Friday, July 12, 2013

McQueen blues and kapok dues

Since I'm anxiously sitting here whilst awaiting the results of my experimental treatment of my yet unworn F/W 07 Alexander McQueen wool/cashmere coat (i.e. machine washing it on the delicate cycle with vinegar to get the ridiculous perfume smells of the past owner out that are still around after 7 months of airing it out), I thought I'd share another eco-friendly tip for your home. With my almost year-old sensitivities to scents and many chemical smells, I'm being a lot more conscious as to what I surround myself with. And when it came time to replace our pillows, based on the bad reaction I had to our new Ikea couch, recommendations of staying away from foam (especially memory foam, which off-gasses for far too long), and my man's allergy to (and our mutual dislike of) down-filled pillows, I had a feeling that regular store-bought pillows of any type would not cut it anymore. So, even though the tight moving-time budget didn't really allow for it, I decided it was worth splurging on the one item that I stick my nose closest to for 7 to (I'll be honest) 11 hours a day. The local environmental boutique where I bought the hemp shower curtains had three options of environmental- and people-safe pillows, one stuffed with rubber, one with wool, and the other with the silken seed covering from the kapok tree. Since my man is allergic to rubber and the wool ones were $100 each, I went with the kapok option. And I'm sold. The pillow is rather firm as it's stuffed quite full, but there's a zipper in the organic cotton case so you can remove as much of the stuffing as you want. I like a good firm pillow anyway, and the kapok fibers conform a bit to your head, so I haven't removed any. Best thing of all though is that I no longer get stuffed up as soon as I put my head down on the pillow. I always thought it was a reaction to the air in the bedroom or simply lying down that caused that reaction when I went to bed. I had even been sleeping with a carbon mask for the last couple weeks to combat the stuffed nose reaction. But since getting the kapok pillow, I've been mask-free. Woo hoo! I would highly suggest thinking about the contents of your pillow next time you're in the market for a new one. Now, off to assess the damage to my McQueen. I'm scared.

Result: The jacket seems to be structurally okay except for maybe a separation in the lining seam that might've already been there, but the smell is still there. Sigh. Might have to soak longer in vinegar or baking soda and repeat. Though I'll need to balance the machine out next time with a towel or something, as it was much too loud during the spinning cycle. Anyway, 'dry clean only' is a lie, and spraying perfume on/near a McQueen coat is a heinous crime. And that's all I have to say about that.

(Photo of a kapok tree via here)

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