Our choice of the best bath towels if obviously a very personal matter. In la casa BEAUTYCALYPSE, we’ve always relied on quality textiles from Möve and Manufactum, opting for all kinds of ecological options available at the time (spoiler: we’re not living green since yesterday).
However, mostly the best towels for us were made of cotton, favourably organic cotton — because synthetic microfiber towels are, unsurprisingly, shedding micro fibers and unrecyclable. So if you’re in the process of banning plastic from your home, consider getting rid of the microfiber textiles as well or at least get yourself a filter bag like this one to prevent releasing microplastic into the oceans.
Hamburg-born Kushel towels spiked my attention on Instagram this August as the towels both looked really plush and good and promised all kinds of ethical extras that were worth examining.
Kushel: Climate Neutral Bath Towels
Sustainability Check, Test & Review
THE TENDER TENCEL TOUCH
With Kushel’s claim and logo and reforestation efforts leaning strongly towards the wood and trees topic, you might be lead to thinking that the entire collection could be made from the wood pulp fiber. But no, it isn’t. The fluffy soft Kushel fabric is made of 70% organic cotton from Turkey and 30% Tencel, which is Lenzing AG’s trademark for a brand of modal/ lyocell.
Lenzing is a globally renowned Austrian company specialising in wood-based fibres, established in 1892. Lenzing’s Tencel production process happens in a closed loop which is quite eco-friendly; the tree pulp itself is obtained half from the company’s own plants in Austria and Czech Republic, half from external sustainable forestry sources.
This synthetic fibre is somewhat of a staple with the fair fashion industry and has the further benefits of being particularly smooth and soft, highly absorbent, wrinkle-resistant, breathable, easy to dye with a great and durable colour brillance, and durable whether wet or dry. Tencel also biodegrades completely. Ethical brands like Reformation, Kings of Indigo, Armed Angels or Lanius all use Tencel for their products.
WOW, HAS YOUR TOWEL PLANTED MORE TREES THAN YOU HAVE?
In addition to the sustainable efforts that kind of come with the fabric, 2 trees per produced towel are planted in reforestation projects in Africa, Mexiko and Germany. The towel production of the Oeko-Tex 100 certified pieces takes place in Portugal and is both blue-water and climate neutral via compensation projects developed by Klimapatenschaft.de. SMETA and B-Corp certifications guarantee fair and ethical production methods.
All those efforts together are way more than just a feel good eco concept, and a great case for holistic eco-ethical thinking.
#TREEFLUENCER, THE TREE HUGGER’S EVOLUTION
Now here comes the actual fun part. Just like with Kushel’s crowdfunded new product development — the bathrobe launched this Autumn — , the influencers are kind of crowdfunded as well. Web shop customers but also everybody who subscribes to the Kushel newsletter (2 trees are planted just for that plus, as of November 2019, a 24% discount voucher is granted) is considered a #treefluencer and invited to share their reviews or simply pictures of the Kushel towels in use with the world.
Well, wrapped in a soft and plush towel, that’s certaintly how I do like my tree-hugging!
WEAR AND TEAR: TEST & REVIEW, 2.5 MONTHS IN USE
As a sustainable lilfestyle blogger I’m obviously not someone who purchases heaps of stuff, or buys things on the whim or is ready to review anything new as long as it’s free. I hope we’re on the same page here. Overconsumption is a thing with bloggers if you never say “no” to free stuff and samples.
So I learned about Kushel while researching a replacement for our worn out towels at home. As I shared in this article about decluttering home textiles, we don’t own many towels to keep it minimalistic, it’s just four sets for two people, plus two guest towels, and a few small towels for make-up removal. We tend to buy quality and in terms of colour, err on the side of dark grey, the most elegant looking and forgiving colour that may have been ever invented in my opinion. Then, after writing about my find, Kushel got in touch and suggested that I test a set if I like. And I did (like and test).
The press sample included three towels: one guest towel of 12″x20″ (30 x 50 cm), one face towel of 20″x40″ (50 x 102 cm) and one bath towel of 28″x56″ (70 x 142 cm). Knowing that Mr. BEAUTYCALYPSE had way more chances to seriously wear out the fabric due to his designer stubble and his penchant for hearty rubbing, he got to test the face and the bath towel, and I myself proceeded to abuse the guest towel for beauty treatments and make-up removal. Now, 2.5 months into testing, here are my…
FIVE REASONS WHY I LOVED KUSHEL
REASON NUMBER 1. The green part to begin with. Don’t brush it off as “not part of the quality”, because it definitely is part of the overall quality. The fair, eco-friendly production does pay off here, and greatly.
REASON NUMBER 2. The durability. The Kushel towels look and feel as new even after a dozen wash cycles. They don’t bleed, don’t shed, don’t get out of shape. Durable towels usually are part synthetic, but here you get the non-microfibre, eco-friendly variety with Tencel. The design/construction is great. The fabric has different areas with a slightly different feel to them. Also, the rim is thick and solid.
REASON NUMBER 3. The price. With towels starting at 24€ apiece, Kushel is in mid-range price segment but gets more affordable if you take advantage of the newsletter bonus or of the set packages.
REASON NUMBER 4. Kushel towels are super absorbent and dry quickly.
REASON NUMBER 5. Stain-resistancy. Maybe it’s in the colour (Slate Grey), but despite me trying my worst with colour make-up, stains did not survive.
And here’s an extra reason I didn’t list but come to think of it right now… these towels would make a great Christmas present for eco warriors, hedonists or minimalists alike!
[While this test is based on pieces received as press samples, the review is 100% editorial, not sponsored and not influenced in any way.]