I never knew myself to be much of a sleep mask person until recently. Our new apartment has skylights which are things of glory on most days, unless, like me, you have a penchant for working til 3am and function feebly on less than 8 hours of sleep.
For a while, I was using one of my husfriend’s shirts as a sleep mask which works until you shift positions and are both blinded and awakened from your serene sleep by morning's magnificent, but ever so often untimely, light. (sounds dramatic, I know, but I’m a horrific morning person, so bare with me)
Neither owning a sleep mask nor contemplating the health benefits of using one had crossed my mind until a beautiful little brand called Earthen Warrior came into sight. Susanna, it’s conscious creator, handmakes sleep masks along with other ethical and sustainably minded things, from her studio in New York.
Though Susanna is ‘guilty’ of using a few non-eco prints from British heritage brand Liberty, she is transparent about her way of being. She reminded me Liberty prints are produced ethically in England, using a screen printing method which produces no waste water, so there are definitely worse fabrics to be found.
The majority of the pieces are produced using plant-dyed silks, repurposed cashmere, and vintage one-of-a-kind textiles. Her creations bring back the artisan skills and modest glamour of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (she has even expertly re-created Audrey Hepburn's sleep mask), married with the ethos of today's collective conscious movement.
The magnificent mask she sent me is creatively created, upcycling and repurposing every step of the way. The super soft backing is made from repurposed cashmere, while the silky outer made from an upcycled silk blouse. She beautifully embroidered the detailing of the third eye herself, without the use of machines or glue, creating a wearable piece of art which is completely unique and love made.
I recently learnt that along with their beauty and functionality, sleep masks have health benefits as well, according to the Centre of Health Research, sleeping in total darkness allows your body to produce as much of the hormone melatonin as possible, which is beneficial as drops in melatonin production put you at greater risk of breast and colorectal cancer amongst other health risks.
It is artisan designers like Susanna, and others like her who have created a space for themselves within the niche of sustainable fashion, creating products we wouldn’t think of consciously, not just for profit, but for progress and pleasure.
You'll find Earthen Warrior's sleep masks (which would make an excellent holiday gift) on her website: HERE
*GIFTED: this item was graciously sent to me as a gift by Susanna as an exchange of energy for the post.*
Photos: Shane Woodward