Love expresses itself in many forms. But none of them is as testing as caring for a sick loved one. This responsibility leads one a journey, far from the comfort zone, into valleys and peaks of despair and hope. But ultimately it is one of the most fulfilling experiences life can throw at you. This is the story of the Founder of Aizome, Michel, who created a company driven by itchy skin and by finding ways to improve the quality of life for a loved one with eczema bedding.
Caring for somebody at the end of their life cycle is testing. Diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor, we spent 2 years at my mother’s bedside. When one undergoes chemotherapy, there is so much additional pain that people don’t anticipate. We decided early that mum was to pass away at home in as much comfort as we could give her. Mum skin’s developed terrible red and black patches that we initially thought to be bed sores. It made even lying for her painful. Seeing a loved one fight so many battles- the feeling of helplessness – yes, it was soul crushing.
A lot of conventional medicine is about treating symptoms that actually find the root cause. We got skin symptoms treating steroids, which made things in a very short time just much worse. All we wanted was to ease my mother’s pains as much as we could but we were often shrugged off. The bleeding took a toll on her.
It was a befriended dermatologist who gave us the hint to change bed sheets. Skin reacts to textiles in very complex ways. Toxicity in color and material might be low to not harm a healthy organism, but when your immune system is down, it is just another thing to deal with. It made a huge difference for us. Until then, I had never spent a second thinking about the effect fabrics have on skin health!
My mum passed away looking out into the garden from her bed and best of all, she was able to hang on to life to see the newborn twin of my sister. When she finally let go, our sadness was helped by an overwhelming feeling of having achieved, if that is possible, a good death.
After this, my journey in healthcare and textile continued many years after that. The tremendous effect such simple materials can have on the body, especially when your immune system is weak, left me changed. Especially bed sheets, thinking even a healthy person spends a third of their life in bed.
Natural colors have been dismissed from textile because they are more difficult that synthetics color. We won’t be able to ban all toxins in our life and this is not the point. But living more consciously and consuming things which have been made with a conscious mindset is very important.
Michel May created Aizome Bedding. Aizome is making 100% plant based textile using natural dyes such as indigo leaf to provide better quality of life to people with sensitive skin. The company became one of Japan’s (Michel home country then) most successful crowdfunding and his company ae sheets are selling today in in selected retail stores and on aizome.me
Sleeping to soothe your skin: Eczema Bedding
From your clothes, your underwear or even your bed sheets, fabrics play a vital role in everyone’s lives. But have you ever thought about how all those fabrics, rubbing against your skin, may affect your skin health? Michel May has founded a successful organic bed sheets company through crowdfunding and this is his journey into the wonderful world of textiles.
I was worried. I had just spent the day beside my mother’s bedside, comforting her after another round of chemotherapy. My mother had been diagnosed with brain cancer and it was my goal to keep her as comfortable as possible. However, angry red rashes and black patches kept cropping up all over her skin a few days after coming back from chemotherapy, causing her much discomfort and pain. And after trying several over-the-counter and prescription ointments to cure the rashes, I was at the end of my rope.
I vented my frustration to my dermatologist friend over a couple of beers who suggested that we change my mom’s bed sheets. After changing my mom’s bed sheets to ones made of more natural materials and washing them with organic detergent, miraculously, her skin began to heal.
Fascinated, I began to do more research. Fabrics, as it turns out, is a often ignored cause of aggravating and inflaming skin due to fabrics made from plastics (e.g. polyester) and man-made chemicals in the manufacturing process. Toxic chemicals such as bleach or formaldehyde leftover from the manufacturing process can rub off on skin causing or aggravating flare-ups for people with sensitive skin (e.g. eczema) or lower immune systems (like my mother going through chemotherapy).
Through my research, I also found a correlation between the increase of chemicals and plastic fibers in our fabrics and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. That got me thinking – what if we could make fabrics in the old way, using only natural materials like cotton and dye with plants like mango or indigo?
Aizome was born with the idea to make bed sheets for people with sensitive skin out of natural materials – good for you and for the planet. Using only easy-to-understand materials: indigo plants + water + organic cotton, we make sophisticated, soft, breathable bed sheets with no toxic chemicals and no plastic materials.
- Good for your skin: Tested by dermatologists and accepted by the National Eczema Association, these eczema bed sheets remove the majority of the skin irritants (chemicals, plastics in fabrics) that can keep people with eczema and other skin sensitivities up at night. And our customers are reaping the benefits too – hundreds of our customers have let us know how our eczema bedding has improved their sleep.
- Good for the planet: Because we use no chemicals, our eczema bedding is 100% biodegradable and almost zero-waste – so when you are done with them, they will breakdown to fertilize new plants – just like plants do. Because of our innovative manufacturing process, we have been nominated for the Green Product Awards.
Aizome is sold at The Eczema Company and select retailers. Get the great sleep you deserve with Aizome – you won’t regret it.