Pillow Talk

by Jennie Nunn

Our Q&A with Marisa Mercer, cofounder of Seattle-based organic bedding company, Plover.

Why diyou launch the company?
We were never big consumers until we started families and suddenly there was all this stuff we needed to buy. We really wanted to vote with our dollar and support sustainable businesses, whether it meant buying organic produce or organic sheets. But the design element of most of the sustainable brands out there was seriously lacking.

My partner Sheila had been in fashion design, and both our husbands have backgrounds in art, so we wanted textiles to reflect that. If not colorful, then at least interesting. White sheets were all we could find in organics and we’ve always been drawn to color and pattern. We thought, ‘Why don’t we design the organic bedding we actually want’?

Your tips for considering sustainable fabrics and bedding?
Our first tip would be not to buy anything you don’t need. Second, buy quality. Textile waste is a massive issue and it’s been on our minds a lot, so we're done buying anything that won’t last. It’s the main reason we started our handmade One-of-a-Kind collection as well. We've always had fabric scraps left over from production, and we’ve been collecting them all these years. Last spring, we decided to start making stuff with them, and I’m proud to say that pile of fabric scraps is significantly smaller these days.

Your inspiration for the designs and patterns?
Almost always vintage wallpaper and fabric that we come across, whether in an old book, online, in a vintage shop. Shopping for antiques is my second favorite hobby, after gardening, and I spend an obscene amount of time doing it. Sometimes it’s the cover of an old Italian notebook, or a pillowcase we’ll find at Goodwill.

Marisa Mercer, cofounder of Plover

What’s in the works for 2019?
We have new table linens and kitchen accessories coming out, as well as some new bedding prints and throw pillows. And we are launching Plover Garden in earnest this Spring, with beautifully curated garden boxes and an assortment of tools and gear.

That launch is probably closest to my heart since gardening is my true obsession in life. Kind of like our bedding—the assortment we wanted for our gardens didn’t exist (in the U.S., anyway), so we put it together ourselves.

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