Coyuchi is a beautiful online source for organic towels, organic bedding sets, organic duvet covers, organic blankets, organic comforters and more.
Today I’m talking to Eileen Mockus Eileen, the CEO of Coyuchi. Her background is in textiles, with roots in fabric and product development. I’m excited to share Eileen’s story with you and hope it inspires you to think twice about your bedding for your health.
Ellen, what inspired your founder to create Coyuchi?
EM: The founder was a pioneer in developing product using organic cotton and her commitment to organic farming becomes an excellent touchstone for Coyuchi. In my career in performance fabrics then home textiles, I’ve developed a point of view about how to make great products that are a pleasure to have in your home, while protecting the soil, the environment and the people who make textiles their art and their trade.
I love your clean, organic products and couldn’t live without them because I’m so sensitive to chemicals, like many of my readers. When did you first realize that our bedding, towels and clothing are full of chemicals?
EM: I learned about chemicals used on textiles at UC Davis, working on my degree in Textiles and Clothing, but I didn’t know the potential for harm with those chemicals until I began working in Fabric Development at Patagonia. I was asked to research why a recent shipment of cotton shorts was causing the staff at a store to have itchy eyes and skin. Turns out, it was formaldehyde being used on the cotton fabric. I’ve never forgotten that research and was pretty surprised when I worked in home textiles to discover that all those wrinkle free and permanent press sheets were using formaldehyde as well. There are lots of tests in place to keep the formaldehyde to a containable level, but what about not using it in the first place? That’s where Coyuchi makes a different choice than most other home companies out there in how we make our product.
What don’t people realize about your brand? What would surprise them?
EM: We’ve been around for 25 years and we’re the first home textile company to bring organic cotton to sheets and towels here in the United States. We are also the first to be GOTS certified.
What was the major turning point in your journey as an entrepreneur so far?
EM: While working at The North Face, I had the opportunity to be part of the team launching Tekware, their sportswear line with a technical edge. I enjoy the evolution of a new business, the debates about direction, design and marketing. The messy piece in the middle that scares most is what interests me.
What is your favorite new product for autumn 2017?
EM: Our new Organic Linen Chambray Sheets! GOTS certified organic linen is another first for Coyuchi. More important is the fabric is ideal for sheets year round, and gets better (softer, smoother, more relaxed) with every wash. My other favorite is the Catalina organic cotton and linen towel. I’m a textile geek at heart and the fiber, the yarns, the weave all contribute to this soft, absorbent towel with a herringbone weave that captures my visual interest too.
You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
EM: Go outside!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
EM: Always have a back up plan.
Who’s the person that has influenced you most?
EM: I don’t think I could credit one single person. As the youngest of seven, I definitely would say my family has been the biggest influence.
What are some of your favorite ways to unwind, relax and recharge?
EM: I often go for a run, a hike, go skiing. Something that will occupy my mind completely, and then I relax.
What do you do to stay healthy when you travel?
EM: I get enough sleep, drink a lot of water, and wash my hands as often as possible.
Life changing book you’ve read:
EM: Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart.
Favorite meal to eat:
EM: Salad and dessert, don’t forget the dessert.
Number of unread emails:
EM: Too many to count usually. But I try to stay on top of them.
Favorite app on your phone:
EM: Life 360 so my family and I can keep track of one another.
Top two favorite songs you’re listening to right now:
Coyuchi’s Solar Eclipse Playlist on Spotify.
The place you go to find inspiration:
EM: I often find inspiration at the coast, along the beach.
EM: Fruit, kefir with a few nuts – and coffee.
Most worn piece of clothing:
My alpaca scarf, though my Montara organic linen tunic is quickly climbing up the list as a new favorite.
Finish these Sentences:
A well-dressed man… wears well fabricated clothing of interesting, organic and responsibly sourced fibers. (No apologies from this textile geek!)
The future… of organic is a means of changing our food, our farms and our health… is up to you
Life… is meant to be lived and shared.
I am… here.
There’s a time and place for… most things; you can only hope you get the timing right.
There is not enough…. Organic cotton farms.
Before I go to bed… I will sleep better with 30 minutes of yoga and a cup of chamomile tea.
In the end… hope is lost, experience is gained, memories are made.
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