All products bearing an organic label need to pass very strict inspections of every stage of their production. The governing body for organic cotton is the Global Organic Textile Standard. The Standard requires no pesticide use, no added chemicals, a clean growing environment, and dignified working conditions for everyone involved.
This is really hard for cotton because it's traditionally the most heavily poisoned crop on the planet.
Cotton grows on bushes. Little cotton balls develop inside leafy casings. These little cotton balls are fluffy and warm and safe and everywhere you want to be if you are a bug laying eggs. You can understand why heavy pesticide spraying might be desirable.
It gets worse, though. Those casings surrounding the cotton balls? There's not really a great machine for getting those off. So, to harvest cotton, people drive giant lawn mowers over whole rows of bushes. The debris (cotton, casing, sticks and all) is then soaked in an acid that melts everything except the cotton balls. The cotton just absorbs it alongside all the pesticides. Fun!
That's how you get t-shirt material. Not Sunshine organic mattress material. How do we do it?
We have a relationship with a sea island community that farms extra long staple cotton. We pay top dollar for consistent access to pretty much the only clean cotton on Earth. The extra long staple means that every strand of fiber in those cotton balls is significantly longer, so the cotton goes further, and it's economical to pick by hand for a fair wage. The cotton is grown without pesticides. No mass mowing or acid baths. Your health is important, so clean materials are our highest priority.
At Sunshine Mattress Co. we take great care to earn one of the most difficult organic certifications there is. It's worth it.
Latex literally grows on trees. It's true! I know, right?
Latex is a botanical term. It means any milky substance you find in a plant. About 10% of plants that have flowers will also have latex.
Different species of latex have different uses. Dandelion latex, for example, is completely worthless. That's why it's a weed. But chicle tree latex is used in chewing gum. Opium poppy latex is used in medicine. Rubber tree latex has been used for more than a hundred years as the main ingredient in everything that bounces or stretches.
You have to add a few plastics and petrochemicals to get those latex gloves or cat suits you might be associating with the word. We don't add those. We just take massive amounts of the purest, highest quality rubber tree latex in the world, whip it into froth, and bake it into the finest mattress foam ever invented.
Organic is a tightly regulated consumer protection term that guarantees a product or substance has no added chemicals and was grown in clean conditions. The Global Organic Latex Standard also has rules about human rights and the working conditions of everyone involved. Ask to see a certificate from anyone claiming their rubber tree latex is organic. Like the one Sunshine proudly displays.
Rubber tree latex foam is a wonder material. It's open cell, so it's cool and breathable. It has one ingredient instead of the hundreds in memory foam, so it doesn't "break in" over time. Living latex protects plants from moulds and mites and things. Baked latex foam maintains those properties so you don't have to suffer from any pesticides or fungicides in your mattress.
Each rubber tree can safely give 15ml of latex per day. It takes thousands of these contributions to produce a mattress. You know how when you eat thousands of oranges, some of them are sweeter than others? Latex is like that too. Some 15ml trickles are thicker or stickier, and some are thinner and more watery. Thicker trickles yield firm foam. Thinner latex gives soft foam.
And it's all 100% natural.
The very best way to sleep is on your back, on the floor, with your palms facing the ceiling. You have a thin roll pillow under your neck and under your knees. Nobody does this.
Really, the most important sleep advice is just to get some. You're at the mercy of your preferences, which have been developed over your entire life and won't change easily. Some people get their 8 hours in a horrible twisted posture with their necks bent 90 degrees sideways on a giant pillow. And that's OK!
What's not OK is that your mattress is the single most toxic piece of furniture you own.
Everything off gases a little bit. As things wear, their molecules break off the whole and bond with carbon atoms in the air, forming millions of miscellaneous volatile organic compounds. Man made chemicals are especially notorious for this because they are more likely to form unidentified gases. They're also the most harmful, because no furniture additive was ever designed to be inhaled or absorbed into our bloodstreams.
Mattresses off gas a lot. They have added pesticides, fungicides, and flame retardants. Their base is usually polyurethane, which would emit VOCs with or without that toxic soup. Every day every factory mattress emits a small but measurable amount of toxic gas. They're the worst item in your home and the only item you press your entire body against and breathe deeply on for hours at a time every single day.
Luckily, Sunshine sells chemical free organic beds. They're made of certified organic rubber tree latex, sheep's wool and cotton. That's it. That's all. That's amazing.
If you have a chemical sensitivity, an organic mattress will be an obvious improvement to your life. Relief from these chemicals will allow to sleep soundly and healthily for the first time in a long time.
If you don't have a sensitivity, you'll still benefit from knowing your mattress is doing absolutely everything it can to help you. Sleep is the one time in our life that we can't make any unhealthy choices. You should work to maximize that time. An organic bed gives you peace of mind and certain knowledge that you truly are getting the very best sleep you can get.
You're in a school play, but you're backstage. There are black curtains all around you that you are forbidden to touch. They're special theatre curtains coated with flame retardants so that they don't catch fire under the hot stage lights. These flame retardants are poisonous and will cling to your skin.
You've got the same stuff in your mattress, eh?
Safety laws mandate that mattresses pass a cigarette test. If some fool lights a cigarette in bed and passes out, that cigarette must be able to burn down to the butt and extinguish itself without starting a house fire. Every year mattress companies across Canada drag samples out to the parking lot and throw lit cigarettes on them. Most of them pass because they add copious amounts of toxic flame retardants, because THAT'S still legal!
A Sunshine organic bed uses organic wool instead. Organic sheep's wool is self-extinguishing. Naturally, this costs more than poison, so you don't see anybody else using it.
It's important that the wool is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Sheep produce and collect a waxy substance called lanolin in their wool. It protects the sheep from bug bites, we think. When wool is harvested for clothes and things, it's typically processed in a way that washes off the lanolin. That lanolin is precious as a natural flame retardant, and the way it naturally distributes across organic wool guarantees that our mattresses will pass safety tests chemical free.
As a bonus, sheep's wool is a great thermal regulator. Wool sweaters take warmth from your armpits and spread it everywhere across your arms and torso. A wool topped mattress takes heat from your overheating body and dilutes it across the whole surface of the bed. As a result, on a Sunshine organic bed, you'll warm up faster in the winter and sleep cool in the summer.
Wool is also the perfect moisture wicker. It can absorb 30% of its weight in water and still feel bone dry. If you or your partner sweats at night, a wool topped mattress is absolutely the solution you want.
What do we say to toxic flame retardants? BAA!
Do you feel the same as you did 20 years ago?
Organic latex mattresses are famously durable. Notoriously long lasting. In Sri Lanka, where the rubber tree grows, we hear anecdotes of people's parents sleeping on the same latex bed they had in the 1960s.
What happens when, years and years from now, your doctor tells you that you need to sleep on something firmer for the sake of your back? Or softer for the sake of your hips? What do you do with your beautiful Sunshine organic bed? It still feels good as new...
You modify it!
Sunshine organic beds are modular. The casings have zippers. You can actually open them up and see the layers inside working to create your body's specialized feel. Sunshine organic beds only use organic cotton, organic wool, and organic latex in these layers. We don't glue these materials together at all. You can remove them, replace them, and shuffle them as you wish.
You might never need to buy another whole mattress again! Stain on the casing? Get a new casing! Recovering from an accident? Move firm layers up or down the mattress to adjust the feel. Want an identical bed at your cottage? Order replacement pieces one at a time until you've built a second mattress.
Can't sleep? Visualize all the creamy organic latex layers you're lying on and mentally move them around.
Sunshine organic beds come with 20 year warranties and we fully expect these beauties to feel exactly the same at the end as they did on Day 1.