Rest easy in eco-friendly sleepwear


Whether you are huddling from the cold or just wanting to lounge in something comfortable, the perfect eco-sleepwear is out there.

Organic cotton, silk, and bamboo are widely available online and in-store. By far, the most popular is the ever-so-cozy organic flannel.

Finding the right material
So what do you buy for those guilt-free pjs?

"No fabric is the perfect solution," says Susan Gagnon of SYKA Textiles, the largest wholesaler of eco-fabric in Canada, "Every product has an impact, especially when you produce a lot of it. For us, at least one major step in the production process must be more sustainable than the conventional method."

Gagnon advises consumers to buy locally, heed the Canada Organic classification (requiring 95 percent of the material be from a sustainable source) and look for low-impact dyed clothing or vegetable dyes. Low-impact is a class of dyes which absorb well into natural fabrics, leaving less run-off and pollution. Another option is to go with colourgrown cotton that has been harvested and created with no dyes at all.

Cosy flannel
Because of the relative abundance of organic cotton compared to expensive imported wool, most organic flannel is higher in cotton than its conventional counterpart. It can be difficult to tell the difference between conventional and organic, so you need to look for those companies selling certified organic sleepwear.

The west coast eco-boutique Dream Designs offers unisex pajama sets, night gowns and robes made from 100 percent organic cotton flannel or sateen. For the flirty fashionista there's also a thigh-high organic cotton sateen nightie with spaghetti straps.

One of the most popular stores around is BC's Rawganique, offering raw and organic apparel for the sporty or stylish. Amidst their vast selection of hemp sleepwear and bedding, you can find unisex pajama sets in either colorgrown organic cotton flannel or silky organic cotton sateen.

You are looking for a bit of European flair, check out the flannel pjs being sold by A Happy Planet. These Italian designed his and hers pjs have a top with lapel collar and bottoms with covered elastic -- no drawstrings.

Classic standbys
The Heart of Vermont store offers that old classic: the flannel nightie done up in plain white or cream. Guaranteed to keep you warm. You can find another classic style at GrassRoots with its classic pinstripe pjs done up in 100 percent organic cotton.

If that's just a little too old-fashioned for you, head over to Gaiam for good selection of loungewear, pjs and bathrobes made with jersey knits, organic cotton and flannel in his and hers fashions.

Of course you could also follow the lead of the 33 percent of Canadians and 31 percent of Americans who sleep au naturel.

Jessica deMello is a Toronto based fashion writer.