Luxury Bedding/Linen - Trends
Three additional current trends in the luxury bedding/linen market include the rise of direct-to-consumer distribution, the growing focus on sustainable business practices, and the cultural shift in the way consumers view bedding.
RISE OF DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER DISTRIBUTION
- Several startups are challenging conventional luxury bedding brands by selling online and direct to the consumer. Doing so eliminates the middle men and enables these startups to offer high-quality yet appropriately-priced and easy-to-buy bedding.
- Parachute is one example of such startup. CEO Ariel Kaye founded Parachute because she saw an unmet need in the market. Before she founded her startup, she noticed that she could not find a single bedding brand that was high-quality, easy to purchase, and reasonably priced at the same time.
- Other direct-to-consumer luxury bedding startups include Brooklinen, Coyuchi, Boll & Branch, and Snowe.
- It appears major shifts in consumer purchasing preferences and increases in consumer awareness of e-commerce appear to be the factors driving this trend.
- This trend of distributing direct to consumers does not mean that brick-and-mortar stores are becoming obsolete. Some successful startups that started as online-only, direct-to-consumer brands know the importance of allowing consumers to touch and feel their products and are, in fact, opening brick-and-mortar stores to provide consumers with an omnichannel retail experience. Parachute, which began as online-only but has recently opened at least five brick-and-mortar stores, is a good case in point.
GROWING FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES
- The fact that there are now several luxury bedding brands that boast of sustainable business practices suggests an increased focus on sustainability among players in the luxury bedding space.
- Direct-to-consumer luxury bedding startup Boll & Branch touts a chemical-free supply chain. A third party has certified that Boll & Brand does not make use of dangerous chemicals or dyes that could affect local populations, water systems, and farms, and that its product is "pure and chemical-free." It guarantees that the bedding was produced in a responsible and ethical manner.
- Boll & Branch also claims all its bedding products are sustainably sourced. Nik Thukral of private equity firm L Catterton says the brand "capitalizes on several compelling trends including the emergence of authentic, pure, and chemical-free products that can be traced back to their origin, as well as consumers' heightened focus on healthy living."
- Boll & Branch makes use of 100% organic cotton, the more sustainable alternative to cotton, and is in fact "the largest consumer of Organic Fair Trade Certified cotton."
- Parachute, which is certified to be chemical-free as well, gives back to the community by donating to Nothing But Nets every time its Venice Bedding Sheet is purchased. Nothing But Nets is a non-profit organization that provides malaria-preventing bed nets to people in need of such nets. CEO Kaye also has made it one of Parachute's goals to "inspire a community around sleep and wellness."
- Coyuchi, another luxury bedding startup, makes use of miDori bioSoft green technology, a plant-based formula for softening sheets. It also has a subscription program that facilitates linen replenishment and recycling of old sheets.
- Saatva, a luxury mattress brand, recently launched a line of high-end bedding. Its new Lofton sheets are made of 100% organic cotton and are Fair Trade certified, meaning the sheets do not contain any genetically-modified organism (GMO), pesticide, or insecticide, and the sheets are manufactured by fairly-compensated factory workers.
CULTURAL SHIFT IN THE WAY CONSUMERS VIEW BEDDING
- An article published by Curbed notes that the way consumers think about bedding has changed. Consumers now view bedding as a fashion statement, and this cultural shift in perception has facilitated the growth of new luxury bedding brands.
- Consumers used to stick to just one decorative theme, but now they are changing their decorative themes "along with the seasons." Ariel Kaye, founder of luxury bedding brand Parachute, says that the number of linens that Parachute customers own is three times higher than that of the average American.
- Kaye explains that luxury bedding shifts from cozy layers in winter to lighter and more breathable fabrics in spring and summer.
- Most luxury bedding designs or styles appear to revolve around subdued colors, simple or rich solids, natural colors, thoughtful designs, classic prints, and chic designs.
In identifying two to three additional trends in the luxury bedding/linen market, we first checked if there is a report or article in the public domain that readily lists the desired trends. While there were a few articles that list bedding trends, including those published by Hayneedle and Elite Home Products, none of them were specific to luxury, premium, or high-end bedding. We looked for surveys of consumers and their luxury bedding preferences as well to check how preferences have changed in recent years, but we were unable to find anything particular to luxury bedding. Cotton Incorporated has published a report on consumer habits as they relate to sheets and bedding, but the report does not touch on luxury bedding. Startups and product launches are typically indicative of market trends, so we changed tactics and looked instead at the products and unmet consumer needs that luxury bedding startups are launching and addressing, respectively. We looked as well at what legacy brands are doing, but this step did not yield anything useful. All in all, the strategy we found most useful was checking the products and services well-known luxury bedding startups such as Brooklinen and Parachute are offering, and reviewing how these startups market themselves. With this strategy, we were able to find three additional trends.