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Brands Can Lead on Home Bedding Sustainability with Eastman Naia™ Renew

How do you sleep at night?

That’s a question from Eastman. The company has entered the growing home textiles market with Naia™ Renew cellulosic fiber and wanted to learn more to improve the quality of consumers’ sleep.

But the question doesn’t just address the obvious comfort angle, where soft, breathable bedding yields better sleep. It also seeks to determine if consumers will “sleep better at night” knowing they purchased more sustainable bedding that is also healthy for the planet.

To measure consumer attitudes and purchase behavior on home textiles and bedding, Eastman invested in a global consumer research study of 3,000 U.S., European and Chinese consumers to explore opportunities for sustainable material solutions and help the bed textile industry accelerate its sustainability journey.

Eastman discovered that consumers are making practical and rational decisions when buying for the home, but there is still a long way to go on sustainability.

For example, when it comes to what’s driving purchases, about one in two U.S. consumers say comfort (69 percent), quality (66 percent), softness (60 percent), ease of care (57 percent), washing clean of odors (54 percent), and durability (53 percent) are very important to their bed sheet or sheet set purchase decisions.

Sustainability, unfortunately, falls to nearly the bottom of U.S. consumers’ purchase driver list. In fact, only about one in three U.S. consumers say they are “very likely” to seek out sustainable sheets (34 percent), bedding (33 percent) or towels (31 percent).

Materials matter

Consumers have been turning their attention to sustainable fashion, so home textiles won’t be far behind. Materials already define sustainability for bed sheets in the eyes of the consumer, making material selection the cornerstone of any brand’s journey to position themselves as a sustainable leader in the home textiles market. Nearly two in three U.S. consumers (65 percent) say materials are what make bed sheets sustainable or environmentally friendly.

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Covid-19 has accelerated consumer desire for sustainable materials in the U.S. bed sheet market.  About 7 in 10 consumers say they have become more likely to invest in higher quality bed sheets (75 percent) and more interested in sheets made from sustainable materials (66 percent) since the pandemic–driven by both millennials and high-income households (those making $100K+ per year).

A major opportunity

While bedding sustainability might rank low among consumers, there is a big difference between indifference and ignorance. It’s not that consumers don’t care about sustainability in their bedding; they’re either unaware of their options or not conditioned to even look for them.

This presents a major opportunity for brands looking to lead in this growing, and increasingly competitive, retail space.

“In order to take advantage of this opportunity, brands must clearly show that their more-sustainable products meet or exceed consumer demand for comfort, quality and softness,” said Vidyesh Talekar, head sales and marketing at GHCL, India’s leading Home Textiles manufacturer.

“First mover” brands that offer sustainable fibers in their bed sheets can gain both brand equity and consumer loyalty, plus elevate their own standing. About 7 in 10 U.S. consumers say brands offering sustainable fibers in their bed sheets care more about the environment, product quality, their wellbeing and their sleep quality—and are overall a more trustworthy brand. More than 7 in 10 U.S. consumers say they would be more loyal to brands offering sustainable fibers in their bed sheets.

“A good night’s sleep is key to wellness,” said Tracy Miller, founder of Inventive Sleep. “When you champion sleep and sustainable solutions, that’s when you see the power of how people can make an impact on the quality of life all around them.”

Since consumers aren’t always sure whom to trust when it comes to sustainability claims, brands must be adept at telling their stories across the consumer shopping journey to build awareness, trust, and loyalty among consumers, in addition to showcasing how their solutions meet or exceed consumers’ primary needs for comfort, quality and softness.

That’s where Naia™ Renew has an advantage. Produced from 60 percent sustainably sourced wood pulp and 40 percent certified* recycled waste material, Naia™ Renew creates value from hard-to-recycle materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. It’s an innovative solution to the textile industry’s biggest issues.

“One of the greatest strengths of Naia™ Renew is that it’s a truly circular solution available at scale.” says Dnyanada Satam, global market segment manager for home textiles at Eastman. “It offers sustainability without compromising softness, long lasting quality and ease of care. Naia™ Renew checks all the boxes on performance as well as circularity.”

To download Eastman’s 2021 Global Home Textiles Study and access key insights on consumer purchasing behaviors within the global bed sheet market, click here.