastic bottles in our comforter for obvious reasons.
The polyester in our comforter is biodegradable
You read that correctly (assuming you read "the polyester in our comforter is biodegradable").
How is this possible? Science. Maybe a little magic. We use an additive called CiCLO. It's an ingredient that's combined with the polyester during melt extrusion at the beginning of the fiber making process. Studies have shown that CiCLO helps polyester biodegrade at rates similar to wool.
From the CiCLO scientists:
"CiCLO additive creates millions of biodegradable spots in the matrix of the plastic, where microbes that naturally exist in certain environments can break down the materials just like they do with natural fibers."
In other words, thanks to this additive, the polyester in our comforter sheds NO microplastics. And we've gone on record for being against microplastics...so zero hypocrite points for us there.
There's huge potential for this type of technology, and we're thrilled to be able to use it in our bedding.
we try not to let perfect be the enemy of good
Is a 50% recycled, biodegradable polyester fill the perfect solution for us, for you, and for the planet? No. But it's good. In fact, we'd go so far as to say it's pretty great.
Those plastic bottles would sit in a landfill for hundreds of years if we didn't repurpose them. And the polyester fill would sit in a landfill for hundreds of years at the end of your comforter's life if we didn't add CiCLO to it. (Eucalyptus Lyocell biodegrades naturally and 40% faster than cotton.)
In the end, we're providing people with an all-season, cozy, soft, and sustainable comforter AND removing plastic from the environment. That feels like a win.
That said, we'll continue to iterate and improve on our products until they are as close to perfect as possible. We're always seeking out new technologies and developments to help us achieve this goal and keep our promise of putting sustainability first.
As always, if you have suggestions on how we can do better, don't hesitate to reach out.