British luxury bed linen brand, Lula Green has just arrived on the design scene. Uniquely, every Lula Green product holds the GOTS certification – the highest organic textile certification in the world. Co-founder Julia Otto tells us more ...
Would you be able to talk a little about your background Julia?
I was born in Russia and moved to Costa Rica at the age of 12 and then to Germany at 13. After finishing my A-Levels in Berlin I continued to travel, mainly around Australasia, for almost two years. Despite loving the freedom of travel, I felt the need for a new challenge and so returned to Germany to start University. During my studies, I moved to England and fell in love with the country so much that I decided to stay and make it my home. Learning the importance of home was one of the inspirations for creating Lula Green.
After graduating, I worked in London’s financial sector progressing to manage a marketing department of 12 international markets within a few years. I enjoyed the challenge very much but as you can imagine, marketing financial services is not the most creative sector and for me it wasn’t the most life fulfilling. It was few years ago when the time felt right to rediscover my passion and to start my own business.
When and how was Lula Green created?
I always dreamed of starting my own business, entrepreneurship is common in my family and it’s a path I always saw as being very fulfilling to take.
Since meeting my fiancé, Brian, in 2007 we have shared this passion, continuously searching for a market niche but nothing we saw truly connected with us. With outward opportunity not presenting itself a few years ago we decided to seek inspiration in passions that we both share and start our company, based on the belief that a sustainable business should make a positive impact and be inspiring to others.
We founded Lula Green in September 2014, with a dream to create a brand that allows a space to be mindful and refined at the same time.
How would you describe Lula Green’s ethos?
Our ethos is “seeking a balance between what we take, and what we can give back to nature.” We believe in being mindful of our impact and that it is a responsibility we all share to preserve our beautiful planet for future generations. Therefore, in every business decision the first question we ask is what impact does it make on the wider environment.
In order to be classed as 100% organic, what criteria must Lula Green comply with?
It’s a very good question. There are many bodies certifying organic textiles, however, most of them will certify only one part of the production process.
Lula Green’s organic bed linen collection adheres to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which is recognised as the world’s most stringent independent certification body for organic fabric manufacturing. GOTS certifies the entire supply chain of the product, starting from the cotton seed, through farming, production, processing and packaging, to distribution.
Why do you feel that this organic status is desirable within the hospitality industry?
The global organic market and the consumer demand are evidently growing, partially due to the personal wellbeing trend increasingly becoming mainstream.
We see consumer interest in healthy lifestyle translating into choices for a healthy planet as they become more educated about the impact of the organic vs non-organic produce, spreading from food, to health and beauty into textiles.
Consequently, the “organic” label is turning into a brand of its own and is becoming a clearly understood mark of sustainability.
Why do you feel it is so important for hotels to invest in high quality linen?
Every hotel guest, whether on a business trip or traveling for pleasure, expects a good night’s sleep. Central to this is the creation of a bedroom sanctuary, one that your guests will not want to leave.
While there are many details that need to come together to create such an interior, the bed and the linen are undeniably the most influential features of the room. From these core pieces, what else if not the sheets, that envelop us for an extended period, should truly represent the feeling of quality?
You can find this in reviews of the world’s most prestigious hotels – they might have the finest mattresses accompanied by the perfect pillows, but what the guests will remember most after an uplifting stay is that unforgettable feeling of slipping into freshly made luxurious sheets.
Have you got any upcoming launches you wish to mention?
We are working on expanding our range into precious fibres, such as cashmere, yak, silk and others. It’s a very exciting project! In recent years, many of the fibres, such as cashmere, have received negative publicity with regards to their environmental impact.
We would like to highlight that there are still many traditional craftsmen out there relying on ethical practices, trying to protect their land and the source of their craft and income.
We are currently establishing a transparent supply chain that allows us to support those craftsmen and ensure animal welfare and an environmentally friendly production process. It has been a hard but very fulfilling journey so far and I’m very much looking forward to the product launch planned for next year.