Ara Living: the ultimate ethical bedding?
*** Ara Living are offering all Flor + Cesta readers 15% off their first purchase with them. Just enter code 'florandcesta' at the checkout.***
When we moved into our new home almost a year ago now I made it my goal to source only ethical and sustainable items for our place. And as a notoriously bad sleeper getting the bedroom right was super important to me. A good night’s kip is vital for protecting our health and wellbeing. From the firmness of our mattress to the weight of our duvet, we spend almost a third of our life in bed, so, it’s worth making sure we’ve got it right!
One woman committed to making sure we all get the perfect night’s sleep is Himanshi, founder of Ara Living. Not only is Himanshi passionate about making sure our bedding is good for our health, she is also committed to a transparent supply chain and upholding the highest ethics so that we can all sleep easy. I met up with the lovely Himanshi a few weeks ago to find out more about her exciting brand and discover why her bedding may just be life changing.
Himanshi and her husband Dhruv started Ara following the birth of their youngest son Aryan. Aryan was born with sensitive skin and asthma and Himanshi searched high and low for quality bedding, at an affordable price, that would be good for both her family and the planet. But with no luck. So, with all her newly acquired knowledge of the industry, she decided to create her own! Himanshi’s goal; to create a truly beautiful bedding, inside and out; the softest sheets that make no compromises along the way.
I’m a firm believer in buying organic food and fashion wherever possible but in Himanshi’s story really brought it home to me that it is important in every aspect of our lives. When Aryan was born with sensitive skin and asthma Dhruv & Himanshi tried everything to help their son. In a bid to reduce chemicals around their home, they made many lifestyle changes including switching their bedding, towels, clothes etc. to organic. Having done so, they almost immediately started noticing little Aryan’s symptoms getting better. So, from day one Ara Living had to be 100% organic.
But it wasn’t just about her family. Before moving to the UK, Himanshi and Dhruv grew up in India and experienced first-hand the working conditions that many textile workers endure. They wanted to be a part of the solution for their country so ensuring Ara is an ethical company is hugely important to them. As they moved through the journey of setting Ara up they realised just how complex supply chains are, but they were not to be deterred. The pair have made it their goal to create a completely transparent supply chain where every step of the way ethics and sustainability is at the heart.
From seed to sheet, Himanshi and Dhruv have created a supply chain to be incredibly proud of. Starting at the seed, they work with sustainably managed, family-owned Fairtrade farms in India. The cotton is farmed in rotational crops that maintain soil richness and diversity. They work with cooperatives that ensure farmers, spinners and dyers are paid a fair price for their products. They are given Fairtrade Premiums to motivate them to reinvest in their business or in community projects like education and infrastructure, improving business performance and employment levels in the region. Discover the details on their website.
The end result? Bed linen that is utterly gorgeous in every way. I have the 300 true thread count Malabar bedding and it is the softest sheet I have ever slept on. I often think new bedding can feel coarse but the long staple fibres that Ara use make a uniquely soft bedsheet. I also love the simple, all white design. It gives me a feeling of space and peace that is so wonderful at night time when you’re trying to put the day to bed.
Note I say true threadcount as this is something else I learnt from Himanshi that totally fascinated me! Thread count is the number of threads per square inch of a fabric. When more threads are woven tightly together, it results in softer, denser fabric. However, contrary what we have been led to believe by retailers, higher thread count doesn’t always mean better bed linen.
Manufacturers will often use two/three ply threads of lower grade cottons to artificially inflate the thread count. This means that not only is that bed linen not the softest you can find, but also not the most durable or comfortable. Only a true thread count will give the luxurious softness felt in Ara’s bedding.
And in the case of Ara Living, luxury doesn’t equal crazy prices. Their pillow cases start from £28, their double sheets £60 and duvets £95. They have also pledged to donate a percentage of their profits to helping others by partnering with Hope For Justice who fight human trafficking and campaign to bring an end to modern slavery.
Ara Living is the ultimate bedding that means you can sleep easy. Go check them out! Ara Living are offering all Flor + Cesta readers 15% off their first purchase with them. Just enter code 'florandcesta' at the checkout.
I was gifted an Ara Living bed-set to review as part of this collaboration, however all opinions and thoughts are, as always, my own.