Published: October 22, 2018
Raising the Sustainability Standard… Between the Sheets
Nothing like a few tongue-in-cheek puns to inject some warmth and personality into sustainable bedding! That’s what founders, Chris Kronus and Laura O’Connell, had in mind when they designed and founded Hoot. Hoot sheets are just about as sustainable and ethical as you can get. Not to mention soft, comfortable, and beautiful!
Hoot supports circular economy by using Tencel™ Lyocell fibers with Refibra™ technology. These incredibly sustainable fibers are made with renewable wood and upcycled cotton scraps in a closed loop process that is very environmentally responsible. At the end of their useful life, these botanic fibers are completely compostable and biodegradable in both earth and water.
We asked Laura and Chris to share the Hoot story.
Tell us a little more about the inspiration for Hoot.
Chris and Laura: We founded Hoot in 2018 out of our new apartment in Brooklyn, NY. We both have passion for the outdoors and deep respect for the environment. Through our travels, we have seen the terrible effects of environmental destruction in the beautiful places we visited. Together, we committed to lead more environmentally conscious lives and to make a positive impact on the world around us.
When we looked for environmentally responsible sheets for our new bedroom, we were challenged to find the products we wanted to buy. We knew we had to create them ourselves. And the idea for Hoot sheets was born.
How did you go about defining the Hoot concept?
Laura and Chris: Textiles have a surprisingly huge influence on the environment so our first objective was to consciously minimize Hoot’s impact. We found that many apparel brands like Patagonia were experimenting with reusable materials but no brands in the home textiles market were headed in that direction. We saw that as a huge gap with tremendous opportunity and started our work to fill it.
We wanted to partner with companies with similar goals of improving the state of the world right now, and also avoiding the problems of the future. We were inspired by Lenzing's botanic fibers, their work in the sustainability space, and their commitment to innovation and R&D in concepts that support circular economy for the textile industry.
We built the Hoot collection with the idea that people deserve a green night's sleep that feels good, and that they can feel good about. Lenzing's fibers are so important because not only do they provide the luxurious feel in a beautiful sheet that every customer wants, they provide the peace of mind that Hoot sheets are sustainably sourced and consume as few resources from the earth as possible.
How would you say that TENCEL™ Lyocell with Refibra™ technology fits with your ideas for Hoot?
Chris and Laura: We were so excited to find TENCEL™ Lyocell x REFIBRA™ fibers. The fact that the fiber is made with recycled cotton scraps from cutting rooms, reducing both industrial waste and the requirement for virgin raw materials, is perfectly in line with the Hoot promise.
Currently, we are working exclusively with Lenzing’s TENCEL™ Lyocell x REFIBRA™ in our Original sheet set line. We are working with our mill to increase the percentage of REFIBRA™ fibers in our fabric and are always on the lookout for innovative fibers to test. As we continue to perfect Hoot as the most luxurious and sustainable sheet set, we are looking forward to expanding to other areas of bed and bath, including crib sheets, duvet covers, and towels to extend our positive impact on the textile market.
Besides the Hoot sheets themselves, what makes the Hoot company most relevant for consumers looking to make a difference?
Laura and Chris: We believe that minimizing impact on the world is accomplished through a series of small choices people make each day. We strive to provide full transparency on our processes, so customers can get a good and green night’s sleep. We started our company to inspire environmental change, and encourage our customers to hold us accountable to that goal. In addition to our products, we make sure that all parts of our company are the most sustainable they can be, even if it impacts the bottom line in the short term:
Giving: We are proud members of 1% for the Planet, an organization that brings dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving. As members, we have committed to donating 1% of our annual sales to approved environmental nonprofits to help save our planet.
Transparency: We name all manufacturing partners on our website, so our customers can make the most informed decisions and avoid the confusion we experienced in the research process.
Shipping: Shipping is a strain on the environment, so we take a number of steps to reduce our impact. We offer free ground shipping across the United States to encourage people to avoid 2-day shipping by air, and we choose carbon neutral shipping to offset the carbon emissions from our shipments. Our packaging from Colorado-based company EcoEnclose is reusable and made from 100% recycled materials.
Recycling: We partnered with Brooklyn-based Wearable Collections to recycle old sheets and clothes from NYC customers. We are working on creating a nationwide take back program where customers can send their old sheets back in our Hoot packaging to be recycled. Through this partnership, sheets are repurposed into rags for industrial use, insulation for construction use, or stuffing for furniture.
Where do you see Hoot in 3-5 years?
Chris and Laura: We intend to become not just a leader in the direct-to-consumer bedding market, but also an industry leader in driving true environmental change. We see ourselves growing with Lenzing and expanding our product line to bring more reusable materials to customers that fit a need in their lives at home. We also see ourselves working with Lenzing to revolutionize the way customers recycle textiles and bring awareness to the goal of a circular textile economy.
Lenzing is proud to work with dedicated and clear-sighted companies like Hoot and look forward to enriching our partnership and generating even more positive environmental impact together. Visit the Hoot website at www.sleephoot.com.