Kapok

All-natural and Sustainable Kapok Filling

An eco-conscious pet lovers alternative to regular pet beds.

Kapok is an all-natural fibre extracted from the seedpod of the Kapok (Ceiba) tree. These trees grow naturally in hot rainforest climates such as Indonesia and are not harmed in the harvesting of the seedpods, making kapok a sustainable resource. The seed pods drop to the rainforest floor and are collected by hand by locals; keeping the rainforest safe and undestroyed. There is no spraying of pesticides, insecticides and no artificial watering. Almost no work is required to turn the raw material into bedding fiber: it’s manually picked clean, spun, and sent to us! Meaning your purchase of kapok is helping to preserve the life of the tree and encourage local economies in Indonesia.

The History of Kapok

Kapok fibers were in the all-natural life preservers used by G.I.s in World War II.

Kapok fibers are one eight (0.08) the weight of cotton.

In the 1920, explorers conquering Mt. Everest typically wore high-altitude boots with kapok insulation, leather outers, gaiters and crampons

Kapok was one of the first ancient non-food plants cultivated across Southeast Asia.

Kapok was routinely used for pillows before goose down; Kapok is Retro Green.

Kapok is a vegetable down. It’s been used for years in maritime industry because of its buoyancy. In the 1940s, all sorts of items - life belts, seating cushions, mattresses — were filled with Kapok, which is water repellant and enables it to keep afloat from 30 to 35 times its weight. Ordinary cork can only support 5 times its weight.

Organic and Kapok

My Kapok meets all of the requirements to be certified organic (There is no spraying of pesticides, insecticides and no artificial watering), however there are significant costs involved with having that fancy emblem put on your product. These costs are passed directly on to the consumer. One of the requirements to acquire the GOTS Certified organic certification is purchasing over 20 tons at a time – that is is shit-ton of Kapok! I have requested this from my supplier and it is something they are considering doing in the next year or so. But as a small business, this is not obtainable for me at this time.

Why are polyfilled beds bad for our pets?

Polyester fibrefill (polyfill or brand name Poly-fil) is a synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum. Polyester/polyurethane = plastic. Developed in the 20th-century to mimic the properties of natural fibres like cotton, wool, down, and kapok; polyester fibers are formed from a chemical reaction between an acid and alcohol. Following its introduction to the United States in 1951, polyester quickly became the country’s fastest-growing fiber replacing it’s natural alternatives due to economical cost and convenience.

The standard pet beds that you find at your big box stores are stuffed using polyurethane; plastic and toxic, human-made chemicals in a factory. Did you know these chemicals break down and become airborne? Your pet breathes them in when they rest for many hours a day in their favourite spot. Not to mention polyfill beds retain heat, smells and are a breading ground for bacteria. If you look at the tags on these beds you will find some very obvious warnings. “Not intended for use by children.” “Remove bed immediately if torn or damaged” “Seek veterinary attention is ANY material is ingested.” – I find myself asking, why we are allowed to use these products in our home if they are so unsafe? The answer, our pet industry is severely un-regulated. I mean just look at rawhide chews, and what’s come to light about what actually goes into our pets food.

I choose a better way!

Stuffing my pet beds with Kapok fibre is not only environmentally friendly, but it is also safe for your pet! Kapok fibre is lightweight, non-allergenic, non-toxic, naturally anti-bacterial, resistant to rot and odourless. It’s because of these properties that Kapok does not require the regular cleaning treatments of typical polyfill beds. With any natural product, it comes at a higher cost and a little more work, after all this is why cheaper alternatives were made – but at what cost?

For example, Kapok is waterproof and it should never be placed in the wash (submerged in water). It will clump and can be difficult to re-fluff because Kapok will absorb 30x it’s own weight in water, which is why we recommend removing it from your bed prior to washing.

We also recommend un-stuffing and stuffing your bed outside, as Kapok fibres are very light and will travel, so they tend to make a mess. Not to worry though! Because Kapok is natural, it will compost and become part of the earth again.

In my opinion, and what our pride members have embraced is that a little extra work, a lot less often for the sake of our health and our planet – is worth every minute and getting a little fluffy! Stuff your pet bed with the softest filling around Kapok – your pet will thank you.