KNOTTE - The 100% Raw Organic Cotton Company
Our mission is to provide 100% certified raw organic cotton bed sheets with no bleach and no dyes. The softest bedsheets you’ll ever sleep in. Better for the planet, better for you.
When we realized Minna was pregnant with our second child, we packed our bags, left our careers and gave up the comforts of our life in America to finally pursue our dream of starting a business together. We chose unbleached, undyed organic cotton because we no longer wanted to contribute to the contamination of our groundwater with the pesticides, chemicals and harmful dyes used in traditional cotton manufacturing.
We hope you enjoy the effort and care that has gone into each of our products.
How many colors do our bedsheets come in?
Just one. Raw.
Let us tell you a little bit more.
ONLY ONE COLOR - WHY?
If you take a look at the range of our products, something should stick out - we only offer our bedsheets in one color.
Yes, that’s right. One color.
We’ve been told that we’re a little crazy to insist on only offering one choice - after all, we live in a world with a huge proliferation of choice and every other bedsheet company offers A LOT of colors and combinations.
But what those companies don’t want you to know is the massive impact the bleaching and dyeing processes have on the environment - even pure white sheets, the most innocent-looking of them all, have to go through harsh bleaching processes to achieve the final color. These chemicals contaminate our groundwater and over 200,000 tons of synthetic dyes pollute our rivers and oceans every year.
Initially, we did look into producing and offering a range of colors, but the further we looked into the options and the alternatives, the impossibility of doing it without impacting the environment became clear. Even natural dyes have a great negative impact on the environment:
- Harmful Effects – ‘Natural dye’ does not mean ‘harmful chemical free’. Logwood, a common source of natural dye, has ingredients such as hematein and hematoxylin, that are harmful when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Bloodroot, another natural dye source, can cause irritation and inflammation if inhaled.
In addition, as it is so difficult for natural dyes to stick, they also need application agents called mordants. These are substances that help the dye stick to the fabric, and are often toxic. Aluminum, copper, iron and chrome are common mordants used in the application of natural dyes.
- Sustainability – While natural dye sources are renewable, sustainability is still an issue for natural dyes because growing the raw materials for them require vast areas of land. Indigo, turmeric, and onion shells are popular options, but as much as 13 acres of land is needed to grow enough dye for one acre of cotton.
- Bleach - Before textiles are dyed, they are bleached. This is done to help produce a vibrant color that does not fade over time. Bleaching is both highly water and energy intensive, as well as an incredibly detrimental pollutant to our environment. The World Bank estimates 17 - 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and finishing.
- Color pay-off – Much more natural dye needs to be used to produce acceptable results; for instance, one pound of cotton may only need 5g of synthetic dye, where as the same amount of material will need 230g of natural dye. Colors from natural dye also tend to wash out more easily, further raising the question of the sustainability and longevity of natural dyes.
ORGANIC COTTON VS ‘DIRTY’ COTTON?
Here’s another thing that shocked us - a mind-boggling one quarter of the world’s insecticides are directed to the cultivation of conventional cotton. Recent assessments show that water consumption of organic cotton is 91% lower than conventional cotton yet organic cotton cultivation still makes up less than 1% of total cotton production. Commercially grown cotton is incredibly harsh on the soil, the local environment and the communities harvesting it, due to the harsh treatment of the land. Pesticides and insecticides used in the growing of conventional cotton seep into water, contaminating and poisoning our rivers and lakes.
So, in line with what we believe in, we’ve worked hard to ensure our products are certified organic. This means the cotton is grown, harvested, processed, and manufactured without pesticides, insecticides, bleach, or dyes and with a lower carbon and water footprint than traditional cotton. And we have to tell you, the natural color is absolutely beautiful!
Organic cotton takes significantly more time and skill to grow, and this means it costs several times more. Fully certified, raw, organic cotton costs up to 400% more than commercially grown cotton. On the flip side, organic cotton doesn’t pollute drinking water, damage the environment or impact the health of the surrounding communities. Our farmers practice more biologically diverse farming techniques, maintaining the health of the soil and supporting local biodiversity.
NO BLEACH, NO DYE, NO PESTICIDES, NON-GMO
All of our products are made of 100% certified raw organic cotton with no bleach and no dye. It is important to us that we only offer the best of what’s absolutely essential. Every detail of our sheets is designed with careful consideration — from convenient Finnish style duvet cover hand pockets (which make it easy to put your duvet on) to reusable and recyclable packaging.
We spent over a year working with the details and the finishes so the product that reaches you is exactly what you hoped for. Our goal is to offer the softest, raw, unbleached, undyed certified organic cotton products. To make thoughtfully designed, quality goods with processes that are both friendly to people and the planet. These bed sheets also have the benefit of being naturally hypoallergenic; making them perfect for families with young children like ours and people with sensitive skin.
A FULLY TRANSPARENT PRODUCTION PROCESS
All KNOTTE products are made from certified raw organic cotton. We do not use any bleach or dyes that contaminate of our groundwater like traditional textile manufacturing. We surround ourselves with people and support businesses who are like us, driven by sustainability. KNOTTE products are ethically crafted in a family-owned facility in India that operates on solar-power energy. All waste water, except sanitary water, is treated by an effluent treatment system and recycled to water a community organic garden.
As mentioned above, other bed sheet brands, even organic, bleach their bed sheets white and use dyes that end up in our natural water system. Even non-toxic or natural dyes like indigo aren’t great either as they decompose slowly and darken rivers and streams; starving flora and fauna of sunlight and oxygen, and we refuse to contribute to this.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
We were on a road trip in David’s native state of California when we found out we were expecting our second child. We’d been sleeping on bad bed sheets for nearly a month. This is when we decided to pursue our dream of starting a small business together. We packed our bags, left our careers and gave up the comforts of our life in America to move to Minna's hometown in Finland.
"The bed sheet business was trending but no one was making pure 100% certified raw organic bedding. Also, coming from Finland, all our duvet covers have hand pockets at the top to make it easier to put your duvet inside - something you can’t find in the United States. David conducted a survey with his family and friends in the USA and 90% of respondents said it was moderately challenging to very difficult to put their duvet into its cover.
We found our niche. We wanted to offer timeless and sustainable bed sheets with smart design features that are as clean and natural as possible, without making any compromise on quality and comfort. I can tell you, once you sleep on KNOTTE raw organic cotton bed sheets, you won’t want to sleep on bleached or dyed bed sheets again.” – Minna O’Weger
Smooth, lustrous organic sateen cotton
Handpicked long-staple organic cotton, woven with a yarn pattern of four over, one under to yield a beautiful cotton sateen — the durability of cotton with the silky smoothness and faint, beautiful gloss of sateen. Our sateen weave aligns threads tightly together, for surface that’s exceptionally lustrous and soft on one side, and slightly matte on the opposite. Warm to the touch, a gorgeous malleable fabric for a sleeping environment that’s cozy, and yet breathable. This is a sheet that works all year round.
Strong, light, and breathable
When it comes to thread count, it isn’t just about going for the highest number. Our sateen sheets have a thread count of 300. This means you’ll find 300 threads for every square inch of the sheet. But a higher thread count means very little if it’s made from a shorter, lower quality staple. The textile will feel and age differently over time. All KNOTTE bedsheets are made from the finest single ply, long staple cotton. Each strand is made from single strong, long staple cotton fiber. Textiles woven with a single ply yarn result in a bed sheet that’s lighter and more breathable — making for a cozier, and more refreshing night of sleep.
What is the deal with the ‘hand pockets’ anyway?
Aha! This is one of our best kept Nordic secrets. A quick google search for ‘how to put duvet cover on’ yields results such as ‘The California Roll Way’, ‘The Hand-Puppet Way’, ‘Use a Binder Clip’, ‘5 different ways to put your duvet cover on’, and the list goes on and on. This, however, simply isn’t a problem with bedsheets in the Nordics.
In Finland, everyone uses duvet covers with hidden pockets at the closed end of the duvet cover, so you can reach in and pull the duvet through. When growing up with this efficiency, you cannot imagine ever doing it the ‘haphazardly cramming the duvet in whilst crawling through the duvet cover’ way the rest of the world seems to insist on.
When living in the USA, Minna was so surprised to find out there were no ‘hand pockets’ in the duvet covers on this side of the Atlantic. She actually grabbed scissors to cut holes in the fabric herself! That’s how life-changing this is; you will never hate putting duvet covers on again, this we can promise you.
PRODUCTION PROCESS / HOW IT IS MADE
BETTER FOR US, BETTER FOR THE PLANET
One of the goals in setting up our business was that our livelihood should reflect our values and our lifestyle. We want our products to be healthy for people, and sensible for our planet.
Each step of the manufacturing process is 100% certified organic by The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the world’s leading textile processing standard for organic fibers. The standard covers every aspect of cultivation and production, all the way to the ecological and social impact on local farming communities. This means we keep our products safe, non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals - every step along the way.
Carbonfund.org is a nonprofit with a priority of fighting climate change by helping individuals, business or organizations reduce and offset their climate impact and hasten the transition to a clean energy future. These goals are achieved through climate change education, carbon offsets and reductions, as well as public outreach. KNOTTE is committed to sustainability and remaining carbon neutral.
A safe, solar-powered workplace for our extended family.
Our products are made in a family-owned factory in the sunny plains of central India which operates on solar power. The factory runs between 8.30am and 5.30pm to make the most of this amazing natural light. All waste water, except sanitary water, is treated by an effluent treatment plant and recycled to water the community garden. Each worker is equipped with safety gear — metallic hand gloves for cutting, needle guards on stitching machines, rubber mats when ironing, and more. There are regular safety checks and fire fighting training as well as a mock drills. All workers are insured for illness, receive fair trade wages, with bonus pay and a provident fund. It’s extremely important to us the staff come to work in an environment where they are rewarded for their skill and effort.
Non GMO & fair prices. Giving the farmers their due.
We may be spending more on our luxury labels here in the West, but very little of this reaches the farmer. In real terms, farmers today earn less than a fifth of what they made back in the 70’s for a single kilo of cotton. Meanwhile, the costs of farming cotton have steadily risen. It is only becoming tougher for cotton farmers to make a livelihood. Commercially grown cotton also relies on GMO seeds, developed by huge agribusinesses and designed to be used only for a single season. Commercial cotton farmers are forced to go back to corporations each time they plant a new crop; giving these corporations enormous control. Organic cotton puts a measure of control back in the hands of the farmers. They can grow food on their land and their families are not exposed to toxic chemicals. Organic certification also works to ensure basic social criteria are met to ensure a safe, non-abusive, non-discriminatory environment with living wages. Buying organic gives back to the farmers; to ensure the men and women who sow, tend and pluck cotton are paid a fair price for their hard work.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Your help can really make a difference. Each step we take towards contributing to a more sustainable world is something to be proud of. We can’t wait for you to sleep in these bed sheets. Once you do, you’ll never look at white or colored sheets the same way again.
Thank you for believing in us.
Risks and challenges
We have been working over a year to finally bring you KNOTTE! Our supply chain is in place and our factory partners are prepared to produce our second batch. The first production was completed successfully and delivered on time as we expected. Should this campaign be overfunded there could be delays in finalizing the production, however we will do our very best to meet the September delivery deadline.
While extremely rare and far and few between, a major natural catastrophe such as earthquake, floods or drought in central India could affect our delivery timelines. Our facilities rely 100% on solar energy generated on premise, so even longer term power-cuts would not have any meaningful impact on the delivery schedule.
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