But dreaming and doing are two separate things. That’s why we’ve established an action plan that helps turn these sustainable dreams of ours into reality.
Guided by 3 of our core company values —
- Act From the Heart
- Do Right by All
- Take Charge
QE Home is taking steps to account for our role on this planet and in our communities. The textile industry is a major contributor to the waste and emissions crisis that present an ever-increasing threat to our world, and sitting on the sidelines is not an option we’re willing to take.
By prioritizing sustainable practices, exercising social responsibility, and ensuring ethical conduct, we’re creating products that aren’t just better for people – they’re better for the planet, too.
We know retail can be used as a force of good provided that all companies – no matter how small or large – commit towards a consumption-conscious model that buys sustainably and sells responsibly. Being transparent about the steps we’re taking keeps us accountable and focused on the task at hand, and more than anything we want you to feel empowered when you make the decision to purchase from QE Home.
While we’ve been enhancing the quality and durability of our products, expanding our selection of eco-friendly fibers, and improving our operations for quite some time, we’ve never formally built out a sustainability roadmap. That’s why we’ve created a 4-step action plan for moving towards a greener future, together.
Step 1: Establish
With key members from our product design, supply chain, operations, and marketing teams, we establish a Sustainability Committee that takes a holistic approach towards minimizing environmental consequences. We develop and institute a Vendor Code of Ethics (VCoE) that ensures our network of suppliers uphold ethical and humane standards of production while caring for the environment and its communities.
Our Vendor Code of Ethics outlines our commitment towards human and labour rights by ensuring safe and fair working conditions for those involved in our supply chain, despite differences in cultural and legal expectations that may exist. For example, our VCoE guarantees the equal and humane treatment of all workers, and safeguards against inhumane practices such as child or involuntary labour.
Step 2: Assess
By tracing our supply chains, measuring current consumption, and working with third party auditors to ensure objectivity, we gain a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of our current environmental footprint.
Step 3: Target
Using the information collected, we set benchmarks for improving the sustainability of our business practices and products by using science-based targets to reduce the ecological impact of our entire value chain.
Step 4: Action
It’s time to execute on these improvements; we take charge & make change!
Again, we know words (and dreams) are one thing while actions are another, so we’ve listed some of what we’ve already done to improve the sustainability and impact of our day-to-day practices.
In the fight for a greener future, we’ve got no time to waste on waste.
That’s why we’re taking steps to reduce, reuse, recycle, and eliminate wherever possible. By focusing on creating high quality, durable products sourced from sustainable materials, we can minimize the amount of textile overproduction and waste. Cheap linens, destined for the dump after minimal use, are a major concern when it comes to our environmental health, while products designed to endure are key for creating the circular economies of the future. We take pride in using eco-friendly fibers for our core products. Made from renewable raw materials and responsible production processes, these products have high resource efficiency and low environmental impact to ensure sustainability from forest to fabric (click to read more about our eco all-stars Bamboo Cotton and TENCEL™).
We’re also working hard to minimize the use of virgin plastics. Our Less Waste, Less Trace line of recycled polyester products helps divert single-use plastic waste away from landfills by upcycling them into long-lasting comfort.
Quality control is another factor crucial to the environment, as it helps prevent excess textile waste. Throughout the entire production process, our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet our (high) standards, thereby minimizing the risk of creating defective products that have to be discarded.
By focusing on quality over quantity, everyone – including Mother Earth – wins.
When it comes to the current realities of packaging in our industry, we’re innovating and brainstorming ways to cut down where we can. Many of our products, like our duvet covers and Aruba sheeting, come with built-in/reusable packaging that reduce the need for bags and excess waste. We’re also working on eliminating plastic bags from all stores, and we encourage our customers to switch to our reusable nylon bags (or bring their own from home) through education, promotions, and cost-saving incentives.
In this effort to reduce our overall plastic use, we’ve recognized the need for a holistic approach towards these complex problems. An example of this can be seen in our decision to vacuum-pack bulky items! While shipping items this way does require extra packaging, it also creates less emissions overall, so the net benefit of the extra plastic is still greater. That’s why establishing a sustainability committee is critical for our continuing effort to make informed decisions that actually benefit the planet, all things considered.
They say it takes a village to raise a child... we say it takes a lot more to bring quality products into the homes of millions of Canadians! That’s why the ethics and effects of our supply chain and operations are paramount to our commitment towards sustainability.
Since we source materials from around the world in order to craft the finest possible products, we’ve had to take an international approach in our production and labour practices. To do this, we develop strong, ongoing relationships with facilities so that we can build mutual trust, ensure product quality and consistency, and improve our practices and technology over time.
Beyond making visits to the facilities ourselves, we also work with third-party auditors to evaluate, monitor, and certify the social and environmental practices of our suppliers. We’re currently in the process of developing a Vendors Code of Ethics (based on industry-recognized principles and international standards) that will ensure all suppliers — no matter their location — uphold a consistent set of policies when it comes to working conditions and environmental regulations.
As for our national operations, we’ve made changes to significantly reduce our environmental burden. Freight (train) transport produces 50-75% less carbon emission than trucks, so we’ve switched to shipping our products by train to Eastern Canada. We’ve also invested in an east coast delivery facility that allows us to increase our efficiency in fulfilling e-commerce orders. Our warehouse and distribution centers reuse cardboard boxes to cut down on waste, and when stores undergo renovation, we refit them with LED lighting and bluetooth technology to help save energy and reduce wiring.
Admitting there’s a problem is the first step – that’s why informing our customers and staff on environmental issues is so important to us.
If you’re familiar with our business (or you read this page closely), you’ll know that we’re committed to continuously educating our customers – and consequently, our staff – on the benefits of choosing eco-friendly materials. The many web pages and blog posts dedicated to this topic alone should be a good indicator! We also utilize online alternatives for training our staff and hosting meetings so that we can reduce paper waste and any emissions created from travel. The few in-person meetings we do have are designed to maximize efficiency so that we can make the most out of the time we have to spend together.
As far as our in-store experiences go, we’re in the process of adding QR codes to all product knowledge sheets in an effort to eliminate waste paper. We also credit customers who choose to reuse their own bags, and extensively train our staff on proper recycling procedures.
Change starts close to home – that’s why every year QE Home donates hundreds of products and thousands of dollars to charities and non-profit organizations across Canada — including women’s shelters, mission services, children’s hospitals, LGBTQ+ foundations, and more. Supporting communities and individuals in need helps us sleep better at night, and we’re always looking for more ways to get involved with those around us.
When it comes to green initiatives specifically, we’ve put our money where our mouths are. By donating a percentage of our eco-sheeting sales to the reforestation initiative One Tree Planted, we were able to plant 5000 new trees in Canada! Exploring other opportunities for partnership with environmental organizations is something we look forward to doing more of as we move forward with this sustainable vision of ours.
Recycling, Upcycling & Donating Old Textiles
Making environmentally-conscious decisions is important when it comes to purchasing new products, but it’s equally as important to consider when getting rid of items too! Rather than throwing your used textiles into the garbage, you can curb excess waste by recycling, donating, or repurposing old bedding instead.
Here’s an eco-friendly tip: try to repurpose any packaging left behind too! Our plastic duvet bags, for example, are perfect for storing away any seasonal items during the year.
Below is a chart to help you find out where you can recycle/donate unwanted textiles depending on your location. If you know of a place for recycling textiles that’s not listed, or you’re willing to share the creative ways you reuse and/or recycle your bedding, please let us know!
|Province||Donations + Recycling Resources|
|Cape Breton Island|
Get to Know
Our Green Stry
If you’ve shopped online with us recently, you may have noticed an interactive leaf icon on some of our product pages. This icon announces whether a product is a carbon-neutral choice, and it’s part of our broader sustainability strategy to understand our impact and improve on our ecological footprint.
It should come as no surprise that we believe education and transparency are key drivers of meaningful climate action, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Green Story and Simplizero to help drive that awareness!
How does Green Story work?
Green Story combines sustainability analyses with data-driven transparency to trace, measure, and communicate the true environmental impact of a product to consumers. This is done by analyzing the environmental impact associated with all stages of a product’s life (also known as a Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA) using the help of third-party auditors to ensure the objectivity and validity of the findings.
Once we’ve calculated our impact, the next step is to counteract! By partnering with Simplizero on various carbon offset projects, we’re able to neutralize any emissions that result during a product’s life cycle. You can find more information on the specific carbon offset projects we’ve chosen below, or by clicking the green leaf icon (located under the product’s name) on a product page.
Upon interacting with the icon, you’ll also be able to see an exact calculation of the carbon emissions incurred —and then offset! —during a product’s life cycle by these projects, as well as how they align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Knowledge is power, after all – that’s why we’re committed to bringing the environment into conversation whenever and wherever we can! When you choose to shop with QE Home, you’ll rest easier knowing the full impact of your purchasing decisions.
QE Home’s Carbon Offset Projects
As far as our carbon curbing actions go, QE Home is proud to partner with three projects spanning different developing nations and environmental and social concerns:
Being able to access clean drinking water is something most in the developed world will never have to worry about, but many others around the globe cannot say the same. That’s why we’re funding a carbon offset project that repairs and maintains existing boreholes in rural Rwanda, providing safe, clean drinking water to surrounding communities while offsetting emissions at the same time.
Wondering what a borehole is? A borehole is a long, narrow hole that’s been drilled into the earth so that clean groundwater can be extracted (typically via hand pump). These boreholes alone provide over 50 million litres of clean water, with an estimated 68,000 people directly benefiting as a result!
When it comes to the environment, properly maintained, functional boreholes provide a viable alternative to boiling water via wood-burning fires — eliminating the need for over 85,000 tonnes of wood and reducing the pressure placed on surrounding forests. As a result, this project prevents the release of 125,000 tonnes of atmospheric CO2!
Protecting our rainforests is critical for curbing climate change, as forests act as vital carbon sinks that capture and absorb carbon emissions from the environment.
A quick biology refresher: plants convert atmospheric CO2 + sunlight into usable energy, and the biodiverse life inherent in these forests is particularly good at doing this. A single mature tree in a forest sequesters around 20 kilograms of carbon every year!
By funding projects that restore and protect rainforests in Peru (like the Amazon), we offset carbon emissions and ensure these biodiverse areas thrive for years to come— without living under threat of deforestation.
Altogether, we help sustainably manage and protect the biodiversity of 112,500+ hectares of rainforest, which will absorb 9.5 million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 over the next decade and protect the habitat of at least 35 endangered species!
How Can I Shop Sustainably?
Ready to shop sustainably? At QE Home, we’ve made it easy to make environmentally responsible choices when it comes to your bedding and home decor. How? By creating products that look good, feel good, and do good... all at the same time.
Try Out TENCEL™
When it comes to making feel-good choices, you’ll know you’ve done something right when your purchase has been crafted using TENCEL™’s range of sustainable fabrics.
We use TENCEL™’s world-renowned eco-friendly fibers in many of our core products, from our luxury sheets to our fashionable designer linens. Alongside their sustainable production processes, TENCEL™ fabrics are also known (and loved!) for their amazing quality, silky smooth feel, and thermoregulating capabilities to boot. Click here to learn more about TENCEL™!
Our Luxury Sheets With TENCEL™ Fibers
BeechBliss | Silky soft and cool to the touch
100% TENCEL™ Modal
Eucalyptus Luxe | Buttery soft and lustrous
65% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 35% Cotton
Our Designer Linens + Duvet Covers With TENCEL™ Fibers
Buy More Bamboo
Bamboo-blend fabrics are popular for good reason: this fast-growing, resource-efficient plant is a soft, breathable, and sustainable superstar!
Shop LESS WASTE, LESS TRACE™
Reduce, reuse, recycle...and rejuvenate!
That’s what happens when you sleep on our Less Waste, Less Trace line of 100% Recycled Polyester bedding. By creating this collection from post-consumer plastics, we reduce the use of virgin polyester and help divert plastic waste away from landfills, helping you dress your bed sustainably and affordably from head(board) to toe.
Plus, you can rest assured knowing all LWLT products are Global Recycled Standard certified.
Check the Certifications
We’re serious about our certifications! Because objectivity, transparency, and consistency matter deeply to us, our certifications work to verify the sustainability and ethics of our production processes through third-party measures. When you shop with us, check to see if your choices are certified for extra assurance that you’re making an environmental and ethical choice.
OEKO-TEX® certification ensures a textile has been verified in an independent laboratory, and is free from more than 100 substances known to be harmful to human and environmental health.
Global Recycle Standard (GRS) Certified
GRS certification ensures that a product contains verified recycled materials and reduces the harmful social and environmental consequences related to production processes. This standard applies to the full supply chain of a given product.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified
GOTS certification ensures that organic textiles follow world-recognized environmental and ecological standards during every level of the production process (from harvesting the raw materials to manufacturing, labeling, and more). Fun fact: GOTS certified products are pesticide-free and require lighter water irrigation!
Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
The RDS certification ensures that best practices for animal welfare are followed throughout the entirety of a product’s supply chain, and that a product contains only certified material.
The DOWNPASS certification ensures down or feather materials sourced from Europe meet the highest ethical standards for animal welfare and quality control.
The Downmark certification ensures that down and feather products bearing this mark are genuine, high-quality, and finished in Canada according to strict ethical standards.
*Valid for first time QEHomeLinens.com customers only. $10 discount valid with min. purchase of $200 on Carlingdale, Home Republic, Aruba, Seventh Heaven brands; excludes End of Season Clearance products; offer expires 15 days after signing up.