For comparison: down pillows are filled with feathers from – possibly – live plucked geese and ducks.
While live plucking is banned in the EU, the ban is rarely enforced in practice or is circumvented through loopholes. Outside the EU, “live plucking” is still common because the feathers of live animals are of higher quality.
For the filling of a 1,000 gram pillow must leave – depending on density – about 28 animals a total of 20,000 – 30,000 of their feathers. An animal is plucked up to 16 times in the course of its life.
In contrast to the fast-moving fast fashion industry, we produce our Benefill products locally in Lübeck. We pay our seamstresses and sewers fair wages. Even though we always try to keep to the pattern and fill each pillow with exactly the same number of grams, each Benefill product is truly and unmistakably unique.
Seagrass is a real CO2 killer and stores almost twice as much carbon per hectare as the same amount of forest. At depths of one to eight meters in the Baltic Sea, it ensures that the flow of water on the seabed is reduced. The seagrass binds the CO2 contained in the water and needed for photosynthesis. When plants die, carbon remains are deposited in the soil because old plant parts are covered by sediment. One square meter of seabed covered with seagrass stores about 27 to 52 grams of organic carbon per year.
In addition, seagrass beds increase the pH in the ocean and counteract ocean acidification.
In addition, the seaweed can still help to free the Baltic Sea from plastic waste. Plastic particles collect in seagrass beds, combine with dead seagrasses, and then wash up together on the beach.
Dust mites live in almost all conventional pillow fillings. Their feces trigger noticeable and in many cases unrecognized allergies.
During the approximately 10,000 breaths humans take while sleeping, mite feces are inhaled indirectly through the nose or mouth into the bronchi and lungs.
The most common symptoms of allergies triggered by mite feces are itchy or watery eyes, headache, scratchy throat, exhaustion after waking up, stuffy nose, cough or cold.
Seaweed offers the solution here. Mites and other arachnids that are comfortable in conventional pillows avoid the seaweed and do not inhabit it. This is because the natural high salt and mineral content makes seagrass resistant to animal pests and decay.
Bei der Produktion von herkömmlich verwendeten Kissenfüllungen wie Polyester oder Daunen werden teils große Mengen der zunehmend knapper werdenden Ressource Wasser verbraucht. Je nach Polyesterart werden in der Produktion für ein Kilogramm ca. 60 Liter Wasser verbraucht.
Die Produktion von konventionellen Kissenfüllungen aus Daunenfedern schafft unnötig tierisches Leid, die aus verschiedenen Polyesterarten, welche aus Rohöl gewonnen werden, verbrauchen immens viel Energie und belasten die Umwelt ungemein.
Seegras dagegen ist ein natürliches Abfallprodukt, das nach dem Anspülen am Strand eingesammelt, mit Meerwasser abgespült und schließlich an der frischen Luft getrocknet wird.
What actually is seaweed?
There are countless species of seagrass. Most are found in the northern hemisphere, as seagrass prefers cold ocean regions. The “big” seagrass, which is widespread in the Baltic Sea, has long, narrow leaves that can grow up to 200 centimeters long. Seagrass provides a habitat for countless sea creatures such as seahorses and rays. Seagrass plants consist of roots, which store CO² in the seabed, leaves and flowers in summer. In autumn the leaves die off and are washed up on the shores of the world’s oceans. New leaves sprout in spring.
The size of the global seagrass deposits can only be roughly estimated, but according to the latest studies it should amount to around 300,000 square kilometers.
Seagrass grows on the sea floor of all continents except Antarctica.
Seagrass is classified as flame retardant in fire class B2. Due to the high proportion of silicate and salt, there is natural fire protection. In addition, no toxic gases are produced in the event of a fire.
No, the natural moisture regulation of seaweed effectively prevents mould, rot and fungi.
Seagrass has no natural expiration date and is often used as insulation material on roofs for several centuries. Since seaweed is a one hundred percent natural product, it can be easily disposed of in organic waste or compost. However, it makes more sense to mix the seaweed, for example, with garden soil in a loose soil and thus use it as a natural fertilizer for plant growth.
How does the seaweed get into my pillow from the sea?
The natural annual cycle of a seagrass meadow provides for many leaf shoots of the seagrass to die off, primarily in autumn. These seagrass leaves are then washed up on the beaches of the Baltic Sea.
For many communities, the washed-up seagrass represents a tourist problem. The seaweed is therefore often collected early in the morning and disposed of. We want to counteract this state of affairs and give the versatile natural material a chance for further use.
We collect the washed-up seaweed, wash it with water, which we return to the Baltic Sea via the beach, and sort out foreign bodies. Then the seaweed is dried in the fresh air and compressed into bales.
After that, we pluck the seaweed out of the bales and check again to see if there are any foreign bodies such as feathers or branches in it. Finally, the seaweed is weighed out and stuffed into our pillows or cuddly toys.
For whom are seaweed cushions suitable?
Generally, seagrass products are suitable for all people who care about reducing their ecological footprint, who care about animal welfare and who want to support local textile production.
In addition, Benefill seagrass products are particularly suitable for allergy sufferers because mites and other arachnids that feel at home in conventional pillows avoid seagrass and do not populate it. This is because the natural high salt and mineral content makes seagrass resistant to animal pests and rotting.
Benefill seagrass pillows are also a real benefit for people who sweat a lot. Seagrass absorbs three times its dry weight in moisture, making it more comfortable to sleep on.
Because seagrass pillows are non-musty and mold-free, their use is perfect in rooms with high humidity or poor ventilation, or even on a boat or while camping.
The dried and pressed into bales of seaweed, we pluck apart by hand in our workshop and make a final quality control. There we free the seaweed from any foreign bodies such as branches or feathers. Subsequently, we weigh the seaweed and fill it by hand into our Benefill seaweed pillows or cuddly toys.