At first mention, bedsheets aren't exactly the most inspiring topic — until you think about how much time we really spend rolling in them. (About a third of our lives, if you're curious.) And while the direct-to-consumer model isn't exactly revolutionary these days — you can probably think of a "Warby Parker of" for every category imaginable — there's a new eco-conscious textile brand that aims to really do things differently in the bedding department.
Allow us to introduce you to cloudten, a just-launched label with roots in Amazon (the online marketplace) and the Amazon (as in the rainforest) — but we'll get to that in a bit. Offering 100% organic Egyptian cotton bedsheets and pillowcases, what really sets the brand apart is its pricing model: think super-soft sheet sets that'll outfit every beds of every size for the exact same price. Luna Percale sets are $120 while Amora Sateen sets are $160 (each include a top sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases), whether you've got a twin, XL twin, full, queen, king, or California King mattress.
What's more, the eco-friendly, Oeko-Text merch will help you sleep safer and soundly, too. Processed without toxic chemicals in factories powered by steam and thermal oil, the bedding includes a 100-day risk-free trial, and lightly-used returns are donated to Habitat for Humanity.
The bicoastal brand is powered by Venice-based CMO Zack Holland and New York-based e-commerce pros Margarita and Igor Poluyko, who both built a successful business on Amazon.com. Together, the trio combined their online marketing, branding, and customer service skills to create cloudten — read on below to find out how Holland's upbringing in the Amazon jungles (yes, you read that right) and his co-founders' experience in the online space inspired the dreamy (and socially-conscious) new label.
First, what sets cloudten apart from all of the other direct-to-consumer bedding brands?
Cloudten’s real differentiator is a complete dedication to authenticity across the board. From creating all-natural sheets that are never chemical washed or artificially softened, to selling our sheets at the same price for any size bed, we are committed to providing an amazing product in an honest and artistic fashion. Our 100-day trial is evidence of this, as is our partnership with Project Linus, who makes a blanket for a terminally ill child in the hospital for each sheet set sold.
In that same line, our commitment to creating engaging, artistic content based around the bed as a center for creativity, relaxation, comfort and happiness is unique in the industry. Moving past simply shooting photos of bedrooms, cloudten engages photographers, models, videographers, influencers and artists to create art using the bed and sheets as a setting for creativity and artistic expression. From our #PillowTalk series, where we interview interesting people in their beds, to our Artist Series that engages painters to create unique pieces painted on sheets to auction for charity, we’ve created a platform for expression that celebrates the space we spend a third of our lives: bed.
How did you connect and ultimately team up with Margarita and Igor?
Margarita and Igor have been e-commerce leaders for years, and I was privileged to help brand and market one of their existing and successful brands. When we discovered our chemistry and shared vision for a bedding company that would push the industry forward in an honest and authentic way, we knew we had to create cloudten together. It has been an exciting mix of veteran leadership and youthful creativity, NYC and LA, and product and fulfillment expertise combined with a passion for branding.
What were some of the key things that your co-founders learned from running an Amazon business, and how did that translate to your new brand?
Margarita and Igor’s successful experience in the Amazon space allowed them to serve hundreds of thousands of customers across the globe. They have always prioritized amazing customer service, and continue to pay close attention to feedback and comments from all of their customers. The three of us took extensive time studying and analyzing this data from our fantastic customers, and built cloudten from the most oft-requested features and traits for a modern bedding company.
Many people don't think about buying sheets that are non-toxic. How important was this factor in developing cloudten?
I definitely believe that over the next several years, the toxic chemicals used to preserve and artificially soften bed sheets that are then sold at big-box retailers will become a much larger topic of global discussion. As I mentioned, the average American spends one-third of their lives in bed — and we engage with our bed sheets in a much more intense and prolonged manner than we do clothes or any other fabrics (and even those we pay attention to how they are made).
Sleeping, relaxing, and rolling around in bedding that is naturally made, never chemically washed, and that comes from an environmentally-friendly facility ensures that your time spent in bed is nourishing to your body instead of harmful.
Why was it important to you and your co-founders to incorporate sustainability and social consciousness into your business model?
I was raised by two brave humanitarian parents who spent my childhood years helping those in need in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. Growing up in the jungle allowed me a unique perspective on the ease of life we get to enjoy here in the United States, and it has played a large part in my decisions as an entrepreneur. Any opportunity to give back to those in need through business is an opportunity and a privilege, and we are excited to do our part at cloudten.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier your bed is a place that you spend much of your life, and many of your most honest, intimate moments – it should be made up of products that come from good, authentic energy crafted by artisans in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
Where do you see the brand in five years, and what are some short-term goals?
Beyond all other aspects, [we're all] about finding what makes you happy and pursuing it; whatever makes it so that at the end of the day, when you crawl into bed, it was a day well worth living. As we expand our brand and our product selection, we will carefully choose and craft products that celebrate that relaxed happiness that you feel at the end of an amazing day.
While we will be rolling out new colors and products in [early] 2018 (details under wraps), we will be focused on building out a recognizable brand obsessed with artistic content and a celebration of life in the meantime, built upon a foundation of these two fantastic sheet sets.
When you're not busy at cloudten, what are a few of your favorite haunts in LA to shop/hang out/eat/play?
I live in Venice, and so naturally spend as much time as possible at the beach or out to eat with friends. Whether it’s The Tasting Kitchen, Daiko Ramen on Sawtelle, or margaritas on the Hotel Erwin rooftop, I can usually be found out with friends enjoying the incredible food and culture that LA has offered me.
A few other of my favorite spots: The Lincoln, Mendo Farms, AOC, and The Rat Pack Lounge.