The making of a sustainable bedding brand
Two Sydney friends with a passion for sleep
Georgie Cavanagh and Carlotta Casals want you to have good sleep. When they launched Carlotta + Gee, their sustainability focused French flax linen brand two years ago it was with the hope of converting their customers from sleeping in cotton sheets to a life of linen. Fast forward to today and their business has grown by 265 per cent, meaning their biggest challenge is keeping up with orders. From Sydney side hustle to burgeoning business, we chatted with Carlotta and Gee about everything from why linen is such a sustainable fabric option, their approach to treading lightly and what good sleep hygiene means for them.
What is the definition of living sustainably for you both?
Being sustainable to me is being thankful for everything we are given on this planet and remembering there was a lot here before we arrived, so we must not take advantage of it. I make sure I recycle as much as possible and I definitely always take a keep cup with me. I have recently bought a coffee machine so I am actually having coffee at home which is lovely.
I think it is difficult to have a completely sustainable life but we can certainly make sure we are doing everything in our own control to ensure we help to work towards this. I try to reduce my use of plastic and will always make sure I recycle everything that is recyclable. I support the slow fashion movement, buying less products but products which will last longer – quality versus quantity!
Where did your passion for living consciously come from?
I spent a lot of time growing up in nature, on friend’s farms, and was lucky enough to become very aware of the circle of life, which made me very conscious about looking after our planet.
My dad lives in a house which is self-sufficient so it has been in our family for generations to be eco-friendly. He has his own river with natural water, the electricity comes from the solar panels, compostable containers and we eat paddock to plate.
Why is linen such a sustainable choice when it comes to bedding?
Overall, linen has a low carbon footprint, and our linen is flax which means it’s derived from a natural long and strong fibre harvested from the flax plant. Flax can be grown all around the world but we source ours from Normandy, France, where optimal climatic conditions ensure the plants are grown naturally and ecologically, without the need for pesticides or dangerous chemicals. We work closely with our farmers to ensure the environment is respected from the beginning of our linen’s production until it’s delivered to your home.
Unlike other fabrics such as cotton, flax doesn’t need heavy irrigation and so its production uses little water, making it a more sustainable choice. Not one part of the plant is wasted – the biodegradable fibres are woven into bedding, the seeds are eaten, and the oil from the plant is used to varnish furniture.
The fabric of linen is naturally permeable and can absorb up to 20 per cent of its weight in moisture before it feels damp. Unlike cotton, linen draws away the moisture in the air, remaining cool and dry to the touch, meaning it won’t retain any nasty smells. Linen’s antibacterial properties are perfect for those with allergies or sensitive skin, plus it’s also been known to stimulate blood flow.
Sleep is obviously very important to you both having launched a bedding company, what are your top sleep hygiene tips / what are your night time routines?
So many factors contribute to sound sleep, including room temperature, mattress quality and your evening routine. At night it is so important to try to limit your devices, try to wind down for the evening. Whether that is reading a book, cleaning (trust us it does help declutter the brain), listening to music, reading or talking to a friend. Enjoying a good night’s sleep will assist in making you feel inspired and energised, as well as a feeling of calmness. If there’s one thing to invest in, it’s making sure you sleep soundly and comfortably.
Can you both list your bedtime routines? Do you have nightly rituals?
I try to phone a friend in the early evening to catch up, this always puts me in a great mood and helps to unwind. I love cooking and it helps to stop and reflect on the day. I have started drinking a hot good night tea to calm me. I try to always have a book next to my bed to read before my head hits the pillow.
I love my nightly shower, it helps to close off the day. I then wash my face and put on comfy clothes to relax into the evening.
Are there individuals or brands that inspire either of you in the sustainability space?
Single Use Ain’t Sexy – our good friend Josh started this business just before Covid – capsules of soap so you aren’t using new bottles every time and it has grown so much – given the circumstances and timing I guess it was meant to be. Other brands we like in this space are: In2thewild, Aesop , Who Gives A Crap and Cloth + Co.