By Terry Trucco
Anyone who’s had the misfortune of sleeping on hotel sheets that were ripped or frayed knows that bed linens don’t last forever. Sixty washes constitutes a lifetime for a sheet.
But what happens to dead bedding when it’s banished from your hotel room bed?
Since 2011, discarded sheets from Marriott hotels throughout the U.K. have returned to the properties reconstituted as stylish laundry bags, hair dryer bags and newspaper bags. And now Marriott International announces the arrival of another second coming – limited edition tote bags created from recycled hotel sheets.
The new eco tote is a looker, designed by Lily and Lionel, a five-year-old British accessory firm whose whimsically printed scarves sell at Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Henri Bendel. A strategically placed sprinkling of dreamlike blue and white birds flies against a black cotton backdrop, hinting that you’ll sleep easy if you recycle. (L and L’s prints are designed to tell a story.)
Equally intriguing is the tote’s maker. Sleeping Bags, a two-year-old, eco-minded British enterprise, designs products made from rehabbed hotel bed linens – including the laundry, dryer and newspaper bags found at Marriotts throughout the U.K.
“If laid end-to-end, bed linen condemned by the world’s leading hotel chains in one year would go around the world more than twice,” says Andy Marks, founder and CEO of Sleeping Bags. And how does Marriott’s sheeting stack up as a recycled fabric? It’s “wonderfully soft,” he says.
The totes, in a limited edition of 1,000, are available for 20 pounds sterling (about $31); 10 pounds from each purchase is donated to The Prince’s Trust, which helps young people find work or job training. Totes can be purchased online at www.shopmarriott.com/bedlinentote and sent anywhere in the world. Note: American shoppers won’t pay VAT, but shipping charges come in at L22.63 for a grand total of L39.30 (about $61).