Part one of our series celebrating Coyuchi’s 30th anniversary looked at their proud legacy of bringing quality bedding to California, the United States, Canada, and beyond. But Coyuchi offers an even greater legacy to workers, retailers, customers, and the planet. By continuously working toward reducing their environmental impact and improving working conditions for the people who produce their incredible products, Coyuchi is committed to holistically making a difference in the world. Today, we’re taking a look at how small changes can have a big effect, and big changes can trigger a global shift toward sustainability.
Coyuchi was founded by Christine Nielson while working on a community development project growing pesticide-free crops in Mexico; with that foundation, it makes perfect sense that the company would continue to pursue sustainable and socially responsible practices throughout its history. And while their goal was never to seek out recognition, it came anyways, and quite quickly at that, with a UN Environment Programme Award bestowed just three years after the company was founded.
Why would the United Nations bother giving an award for sustainability to a bedding company? It turns out, textile manufacturing is one of the harshest polluters in the world. From water consumption to water pollution, from microplastics in the oceans to non-biodegradable materials plugging up landfills, fabric can be terrible for the planet. But it doesn’t have to be.
In addition to growing organic cotton, the UN award celebrated Coyuchi’s achievement of producing colour tinted cotton fibres without the use of chemicals, which eliminated harmful dyes from the manufacturing process that often end up in waterways. It was a small step but it was just the beginning.
During their early period, Coyuchi continued to conduct research to learn more about how their bedding could be produced with less impact on the environment while ensuring that workers had access to fair wages and safe working conditions. In 2006, Coyuchi formed a partnership with Chetna Organic, an organization in India that works with communities to make textile farming more sustainable, with a focus on women and children. A short time later, Coyuchi became a part of Textile Exchange, a nonprofit that focuses on mitigating climate change by helping manufacturers discover better materials and practises. Membership in other uplifting organizations would follow, including OTA Fiber Board, 1% for the Planet, The Renewal Workshop, and the Climate Beneficial Wool Program (check out the incredibly beautiful climate beneficial wool blanket), among others. Each of these memberships helped Coyuchi products to become more sustainable for people and the planet.
As Coyuchi became an established brand, their positive ecological and humanitarian efforts would start to be recognized in a different way: certifications. The influence of reliable certifications cannot be understated: retailers (like Resthouse) and consumers often rely on third-party, independent certifications to verify whether manufacturer claims are truthful or not. Beginning in 2013, Coyuchi started to accrue recognition from global organizations that confirmed the quality and reduced impact of their luxury bedding.
First came Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), an extremely stringent certifier that looks at all aspects of the supply chain and awards certification using the highest standards. Next was Fair Trade certification, which balances human and environmental impacts, and MadeSafe, which seeks to eliminate harmful toxins from consumer goods. Then came a certification close to the Resthouse heart: Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). The GOLS standard guarantees that the latex in the core of so many luxury mattresses and pillows, is organic, free of harmful chemicals or adulterants, and produced in a socially responsible manner, which is of paramount concern to so many Resthouse customers.
Speaking of Resthouse...
By the time Resthouse was ready to bring new suppliers on board in 2017, Coyuchi had built such a bold legacy and ironclad reputation that the choice was obvious. Of Coyuchi, co-owner Chris Manley says, “You can rest assured and feel good that your purchase is doing good. It’s as simple as that.” And Chris puts his money where his mouth is: his own bedroom is filled with Coyuchi products. “They are inspiring from a values perspective and a responsible business perspective—they are accountable and transparent,” Chris says, which makes it oh so easy to recommend Coyuchi every day in the Resthouse showroom and online at resthousesleep.com.
The team at Resthouse congratulates Coyuchi on 30 years of progress bringing better products (and better sleep) to our community. We can’t wait to see what innovations they come up with next.