We know how important it is to inform mums and dads of exactly what materials go into making The Little Green Sheep baby bedtime products. So to make sure you can be confident that your baby is sleeping in a safe and natural environment, we have put together a list of all our materials and where and when they are used, along with any relevant information and advice.
Used in our: mattresses
We use certified organic 1000gm Welsh wool from the British Wool board in all our cot mattresses. This guarantees that no chemicals have been used in the washing of the wool and that the welfare of the sheep is paramount. Once more, unlike some manufacturers we only use fleece wool that is seasonally sheared, and not abattoir wool (from slaughtered sheep).
Used in our: mattresses, bedding, soft toys, bamboo mats and Moses baskets
Most standard cotton is produced through using toxic chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. The World Health Organization estimates at least three million people across the world are poisoned by pesticides every year, with over 200,000 fatalities. As well as the environmental and health problems created from using these toxic chemicals, it often has a detrimental effect on soils, resulting in a vicious cycle of pesticide use.
Organic cotton is used throughout our entire range of baby bedding and also for the covers on our organic cot mattresses. It is important that all of the cotton sourced is 100% certified organic by IMO and meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). So absolutely no chemicals have been used such as pesticides or herbicides, helping to sustain our environment and produce a finer quality material.
Being colourful doesn't mean compromising on the cottons we use. We use special certified organic coloured cotton for some of our bedding products that meets the following specifications:
- No formaldehyde
- No optical brightener
- Eco-Tex Standard 100 certified
- No residual shrinkage
- pH-value sympathetic to the skin
- No azoic dye
Used in our: mattresses
Natural latex is used in all our cot mattresses and derives from the Hevea tree. We don't use a layer of latex but instead use the natural latex to bind together the springy core of coconut fibre. This provides all the benefits of this fantastic natural rubber material without restricting the breathability of the mattress. Remember, if the latex is grey in colour then it has been treated with fireproofing chemicals, latex is naturally white.
Used in our: mattresses
Coconut coir is the fibre from the coconut husk that is washed and dried and packed into bales. Our coconut coir is sourced from Sri Lanka and is certified chemical free to Eco-Tex Standard 100 (the global testing and certification system for screening harmful substances in consumer textile products).
Many customers have concerns from sources online regarding chemicals such as phosphorus in relation to coconut fibre and baby mattresses in general. However, coconut fibre in its natural washed state is simply the fibres that have been stripped from the husk of the coconut. Phosphorus in particular is only added to the coconut fibre in cases when mattresses do not naturally pass the UK fire safety standards. The Little Green Sheep mattresses are naturally fire proof meeting BS standards BS7177 without using any chemicals whatsoever. All of our coconut fibre remains completely untreated and brown in colour. You can identify coconut fibre that has been treated with Phosphorus as it turns black in colour.
Solid Birch plywood
Used in our: Ryeland cot bed
When developing the natural Ryeland cot bed, we were adamant to make it the most chemical free cot bed in the UK, and one of the main ways of achieving this was through choosing a solid wood rather than laminates or MDF. Our Beech solid wood is from a certified sustainable source meaning that we can guarantee that the materials we use in the manufacture of the Ryeland cot bed is not at the detriment to the environment. Deforestation is widely considered as one of the main contributors to all CO2 emissions and so this was one of the first considerations when selecting our source.
Beech has many other benefits that make it perfect for manufacturing our cot beds. It is a stable and durable timber that will provide a long-lasting product which can be handed down from generation to generation. Used commonly in food preparation items and children's toys, Beech is a clean and odourless timber. Its naturally anti-bacterial properties make it perfect for providing a safe sleeping environment for babies.
Glue used in the manufacture of furniture can contain formaldehydes (commonly used in laminate and MDF materials). With the vast majority of cots sold in the UK using materials such as MDF it is a troubling and important fact that as of 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report stating that formaldehyde was officially carcinogenic to humans.
We only use non-toxic PVA glue in the joinery of the Ryeland cot bed, and solid Beech wood that is entirely formaldehyde free.
For more information on the effect of formaldehydes in children's furniture, please see the below report released by the Environment California Research & Policy Center, 'Toxic Baby Furniture', In summary, the report explains how baby nursery cots, changing tables and dressers can emit formaldehyde at levels linked with increased risk of childhood allergies and asthma.
Lacquers and finishes
Used in our: Ryeland cot bed and stands
With babies coming into contact with lacquers and finishes on a daily basis, it is important to ensure that any furniture purchased uses only finishes that conform to the safety standard EN71-3. This demonstrates and certifies that the lacquers used have been toxin tested to ensure that they meet the required safety levels. All of The Little Green Sheep finishes have been tested and pass the EN71-3 standard, with alternative natural oiled finishes also available. We even offer a 100% untreated option on the Ryeland cot bed for mums and dads who do not want any treatment of the wood and just a clean, natural surface.