Duvet without down or wool – a plant-based alternative for vegans and allergy-prone users?
Some people do not tolerate down as it often causes allergies, others cannot stand wool as it is connected with oppressive practices towards sheep. Producers simply do not know how to please consumers, so they produce polyester duvets. And these are not good for our health as we sweat in them just as if we were covered in foil. Here is the story of Karolina Brukarczyk-Roguszka, who has found a solution to the above problems and admits that the idea is also more friendly to Mother Earth. What is vegan down for sleeping?
Żaneta Geltz: Neither polyester nor wool – how did you get an idea of creating plant-based duvets?
Karolina Brukarczyk-Roguszka: Not everyone – due to various reasons (beliefs, allergy-related issues) – wants to sleep in inserts made from down or wool. Our Cocoon collection including botanical duvet and pillow is a solution to such a problem.
Creating plant-based duvets naturally complemented our Core collection of bedsheets made from eucalyptus and organic cotton. Eucalyptus (certified by Lenzing) turned out to be a wonderful fibre for our bedlinens – soft, gentle to skin and naturally hypoallergenic. Thus, there were no doubts that it will also be great in inserts – duvets and pillows. At the same time it could be an alternative to duvets and pillows filled with down or wool.
Ż.G.: What can cause polyster duvets, contrary to plant-based duvets?
K.B-R.: Polyster fibre used for filling in pillows and duvets is a synthetic fibre. It is non-breathable, thus causing more perspiration, especially during sleep. It’s something like sleeping in foil. For me, it is important that the products we offer are not only of very good quality, but also – what is equally important – ensure healthy sleep. In view of that, polyester simply does not match the values and therefore is not used in our inserts. What is more, we have to remember that polyester has also an adverse impact on the environment. The problem starts right at the very production of the fibre – where oil-derivatives and substances containing heavy metals are used, huge amount of energy is consumed and lots of post-production waste is generated – and ends with decomposition which takes tens of years. A certain remedy to it is the regeneration and reuse of polyester, yet I represent the standpoint that even regenerated polyester would be unfavourable to our health, wellbeing and comfort of sleep. Therefore, it is not a good option after all.
Ż.G.: Where did you manage to produce such an “invention”?
K.B-R.: As is goes for inserts, we cooperate directly with an experienced factory located in Slovenia. Our suppliers are our partners – we openly talk with them about our expectations and their capabilities, we create together prototypes, adjust weight of fill directly to our needs, test different fabrics. While designing the duvet and the pillow I wanted the shell to be made from fabric that is most delicate to skin and divinely soft - to ensure comfortable sleep. Therefore, I decided that the shell of both should be made from 100% eucalyptus. The fill of the pillow is 100% kapok (botanical fibre of beige-yellowish colour harvested from pods of kapok trees), while the fill of the duvet is made from 90% eucalyptus and 10% kapok. The inserts are not additionally dyed as to my mind it is unnecessary. They come in a beautiful natural colour of broken white and lack of additional dying reduces to the minimum the risk of skin irritation in case of people with very sensitive skin.
Ż.G.: Why have you decided to make products from organic cotton, eucalyptus and kapok?
K.B-R.: I have opted for natural, plant-based and certified fibres. I want them to be gentle to skin, cultivated without harsh chemicals and derived in a way that is the least detrimental to the environment and animals. Therefore, at present, these are TencelTM (certified eucalyptus fibre), organic cotton and kapok which I call “vegan down”. In out strive to cut out plastic, our inserts are packed in aesthetically pleasant cotton bags which can be later used for storing not only our products, but also other items at home or while travelling.
Ż.G.: What is your dream? What would you like to change through your brand?
K.B-R.: My dream is to see Husska products as a part of daily rituals at home. That’s why, instead of focusing on changing trends, we create each product to harmoniously complement our other products, so that they can be easily mixed and matched. At the same, we want to raise awareness that what we sleep in, what we cover and surround ourselves with has an impact on our health, wellbeing and rest. We take a holistic approach to what we do – by promoting thoughtfully designed aesthetics as well as a certain way of life.
Ż.G.: Who do you recommend your duvets, pillows and bedsheets to?
K.B-R.: While creating the concept of Husska from the very beginning I had a thought in my mind that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping. That’s a lot. Between 7 and 9 hours a day, which translates on average into 3 thousand hours a year! Good sleep is the foundation of good activity and effectiveness during the day. Bedding is in direct contact with our skin – our biggest organ, so I think we should pay attention to what it is made from. Investment in good sleep is an investment in our health and wellbeing. And the less harmful substances there are in bedding, the better. Husska is a brand for everyone who wants to take care of oneself and the closest circle of people, for those who pay attention to from what and how the products are made as well as for people who value harmoniously arranged home spaces. Above all, this is a solution for people with delicate skin, particularly sensitive to synthetic chemical compounds, prone to allergies. Our “down” is good for vegans, allergy-prone users, as well as people with high ethical standards towards animals and the world we live in.
Ż.G.: What events in your life inspired you to promote buying less, minimalism?
K.B-R.: The brand that I am creating mirrors in a sense my own views and attitude to the surrounding world. I’ve always advocated the approach that it’s worth possessing less things but of better quality. I pay attention to what and where I buy. This is also how I perceive my brand – considered and conscious approach to creation, limited number of good quality products as well as thoughtfully selected colours in line with the mix&match philosophy enabling customers to create their own oasis of tranquillity and rest.
Ż.G.: Is your duvet an investment for a lifetime?
K.B-R.: In our products we use plant-based fibres and fabrics aiming at accentuating their inherent properties. We cooperate with carefully selected suppliers. For many months we work on the quality until we are satisfied with the outcome. We create our products to be timeless in aesthetics and functional in design. Yet, textiles, especially those that are used for many hours every day and washed on a regular basis tend to wash and wear out. I cannot say that our duvet is an investment for life, but I believe that if we treat the products with proper care in line with our recommendations they can serve us in daily rituals for a long time.
– founder of home textiles brand Husska, available online at www.husska.com.
Graduated from applied linguistics and English philology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Mum of 2 boys.