Hammocks are a sublime was to relax, but what you’re relaxing in is worth consideration. Whether you’re shopping for an indoor or outdoor hammock, I highly recommend getting one that’s made with eco-friendly materials. I was happy to find a variety of organic cotton hammocks as well as hammocks made with recycled materials, which I share with you in this post.
Most hammocks you find today are made with synthetic materials, such as virgin nylon and polyester. While these synthetics are certainly durable and in some cases inexpensive, they do have big environmental costs.
Many other hammocks, such as traditional rope hammocks, are made with commercial cotton. Alas, while commercial cotton is a natural fiber and therefore more biodegradable than synthetics, it also has a heavy environmental footprint. You can read more details about the problems with hammocks made from these materials at the end of this post.
But first, check out all of these Earth-friendly ways to kick back and relax.
Eco-Friendly, Organic Cotton Hammocks
The perfect name for a hammock company, La Siesta is a market leader in organic cotton hammocks. They make a number of Colombian and Brazilian hammocks with GOTS certified organic cotton. “GOTS” stands for the Global Organic Textile Standard, which is the preeminent textile processing standard for organic fibers. Cotton that is GOTS certified means every step in the supply chain is independently certified to meet rigorous ecological and social standards.
Through their SOCiLA initiative, La Siesta furthers organic cotton-growing programs in Latin America. This initiative focuses on:
- Decreasing pesticide contamination
- Lowering the carbon footprint of growing cotton
- Protecting surface and ground water
- Reducing water usage
- Maintaining healthy soils
- Preserving biodiversity
- Protecting the health of farmers and field workers
- Supporting small, family-owned farms
- Enhancing food security
- Promoting sustainable, organic farming methods
This list should make you feel pretty good as you relax in a La Siesta organic hammock.
1. Socially Conscious, Organic Cotton Brazilian Hammock by La Siesta
The Bossa Nova Family Hammock can hold up to 440 lbs., so it’s big enough for the whole family or a few close friends. It’s made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. La Siesta describes its organic cotton hammocks as “fair to humans, fair to nature, and having supreme softness.”
Your purchase of this hammock will support street children in Brazil. La Siesta donates five euros for every hammock they sell to the Brazilian street kids’ project Dito Escolinha. This hammock comes in ivory and Bordeaux red.
Here’s a video of the Bosso Nova Brazilian Hammock:
2. GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Double Hammock by La Siesta
Another GOTS certified organic cotton hammock by La Siesta, the Brazilian-style Copa Hammock is big enough to fit two people or 355 lbs. This hammock is handmade in Brazil and has decorative macramé fringes. Plus, it has tear-proof selvages and multiple suspension cords. It comes in orange/red, brown, blue/fuchsia, and green/yellow. It’s also machine-washable.
Here’s a video about the Copa Hammock:
3. GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Colombian Hammock by La Siesta
This classic Colombian hammock is another one that’s big enough for the whole family, with a 440-pound weight capacity. It’s made with GOTS certified organic cotton and it comes in orange/red, brown, blue/fuchsia, and green/yellow. It’s also machine-washable.
4. Arti Handmade Organic Cotton Nicaraguan Hammocks
Arti makes their hammocks by hand in their workshop in Nicaragua using ethically-sourced materials. All materials, including the ink they use, are non-toxic and the fibers are organic cotton.
5. Organic Cotton Hammock by Fiber
This ivory, Bohemian-style hammock with macramé fringe is made with 100% organic cotton. It can be used indoors or outdoors, and it’s machine-washable. It comes in single or double hammock widths. Fiber makes a variety of natural fiber home wares.
6. Fair Trade Organic Cotton Hammock by the Toucan Shop
This stretchy, woven hammock comes in ivory as well as fun color combinations, including Rastafarian, rainbow, and the colors of the Brazilian flag. It’s made with organic cotton.
The Toucan Shop is a socially conscious company that imports goods directly from artisans in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Guatemala. Every Toucan hammock sold helps to get homeless, disabled, and vulnerable people out poverty. All of Toucan Shops’ products are handmade and Fair Trade.
7. GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hammocks by Ecomundy
Ecomundy is another premium brand that makes eco-friendly hammocks with GOTS certified organic cotton. With a focus on sustainability, Ecomundy uses only GOTS certified organic cotton to ensure “the entire process, from the production of organic cotton to the spinning, dyeing, weaving, finishing, and transportation to the point of sale” follows the highest environmental and ethical standards.
8. 100% Organic, Sustainable Handmade Amazonian Hammock
The Jungle Hammock is made by the Warao tribe of the Amazon with 100% natural moriche rope from palm trees. These hammocks are created from a 4,000-year old weaving tradition, and each hammock takes three months to make. They can hold up to 300 lbs.
9. Recycled Single Hammock by Byer of Maine
In business since 1880, Byer of Maine makes camping and home ware products, including hammocks, cots, and bird feeders. This colorful, eco-friendly, Brazilian-style hammock is made with a recycled cotton and polyester blend. It’s designed for one person, but can hold up to 300 lbs. It can be used as an indoor or outdoor hammock, and it’s easy to fold up and store when not in use.
Why It’s Better to Get an Eco-Friendly Organic Cotton or Recycled Hammock
Nylon and Polyester Hammocks
Materials that hammocks are commonly made of today are not gentle on our environment. Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester leave an unfavorable environmental footprint.
Polyester is not considered eco-friendly because it takes a lot of energy to produce. In addition, its production emits greenhouse gases and other harmful chemicals into the environment. Polyester also uses large amounts of water to produce, as well as lubricants that can cause contamination in the water supply. On a more positive note, polyester can be recycled.
Nylon, while durable and lightweight, which makes it a great material for camping hammocks, is also derived from petrochemicals. Like polyester, nylon isn’t biodegradable. In addition, its production emits nitrous oxide (N2O), which is a greenhouse gas that has 310-times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The Problem with Hammocks Made from Commercial, Non-Organic Cotton
Whether cotton is organic or not, it requires a lot of water to grow. For example, it can take more than 5,300 gallons of water to produce two pounds of cotton – which makes the equivalent of just one t-shirt and one pair of jeans. (World Wildlife Fund)
In addition, non-organic, commercial cotton uses a lot of insecticides and pesticides to grow. In fact, 2.4% of the world’s crop land is planted with cotton, and yet cotton accounts for a whopping 24% of the insecticides and 11% of the pesticides used globally. Pesticides and insecticides not only destroy natural habitats and kill insects – like bees – they also cause severe health impacts in field workers. (World Wildlife Fund)
The use of genetically-modified cotton has increased dramatically in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 94% of the cotton now grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. (USDA)
The list of how genetically modified seeds and crops are harming humans, animals, insects, and the environment is extensive. In the case of genetically modified cotton, it has caused farm workers to become ill with skin and respiratory problems, it has killed livestock that have ingested it, and it’s built resistance in the very pests that the genetic modification was meant to curtail, requiring farmers to increase their use of pesticides even more. (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network)
For additional information on why genetically modified crops are so dangerous, visit the Institute for Responsible Science.
Opt for Organic Cotton Hammocks
While it’s difficult to avoid cotton altogether, wherever possible, opt for organic cotton. Yes, it can be more expensive, but more people buying products made from organic cotton will help drive down the price. And the overall rewards it delivers when it comes to human, animal, and environmental health are undeniable.