October 19 2020
This article is part of our "Round Ups" series, where we share things that inspire us, guide us, or are just really cool.
Even before I started Goldune, I had made it my unofficial job to sample every interesting new sustainable product so I could share my thoughts and reviews with my friends and coworkers. (Yes, I know that trying and buying a ton of different sustainable products, or any kind of product, is inherently unsustainable-- this was my vice, and as vices go, it was not so naughty.) When I actually took the leap to start Goldune, all that sampling and testing and gushing about the coolest new thing to try with my peers all of a sudden had a little more purpose. I took it even more seriously now that it wasn’t just for me and my home, sending samples of this and that to friends with different kinds and sizes of homes and families. It was more than a little fun.
While I sent samples to friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends for their opinions, the most rigorous testing process went down in my own home, by myself. There were some products I knew Goldune needed to sell before I even knew what to name the business, and some I fell in love with later in the journey. By now, I've tested just about everything we carry, which was my ultimate goal— I didn't want to recommend anything to you that I wouldn't use myself, or that a friend or family member didn't have strong positive feelings about!
For years, I’ve heard about (mostly on podcasts, not going to lie) and read about sleeping on a silk pillowcase to protect hair and to reduce frizz. A lot of folks also swear by sleeping on a silk pillowcase for your skin! I could never get past the pricetag, and liked the durability of cotton, where the stakes felt a lot lower than a $100 a pop pillowcase that I was sure I’d accidentally ruin on night one. The first night I slept on our bamboo lyocell pillowcases, I felt like I had struck gold. The pillowcase, sheets and duvet cover are all total workhorses-- they’re a lot smoother and cooler on skin than cotton, and feel closer to silk in texture, but they’re easy to clean and wash, totally low maintenance, and feel as all-purpose as cotton. Bonus: they get softer with every wash, and are about half the price of the silk pillowcases I had my eye on. They also make me feel like I’ve hit the sustainability lottery: our Bamboo Lyocell Bedding saves water compared to cotton, is made of FSC certified and organic bamboo, is totally vegan, and comes in responsibly recycled and completely reusable packaging.
I’m a big believer that in order for compost bins to actually be useful, you need one on the counter where you’re preparing food. (I have tried other systems, mainly carrying bowls of food scraps from the kitchen to my backyard composter every time I cook, or a compost bin tucked away in a closet or corner, and I can confidently say none of those ever ended with consistent use.) As an avid home cook, I create a lot (a lot!!) of food scraps. I try to be clever about giving them new life, but the busier I get, the less realistic that is.
Doing something with my food scraps also has become about more than not wanting to waste or having reverence for really handsome local produce— food waste is a huge cause of emissions, particularly the methane coming out of landfills, where food that could have otherwise been composted is languishing. Composting is honestly really easy, but it can feel like a complete chore if you don't have a good system set up at home.
Having a handsome compost bin on the counter has (surprise!) really increased how much I compost. This compost bin is actually made from trees that have fallen and comes in both large and small, walnut, magnolia and maple. I cook a lot, so I’m a big fan of the larger size. Added plus: this is a great gift for someone you want to do gift more substantial to, or a friend who just moved to a new home-- it’s impactful, keeps compostables from going to the landfill (which keeps methane emissions out of the atmosphere!), and is itself made of wood from trees that have already called it quits after living their best life.
It was love at first sight for me and these Mojave 4-Piece Napkins, and when I saw the new Lunchbox Linens I got that feeling I used to get when I was a kid who got fresh school supplies before the new school year. The napkins, placements and runner are all crisp and sparkly new (even though they are actually made of recycled materials given new life!). The holidays might look a little different this year, but it’s an even better reason to zhoush up the house to create some semblance of holiday spirit.
These all are pieces that feel so emblematic of Goldune and what we want to do— they're bright and beautiful and crisp and modern (I can't think of anything less granola) and even better they're made of deadstock fabrics sourced from LA's garment district. The fabric gets new life as a napkin and is remade and treated by hand, also in LA, for a super light carbon footprint. You'd honestly never know by looking at the crisp table linens, and that's part of what I love most— proof that sustainability doesn't just have one look.
Forgive me for my naïveté, but I had no idea that bean bag chairs were actually really filled with beans. Well, that's because they aren't, they're usually filled with stuff that's kind of awful for the environment. I can't say I've thought about it much since I was flipping anxiously through the PB Teen catalog well over a decade ago, when a bean bag felt like an essential part of my room that was missing...
Until now, when all this time indoors, oscillating from stiff desk chair to stiff couch to stiff bed, has made me long for the playroom days when you could color on the floor. And the truth is, if I need to, I can sit on the floor and break open my colored pencils and have a go at my adult coloring books, but I think I'd enjoy it so much better if I had, say, a bean bag chair. When I found this beauty, bright as ever, made of fully biodegradable natural fibers, I got excited. And then I found out that it's an insert that the maker suggests you fill with actual dry beans, and I got even more excited. A literal bean bag chair! What a fun reason to stock up on beans. Also, a completely compostable and plastic and toxin-free filling... now that's my kind of bean bag chair.