Let us speak of towels, my friends! I have long thought that the purchase of sensible, good quality towels is a sure litmus test for adulthood. What say you? I think we all know that towels are definitely a “you get what you pay for” sort of an item. Like socks or umbrellas, I think we learn the hard way that it’s a false economy to go cheap and to end up spending more in a year on cheap umbrellas/socks than we would’ve spent in the same time if we’d just bought decent ones to begin with…. Adult life is hard. Boo to it all.
Now I am 37 and finally able to face facts about quality towelling, I am also keen to consider the ethics and eco-friendliness of new household purchases. This is where the super fantastic folks over at Kushel come in! Yay fluffy!
First – the ethics of cotton, and why we should care
“You often hear Southern musicians of my generation, black and white, bluesmen, hillbilly singers, and rockabillies alike, talking about picking cotton…but I’ve sometimes wondered if the people listening to us…have any real grasp of the life we’re talking about. I doubt if most people these days even know what cotton is, beyond being a comfortable kind of fabric.” (Johnny Cash)
It’s not often, fronds, that we think of our cotton, and where it comes from. Of course it is a crop like any other and as such can be organic or not organic, ethically farmed or not ethically farmed, sustainable or…..less sustainable. Johnny Cash was deemed ready to start work in the cotton fields when he was five years old, back in 1937 but by that time there was already and long, sordid, and tragic history of exploitation in the cotton fields in the American south and beyond. The cotton industry was a key facilitator of the transatlantic slave trade and responsible for much horrible and dehumanising cruelty affecting, overwhelmingly, people of colour.
Though times have changed (somewhat), unethical cotton production still exists today, and so it’s worth taking your time over cotton purchases and considering the source of any brand new cotton items you buy, be it clothes or towels or bedding.
Towels made from wood?
The wonderful chaps at Kushel contacted me recently and asked if I’d like to try out their brand new climate and resource positive towels, and I sure was intrigued. Kushel towels are made from wood fibres (wood! towels from wood!) sourced from sustainably-managed forests in Europe. Kushel plants two trees per towel! You can read about all that here.
The wood fibres are actually twice as absorbent as cotton (yep, they tested it) and so you’re guaranteed a fluffy and super efficient post-bath dry-off. The towels are also made using organic cotton from Turkey, naturally hypoallergenic and free from pesticides or chemicals, grown with low water usage through fancy drip-irrigation tech, and suitable for the most sensitive of skin. They are manufactured in Portugal to high industry and social standards so, all in all, a very ethical towel indeed.
What did we think?
Both N and I have been giving the Kushel towels a jolly good try this week. So absorbent! So fluffy! N is quite used to ultra-absorbent microfibre towels on his long-haul cycling adventures, and so you can bet that his standards are high when it comes to how quickly a towel can dry him off. I am particularly fond of those sweet little green fabric tags with a wood grain pattern. Gahh, cute. Personally, I am rather too fat for the biggest size we received to be of any use as a body towel, but I’ve been enjoying the smaller models as a hand towel and hair towel. They are all furnished with a very handy little robust string to hang ’em up which is a splendid touch. Towels for grown-ups, towels that mean business, oh yes.
Get your own! Anywhere in the world!!
Kushel is a start-up that’s well worth supporting, and not just because you’ll get some tremendous towels. A climate-conscious, ethical, eco-friendly, and actually resource-positive company. Friends, we need more of those! Many more! Kushel’s Kickstarter went live mere minutes before this blog post was published and so as of not-long-ago-at-all you can support them and get your own bundle of terry tenderness, as they very pleasingly describe it <3
Thank you to Kushel for sending us these towels to test out. We love them! Although they were provided for free, I can confirm that our towel-adoration is entirely genuine and we would heartily recommend them to you. Yay!