Our love affair with bed sheets started a long time ago. We have always loved making our beds, sleeping on crisp, fresh cotton sheets, and the feel of the fabric on the skin.
It was only when we moved houses and our bed size changed that we realised how difficult it could be to find the perfect ones. We could use everything else again except for our dear sheets. The hoarder in us wanted to keep some of them forever but the voice of the gatherer prevailed and we decided to give them away. There was however, also an excitement of buying new sheets. And so the hunt began. There were so many of them but either too expensive, or poor quality, or didn't come with the right answers. We ended up spending a lot of money on sheets we weren’t very convinced with.
We went on to learn more and discovered that the popularity of cotton has certainly come at a cost to the environment. Although cotton covers only 2.5% of the land under human cultivation, it consumes approximately 20% of the world’s pesticides. That’s an awful lot. There is tremendous usage of water in its production (the volume of freshwater required to produce a single bed sheet is around 9,750 litres) and is now made in modern factories that run on fossil fuels (the textile industry is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases). So on one hand while they are extremely resource intensive, on the other, they also pollute water, soil, and air. And after all of this, it is unimaginable how much textile goes to waste almost everywhere in the world including the UK. We ended up feeling terrible about our love for the fabric.
It was around the same time when we happened to be in Goa, India attending a series of talks. One of them happened to be by Mr. Arvind Gupta, a professor who uses trash to make scientific toys for kids in India. That made us look even more deeply at the waste we create and the inequity it causes. It inspired us to think about how we could harness the latent value of waste and use better, cleaner, responsible ways to make things. We also got introduced to the idea of a ‘circular economy’; a simple idea that asks us to look at the way nature manufactures trees, plants, clouds, sand … each bit of every bit is used and nothing creates waste before or after it is made. In fact there is no concept of waste in nature.
After the light bulb moment, we set out on our journey across India (where three fourths of the world’s organic cotton comes from). From farmer cooperatives to textile designers, it took us many months to find the right fabric construction, design, and facility where we could make the best bed linen. In an industry which has flourished on take - make - throw, it certainly hasn’t been easy to have our way. But it has been possible. Cirkel sheets are made with 100% renewable energy, around 95% of water used in manufacturing is re-used and the cotton is organic (which is just 1% of the world’s cotton). We also realised that so much more value can be created from a sheet that’s considered waste and hence the idea of take back came into being.
We hope they bring you the cosiest sleep.