How Marriott’s UK Hotels Turn Worn-Out Hotel Sheets into Tote Bags with Style
Anyone who’s had the misfortune of sleeping on hotel sheets that were ripped or frayed knows that bed linens don’t last forever. Sixty washes constitutes a lifetime for a sheet.
But what happens to dead bedding when it’s banished from your hotel room bed?
Since 2011, discarded sheets from Marriott hotels throughout the U.K. have returned to the properties reconstituted as stylish laundry bags, hair dryer bags and newspaper bags. And now Marriott International announces the arrival of another second coming – limited edition tote bags created from recycled hotel sheets.
The new eco tote is a looker, designed by Lily and Lionel, a five-year-old British accessory firm whose whimsically printed scarves sell at Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Henri Bendel. A strategically placed sprinkling of dreamlike blue and white birds flies against a black cotton backdrop, hinting that you’ll sleep easy if you recycle. (L and L’s prints are designed to tell a story.)
Equally intriguing is the tote’s maker. Sleeping Bags, a two-year-old, eco-minded British enterprise, designs products made from rehabbed hotel bed linens – including the laundry, dryer and newspaper bags found at Marriotts throughout the U.K.
“If laid end-to-end, bed linen condemned by the world’s leading hotel chains in one year would go around the world more than twice,” says Andy Marks, founder and CEO of Sleeping Bags. And how does Marriott’s sheeting stack up as a recycled fabric? It’s “wonderfully soft,” he says.
The totes, in a limited edition of 1,000, are available for 20 pounds sterling (about $31); 10 pounds from each purchase is donated to The Prince’s Trust, which helps young people find work or job training. Totes can be purchased online at www.shopmarriott.com/bedlinentote and sent anywhere in the world. Note: American shoppers won’t pay VAT, but shipping charges come in at L22.63 for a grand total of L39.30 (about $61).
Kudos to Marriott International for a bright idea. And fascinating detail about hotels’ dead sheets yearly crop of dead sheets double-wrapping the globe.
But it is a shame the shipping costs more than the totes for Americans. Surely they could come up with a cheaper alternative.
It’s a lot of sheets! Thanks, Halle.
This is really, really smart. I’m glad for it! Now, for that to happen in the US, and other countries around the world…
what a great idea!!! So glad to see something is being done with all that wasted material.
I agree — I love that these old sheets are winding up on stylish shoulders instead of in landfill. Thanks, Marina.
Always nice to see smart, creative ways to recycle. Well-done Marriott!
I agree. Thanks, Larissa.
What a great initiative! I love the idea and the eco-friendly commitment to making sure the sheets don’t end up in a landfill.
I agree, Cat. Thanks!
Love this idea! Most hotel sheets are very high quality. It is a shame to not to re-purpose the material. Growing up, we would contact hotels for old sheets to use as backdrops in our high school musicals. I’m thrilled to learn about Marriot’s program and hope other hotels follow their lead.
I love that your school used old hotel sheets as backdrops for musicals. Hotel sheets deserve to be re-purposed. Thanks, Mary.