Textiles are often made from natural fibers like cotton, bamboo or silk. Yet, despite the natural origins of some of these materials, textile production is often extremely wasteful and toxic to the environment. Buffy, a new ecommerce company with a focus on bedding, is hoping to shed light on this issue, and provide a clean, green alternative.
“The textiles industry pollutes and creates waste mercilessly,” Buffy Co-Founder Michael Rothkopf told Built In NYC. “In goes water and energy and out comes greenhouse gases and landfill [waste] on an order of magnitude that's difficult for scientists to measure. We Americans purchase 30 million of them every year. All this in just one tiny corner of the industry.”
Though the problem is dire, Rothkopf says that an opportunity lay within: “We saw a chance to be so different that the entire industry would take notice and eventually, change.”
We saw a chance to be so different that the entire industry would take notice and eventually, change.”
Though the company was founded in December of 2017, co-founders Leo Wang and Rothkopf were prepared with both knowledge and experience.
“Leo grew up in a family that made bedding for American retailers for 25 years,” Rothkopf explained. “They've made pillows and comforters and sheets in their own weaving mill with 200 of their own looms.”
When it came to developing the Buffy product, that experience was front and center: the company tested more than 10 prototypes, “spanning different constructions, materials and designs, which we tested with over 1,000 friends, family and early customers.”
At the end of the testing process, Buffy’s launch product, a down alternative comforter, was quite literally designed to feel like “a cloud.” The secret ingredient? Eucalyptus.
We're growing incredibly fast: hiring new creative, strategic, engineering, growth and operational talent to build the next generation of Buffy products."
Rather than traditional cotton or down, Buffy’s comforter is crafted from eucalyptus-based microfiber. According to statistics from the company’s website, one traditional queen-size comforter requires 100 square feet of cotton fabric to fashion. Cotton that composes that much fabric requires as much as 3,000 gallons of water to grow. Down comforters also require the live-plucking of at least a dozen birds. Buffy hopes to change all of that.
Rothkopf revealed to Built In NYC that the young company is already working on their next big launch. “We're bringing out a ‘world's first’ new comforter within the next month,” he said. The project is “top secret” and involves unique, never-before-used materials.
Also behind the scenes, the Buffy team is exploding: “We're growing incredibly fast: hiring new creative, strategic, engineering, growth and operational talent to build the next generation of Buffy products,” Rothkopf said.