But dreaming and doing are two separate things.
That’s why we’ve established an action plan that helps turn these sustainable dreams of ours into reality.
As a leading company within the home textiles industry in Canada, QE Home is making a focused shift towards environment and social responsibility in every area of our business.
Our plan to our customers (and to the world) is guided by our company values:
- Act From the Heart
- Do Right by All
- Take Charge
The global textile industry is responsible for roughly 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Understanding this, QE Home is focusing on dramatically reducing its environmental footprint.
We’re also working with our suppliers and customers to pass along the results of our efforts, with the goal of having both an upstream and downstream effect on environmental footprints throughout our entire value chain.
By prioritizing sustainable practices, exercising social responsibility, and ensuring ethical conduct, we’re creating products that aren’t just better for people – they’re better for the planet, too.
We know retail can be used as a force of good, provided that all companies – no matter how small or large – commit towards a consumption-conscious model that buys sustainably and sells responsibly.
Being transparent about the steps we’re taking keeps us accountable and focused on the task at hand. More than anything, we want our customers to feel empowered when choosing QE Home products.
QE Home’s Commitment to the Environment & Society.
Our environmental focus will be measured and calculated. QE Home is establishing environmental baselines on all aspects of our products value chain using a third party recognized Life Cycle Analysis approach. This approach will document product emissions in carbon equivalents from the raw material stage through to the end-of-life stage. The data gathered will be used to inform supply decisions and be presented to customers in a transparent and comprehensive way that will ensure full visibility into the impact of purchasing decisions.
This process is fully in line with our public four step action plan to tackle environmental externalities caused by our products. Our action plan is laid out as follows:
Step 1: Establish
Through the establishment of our sustainability committee, QE Home will take a holistic approach towards minimizing environmental consequences as well as ensuring that social principles are used throughout our suppliers.
Step 2: Assess
By evaluating our supply chains, measuring consumption, and working with third party auditors to ensure objectivity, we will gain a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of our current environmental footprint.
Step 3: Target
Using the information collected, we will have internal benchmarks for improving the sustainability of our business practices and products by using science-based targets to reduce the ecological impact of our entire value chain.
Step 4: Action
QE Home will focus efforts on all aspects of our value chain to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations. Actions such as reducing the energy consumption of our brick-and-mortar facilities, working with our logistics network to reduce the impact of our transportation, and working with our suppliers to source environmentally sustainable products, offset the emissions through partnerships with carbon credit institutes, reduce the impact of supplier production and source materials from socially and environmentally conscious and recognized suppliers.
In the fight for a greener future, we’ve got no time to waste on waste.
That’s why we’re taking steps to reduce, reuse, recycle, and eliminate wherever possible.
By focusing on creating high quality, durable products sourced from sustainable materials, we can minimize the amount of textile overproduction and waste. Cheap linens, destined for the dump after minimal use, are a major concern when it comes to our environmental health, while products designed to endure are key for creating the circular economies of the future. We take pride in using eco-friendly fibers for our core products. Made from renewable raw materials and responsible production processes, these products have high resource efficiency and low environmental impact to ensure sustainability from forest to fabric (click to read more about our eco all-stars Bamboo Cotton and TENCEL™).
We’re also working hard to minimize the use of virgin plastics.
Our Less Waste, Less Trace line of recycled polyester products helps divert single-use plastic waste away from landfills by upcycling them into long-lasting comfort.
Quality control is another factor crucial to the environment, as it helps prevent excess textile waste. Throughout the entire production process, our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet our (high) standards, thereby minimizing the risk of creating defective products that have to be discarded.
By focusing on quality over quantity, everyone – including Mother Earth – wins.
When it comes to the current realities of packaging in our industry, we’re innovating and brainstorming ways to cut down where we can. Many of our products, like our duvet covers and Aruba sheeting, come with built-in/reusable packaging that reduce the need for bags and excess waste, whilst still protecting the product in transit.
And... we’re helping our customers shop sustainably.
We’re also working on eliminating plastic bags from all stores, and we encourage our customers to switch to our reusable bags (or bring their own from home) through education, promotions, and cost-saving incentives.
In this effort to reduce our overall plastic use, we’ve recognized the need for a holistic approach towards these complex problems. An example of this can be seen in our decision to vacuum-pack bulky items!
While shipping items this way does require extra packaging, it allows us to ship more product per container, so overall emissions are reduced. This method also ensures our product won’t get damaged whilst travelling in wet conditions (and possibly having to be discarded if so). Once the shipments arrive to their final destinations, all plastic is recycled or reused by our stores.
They say it takes a village to raise a child... we say it takes a lot more to bring quality products into the homes of millions of Canadians! That’s why the ethics and effects of our supply chain and operations are paramount to our commitment towards sustainability.
Since we source materials from around the world in order to craft the finest possible products, we’ve had to take an international approach in our production and labour practices.
To do this, we develop strong, ongoing relationships with facilities so that we can build mutual trust, ensure product quality and consistency, and improve our practices and technology over time.
Beyond making visits to the facilities ourselves, we also work with third-party auditors to evaluate, monitor, and certify the social and environmental practices of our suppliers. We’re currently in the process of developing a Vendors Code of Ethics (based on industry-recognized principles and international standards) that will ensure all suppliers — no matter their location — uphold a consistent set of policies when it comes to working conditions and environmental regulations.
As for our national operations, we’ve made changes to significantly reduce our environmental burden.
As a British Columbia based retailer with operations across Canada, QE Home recognizes that our transportation footprint is a key area of emissions reduction. As of 2015, we have transitioned to low emission transportation within our domestic supply chain.
Through this transition, annually we have reduced our transportation carbon footprint by an average 21%. With efforts to further lower the annual transportation space required to ship our products overseas and to stores, as well low impact last mile delivery, we will further reduce our footprint.
We’ve also invested in an east coast delivery facility that allows us to increase our efficiency in fulfilling e-commerce orders. Our warehouse and distribution centers reuse cardboard boxes to cut down on waste, and when stores undergo renovation, we refit them with LED lighting and bluetooth technology to help save energy and reduce wiring.
After assessing the energy usage at all 77 of our brick-and-mortar operations, we have established baselines on energy usage. We’ve also increased energy efficiency through a transition to highly efficient LED lighting, environmentally certified renovation products and strict waste management policies.
As of today, over half of the energy used at our brick-and-mortar operations is renewable, this equates to more than 20,300 GJ of renewable energy consumption.
Out of our 77 store locations, 65 (83%) are within BOMA BEST®, LEED or RCO certified buildings - which represent three complex green rating programs employed to positively transform the built environment in Canada.
The materials used in the development of our products will be analyzed fully and the results will allow our product team to source materials that maintain our industry-recognized, high-end quality while ensuring the least environmental harm is caused in product development. A measured cradle to grave life cycle analysis approach will be used to facilitate this initiative.
Working with suppliers that are third party recognized for socially equitable workplaces and practice environmentally conscious manufacturing techniques is a goal we are achieving through our work with OEKO-TEX® and their internationally recognized consumer awareness labels such as STANDARD 100, STeP and MADE IN GREEN.
With regards to the animal products used in our renowned duvet collection, all the down sourced for our duvets is Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified for socially conscious animal welfare.
The result of this analysis will be an increased presence of sustainable products within QE Home’s current product offering. At present QE Home is increasing its sustainable material usage and has a proven track record of initiatives.
Admitting there’s a problem is the first step – that’s why informing our customers and staff on environmental issues is so important to us.
QE Home is not only driving change on the areas directly under our control.
We are focusing on creating change within the usage and end of life stages of our products as well. A focus on customer education through clear information on low impact care methods for our products as well as the recyclability and reusability of our products based on regional guidelines is an effort that is being put forth by our Sleep Stylists to increase awareness on sustainable usage and end of life treatment of our products.
Our goal is to further lower our impact beyond the scope of our business operations and down our value chain.
If you’re familiar with our business (or you read this page closely), you’ll know that we’re committed to continuously educating our customers – and consequently, our staff – on the benefits of choosing eco-friendly materials.
The many web pages and blog posts dedicated to this topic alone should be a good indicator! We also utilize online alternatives for training our staff and hosting meetings so that we can reduce paper waste and any emissions created from travel. The few in-person meetings we do have are designed to maximize efficiency so that we can make the most out of the time we have to spend together.
As far as our in-store experiences go, we’re in the process of adding QR codes to all product knowledge sheets in an effort to eliminate waste paper. We also credit customers who choose to reuse their own bags, and extensively train our staff on proper recycling procedures.
Change starts close to home.
That’s why every year QE Home donates hundreds of products and thousands of dollars to charities and non-profit organizations across Canada — including women’s shelters, mission services, children’s hospitals, LGBTQ+ foundations, and more.
Supporting communities and individuals in need is just one of the ways we live up to our company values - to act from the heart, do right By all, and take charge. We’re always looking for more ways to make a positive impact on the lives of not only our customers, but their communities, too.
When it comes to green initiatives specifically, we’ve put our money where our mouths are. By donating a percentage of our eco-sheeting sales to the reforestation initiative One Tree Planted, we were able to plant 5000 new trees in Canada! We have also established an offset program via our partnership with Green Story, allowing us to directly contribute to environmental and social sustainability projects worldwide, with every sale of our carbon neutral products. Exploring other opportunities for partnership with environmental organizations is something we look forward to doing more of as we move forward with this sustainable vision of ours.
Recycling, Upcycling & Donating Old Textiles
Making environmentally-conscious decisions is important when it comes to purchasing new products, but it’s equally as important to consider when getting rid of items too!
Rather than throwing your used textiles into the garbage, you can curb excess waste by recycling, donating, or repurposing old bedding instead.
Here’s an eco-friendly tip: try to repurpose any packaging left behind too! Our plastic duvet bags, for example, are perfect for storing away any seasonal items during the year.
Below is a chart to help you find out where you can recycle/donate unwanted textiles depending on your location. If you know of a place for recycling textiles that’s not listed, or you’re willing to share the creative ways you reuse and/or recycle your bedding, please let us know!
|Province||Donations + Recycling Resources|
|Cape Breton Island|
Get to Know
Our Green Stry
If you’ve shopped online with us recently, you may have noticed an interactive leaf icon on some of our product pages. This icon announces whether a product is a carbon-neutral choice, and it’s part of our broader sustainability strategy to understand our impact and improve on our ecological footprint.
It should come as no surprise that we believe education and transparency are key drivers of meaningful climate action, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Green Story and Simplizero to help drive that awareness!
How does Green Story work?
Green Story combines sustainability analyses with data-driven transparency to trace, measure, and communicate the true environmental impact of a product to consumers. This is done by analyzing the environmental impact associated with all stages of a product’s life (also known as a Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA) using the help of third-party auditors to ensure the objectivity and validity of the findings.
Once we’ve calculated our impact, the next step is to counteract! By partnering with Simplizero on various carbon offset projects, we’re able to neutralize any emissions that result during a product’s life cycle. You can find more information on the specific carbon offset projects we’ve chosen below, or by clicking the green leaf icon (located under the product’s name) on a product page.
Upon interacting with the icon, you’ll also be able to see an exact calculation of the carbon emissions incurred —and then offset! —during a product’s life cycle by these projects, as well as how they align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Knowledge is power, after all – that’s why we’re committed to bringing the environment into conversation whenever and wherever we can! When you choose to shop with QE Home, you’ll rest easier knowing the full impact of your purchasing decisions.
QE Home’s Carbon Offset Projects
As far as our carbon curbing actions go, QE Home is proud to partner with three projects spanning different developing nations and environmental and social concerns:
Generating electricity efficiently, without the need for fossil fuels? This is the path towards environmental sustainability and the reason we're supporting a wind power project in the Karnataka region of India. Reducing over 128,000 tons of CO2 annually, this metric is just one aspect of the project's net impact, albeit an impressive one!
Wind power utilizes a natural, inexhaustible resource to supply renewable energy. In this case, the electricity generated is fed to the local power grid, providing an affordable, reliable, and clean energy source for surrounding communities.
Projects like this one displace the need for non-renewable resources (like coal and gas) that pollute the environment and contribute to global warming. A secondary byproduct is a reduced reliance on energy imports, a key health indicator of a developing economy. Finally, new jobs and infrastructure are created, helping with the continued development of local communities.
We are proud to support a project that aligns with UN Social Development Goals and helps to promote a better future for the earth and its residents.
Being able to access clean drinking water is something most in the developed world will never have to worry about, but many others around the globe cannot say the same. That’s why we’re funding a carbon offset project that repairs and maintains existing boreholes in rural Rwanda, providing safe, clean drinking water to surrounding communities while offsetting emissions at the same time.
Wondering what a borehole is? A borehole is a long, narrow hole that’s been drilled into the earth so that clean groundwater can be extracted (typically via hand pump). These boreholes alone provide over 50 million litres of clean water, with an estimated 68,000 people directly benefiting as a result!
When it comes to the environment, properly maintained, functional boreholes provide a viable alternative to boiling water via wood-burning fires — eliminating the need for over 85,000 tonnes of wood and reducing the pressure placed on surrounding forests. As a result, this project prevents the release of 125,000 tonnes of atmospheric CO2!
Protecting our rainforests is critical for curbing climate change, as forests act as vital carbon sinks that capture and absorb carbon emissions from the environment.
A quick biology refresher: plants convert atmospheric CO2 + sunlight into usable energy, and the biodiverse life inherent in these forests is particularly good at doing this. A single mature tree in a forest sequesters around 20 kilograms of carbon every year!
By funding projects that restore and protect rainforests in Peru (like the Amazon), we offset carbon emissions and ensure these biodiverse areas thrive for years to come— without living under threat of deforestation.
Altogether, we help sustainably manage and protect the biodiversity of 112,500+ hectares of rainforest, which will absorb 9.5 million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 over the next decade and protect the habitat of at least 35 endangered species!
How Can I Shop Sustainably?
Ready to shop sustainably? At QE Home, we’ve made it easy to make environmentally responsible choices when it comes to your bedding and home decor. How? By creating products that look good, feel good, and do good... all at the same time.
Try Out TENCEL™
When it comes to making feel-good choices, you’ll know you’ve done something right when your purchase has been crafted using TENCEL™’s range of sustainable fabrics.
We use TENCEL™’s world-renowned eco-friendly fibers in many of our core products, from our luxury sheets to our fashionable designer linens. Alongside their sustainable production processes, TENCEL™ fabrics are also known (and loved!) for their amazing quality, silky smooth feel, and thermoregulating capabilities to boot. Click here to learn more about TENCEL™!
Our Luxury Sheets With TENCEL™ Fibers
BeechBliss | Silky soft and cool to the touch
100% TENCEL™ Modal
Eucalyptus Luxe | Buttery soft and lustrous
65% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 35% Cotton
Our Designer Linens + Duvet Covers With TENCEL™ Fibers
Buy More Bamboo
Bamboo-blend fabrics are popular for good reason: this fast-growing, resource-efficient plant is a soft, breathable, and sustainable superstar!
Kick Back with Organic Cotton
A GOTS Certified choice (more on what that entails below), our Organic Cotton line of bedding require less resources to grow than comparable materials, making the fabric an environmentally sound choice that feels as good as it looks. The natural fibers of our Organic Cotton are biodegradable to boot, so you can rest easy knowing your linens will break down upon disposal.
With so many great colours and patterns available, you can’t go wrong with our budget-aware, earth-friendly Organic Cotton!
Shop LESS WASTE, LESS TRACE™
Reduce, reuse, recycle...and rejuvenate!
That’s what happens when you sleep on our Less Waste, Less Trace line of 100% Recycled Polyester bedding. By creating this collection from post-consumer plastics, we reduce the use of virgin polyester and help divert plastic waste away from landfills, helping you dress your bed sustainably and affordably from head(board) to toe.
Plus, you can rest assured knowing all LWLT products are Global Recycled Standard certified.
Check the Certifications
We’re serious about our certifications! Because objectivity, transparency, and consistency matter deeply to us, our certifications work to verify the sustainability and ethics of our production processes through third-party measures. When you shop with us, check to see if your choices are certified for extra assurance that you’re making an environmental and ethical choice.
OEKO-TEX® certification ensures a textile has been verified in an independent laboratory, and is free from more than 100 substances known to be harmful to human and environmental health.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified
GOTS certification ensures that organic textiles follow world-recognized environmental and ecological standards during every level of the production process (from harvesting the raw materials to manufacturing, labeling, and more). Fun fact: GOTS certified products are pesticide-free and require lighter water irrigation!
Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified
The RDS certification ensures that best practices for animal welfare are followed throughout the entirety of a product’s supply chain, and that a product contains only certified material.
The DOWNPASS certification ensures down or feather materials sourced from Europe meet the highest ethical standards for animal welfare and quality control.
The Downmark certification ensures that down and feather products bearing this mark are genuine, high-quality, and finished in Canada according to strict ethical standards.