Bedtime stories
posted - 04.05.2017

shopping, living and sleeping ethically

At herdysleep, we are passionate about ethical manufacturing. At every step of the manufacturing process we consider our impact on the environment. That’s why we support rural communities by using Herdwick wool from the Lake District and we provide local people with employment opportunities by manufacturing our mattresses entirely in Yorkshire. Our choice of natural materials on our sleep surface means there’s no need for the use of harsh chemical treatments which has benefits for you and the environment. As more and more consumers are increasingly aware of their responsibility to the environment, this quick guide will help you consider living, shopping, and even sleeping more ethically.

What is ethical shopping?

Being an ethical consumer means considering the wider issues that you value and applying these to the products that you buy and the companies that you buy from.

Each product, whether it’s a jacket, tea bags, or a car, has an impact on the world. From where and how it’s made, to the price it’s traded at, there are several ways that a product can impact on;

–      Local & international labour markets

–      The environment

–      Human rights

–      Animal rights

–      Local & global society

This means that if you’d like to support your local community, for instance, then you may want to buy products from local companies that manufacture in the area because they employ local people, use materials that are sourced nearby and therefore have a positive impact on their immediate community.

Why is it important?

As a consumer, you have the power to change a brand’s conduct and actions simply with your buying ability. If you were to boycott an unethical company, and instead choose to spend your money with a company that treats its workers fairly or partners with local producers, then you would be encouraging innovation, accountability and transparency.

The Ethical Consumer Manifesto states that:

“We look for a society where the environment is respected, where human rights are properly protected and animals are no longer cruelly exploited. We look beyond government control of the way we live and how companies act, believing real power should lie in the hands of individuals and communities.”

By choosing ethical producers, you could be making a small contribution to a more responsible and just society.

How you can sleep ethically with herdysleep

A bed is an important purchase. You spend a good portion of your life asleep, so knowing that you have chosen an ethical bed will make your sleep that little bit more restful.

We’re proud to have worked hard to make our mattresses as eco-friendly and ethical as possible.

The materials we use

As an ethical consumer, you need to make sure that the materials that are used to construct the mattress are not going to have a negative impact on the environment.

That’s why at herdysleep, we’re buying Herdwick wool direct from farmers in the Lake District, at rates which make it commercially viable, for the first time in many years, for farmers to shear their sheep for the wool. The market price for Herdwick wool has declined over the past few decades, due to the reduction in demand from key industries such as carpet making. By using Herdwick wool in our mattresses, we’re using a renewable, environmentally friendly, natural resource and we’re helping farmers turn a loss into a small profit from their annual wool clip.

Not only is the mattress we make comfortable to sleep on, but it’s a sustainable product too.

Our manufacturing process

All our mattresses are made entirely in Yorkshire. Each one is hand-stitched by our expert mattress makers and we create almost all of our components in-house. This means we have complete control of every stage of the manufacturing process, ensuring our mattresses are as ethical and natural as possible. You can read more about our manufacturing process here.

Our delivery & disposal

While we’ve worked on many ways to make materials and processes more environmentally friendly, it’s the delivery and disposal stage where we’ve taken some of the most remarkable steps in cutting our impact on the planet. By rolling and packing mattresses into a compact box, we can fit far more mattresses in each delivery vehicle; meaning fewer vans on the road and a reduction in our carbon footprint.

When you order a herdysleep mattress, we will take your old mattress away for free and recycle in an environmentally responsible way so that nothing ends up in landfill. All that remains is for you to sleep soundly in your new bed, safe in the knowledge you’re doing so ethically.

If you’d like to complement your ethical mattress with ethical bedding and bed linen, then this helpful guide from The Ethical Unicorn tells you everything you need to know.