Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing. The quality of your bedding will contribute to this, and we all know the tossing and turning that happens when you have a bad pillow! I have spent years trying to find an ideal one. The David Suzuki Foundation say that what your pillow is made of is also very important to know – but do you know? Knowing your eco-options and selecting a healthy pillow will help you to sleep easy.
Most pillows are made from synthetic materials like petroleum-based polyester. I was not aware of the importance of this until recently. Just think about it – you place your head and face on this object every night……You need to look for natural fabrics and fibres because they will not off-gas harmful chemicals. This includes materials such as kapok, buckwheat and organic wool. It is also important to consider the size and shape of your pillow, and the position your pillow places your head and neck in. This can be very tricky. We have tried all sorts of pillows but I don’t think we have ever found an ideal one. I have numerous arm, neck, shoulder and nerve issues, which are worse during sleep. So this is a very personal issue for me.
Carolina and Todd Gignac, the creators of Killapilla, are on a mission to change this. I am really looking forward to trying the Killapilla! They say they chose their business name because it is fun, youthful, relevant, and not focused on pain! It is all about supporting people who want to have fun and live a healthy lifestyle – with a good night’s sleep. Killapilla is Australian for a wicked good pillow, and these Oeko-Tex 100 Standard Australian Wool pillows are good for you and the environment.
The Killapilla is a natural and organic Chiropractic, Orthopedic, Postural, Therapeutic pillow which is:
- Oeko-Tex 100 Standard Australian Wool
- GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Fabric
- Uses plastic free packaging. All materials and packaging are sourced from Australian companies and when possible made/fabricated/processed in Australia
- Has minimal transport logistics – manufacturing done locally and many materials sourced locally
- Has printing done locally
- Killapillas themselves are locally manufactured in a family owned factory
- They have a box ‘buy-back’ program for pillows sold locally to maximize the life of packaging
How did the Killapilla begin?
Born in the USA, Carolina graduated from California State University, married Todd and had 2 beautiful daughters. “My husband had an opportunity to work abroad in Australia for a chiropractic company. At the time we were living and practicing in San Diego and were excited to make a change,” she says. Living in Australia has been a unique experience for the family. “We came here with nothing,” shares Carolina.
Raising 2 young children on your own without the help and proximity of extended family in a different country has brought its own set of challenges.
“We have used these challenges as opportunities to grow as individuals, as a family, and to expand our faith in God. We believe that we are here for a purpose, helping and giving hope to those in our communities that are in need. Killa Industries is just another way for us to expand that and bring this legacy of a better future to the world,” explains Carolina.
People in their practice kept asking them to recommend pillows. They looked around to find pillows to stock that they assessed as spinally correct…and say surprisingly they couldn’t find any. “All of the existing chiropractic pillows place the head in forward head posture during sleep and that is exactly the thing you don’t want,” suggests Carolina. She says this puts stress on the spinal cord and negatively affects the nervous system. The couple also wanted to create a healthy pillow, with no synthetic materials. “For years we talked about the idea of making our own pillow for our patients and our own family, but we were so busy with our practice and we had no idea where to begin.”
Last year they met an amazing family that had the know-how and resources to help them piece it all together and make their dream a reality. Once they started bringing in all of their ideas and researching what materials they wanted to use, they were faced with the gruesome reality of the global textile industry. “As much as we wanted to bring our pillow to fruition, we knew that we could NOT contribute to the growing global problem and became hell-bent to find safer and healthier alternatives and solutions for our pillow”. The journey became less about the pillow, and more about educating and inspiring people to consume consciously and be mindful of the impact of their decisions, not only for their own health and safety but for the protection of our future. Carolina and Todd love the idea of bringing something to the marketplace that fits people’s needs and helps them to have a healthier sleep.
• Provides people with a safe and healthy sleep source making people happier and healthier
• Helps patient outcomes in their practice as it is actually supporting their chiropractic care
• Supports the Australian wool industry
• Supports our local Australian manufacturing industry
•Supports Indian families that grow the organic cotton and produce the fabric
Carolina says that sustainability is a MUST for our future and suggests you:
- Consume less and be more mindful
- Look for locally crafted wares, recycled items, second hand items
- Focus less on impulse buying
- Spend more on high quality items that have a longer life span
- Shop at locally owned stores and/or Australian owned companies
“We can’t keep consuming at such a frenzied pace and expect there to be no consequences for the future.
Individuals can make a difference by initiating change with their pocketbooks,” stresses Carolina. In their family and businesses they have a ‘Personal Purchasing Philosophy’ to help keep their local economy sustainable:
- 1st If I think I can get it at an op shop, I will go there first
- 2nd Or, purchase item at locally owned shop
- 3rd Or, shop for Australian made product
- 4th Or, shop at Australian owned company
In creating a more sustainable home, Carolina suggests you make a clear distinction between WANT and NEED. Put those words into perspective. If you are reading this on a computer than you are already richer than 99% of the people on the planet! “I just watched a documentary about a slum in India where 1 million people live in a 1 square mile space…that will help put your wants and needs into perspective,” she says.
Look for alternative solutions and keep your family number 1. Spend family time talking and asking about each others days or playing games inside and outside. Try turning off all of the lights and eating dinner by candle to change it up. Spend less time in front of the TV or devices as this means more one on one connection and less electricity being used. And it gives your brain a chance to actually be quiet and not stimulated and take time to think of your own possible solutions and alternatives to creating your sustainable home.
The family love to spend time together, swimming in their pool and chilling outside. Carolina loves to sit with a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, watching their 4 chickens and cat! Healthy cooking has become her passion due to health challenges in their family– creating amazing healthy alternatives for some of the recipes in the BHG magazine – Ha! She enjoys gardening and will tend to save the task of pruning her trees and shrubs for times when she is frustrated! They LOVE caravanning and seeing Australia’s beauty. “We pulled the kids out of school and did a 7 month trip around parts of Australia and I can’t keep my mind off of the possibility of doing it again,” she says.
When decorating your home Carolina suggests:
- Look for low/no VOC additions to your home. If the item has a ‘new’ smell, that is most likely a VOC and the item should be placed outside to allow to air out or better yet, avoided.
- Also, look for items that are Australian. All imported goods get gassed at customs for bugs.High pressure gassing that destroys the ozone layer. Then it outgasses in your home…
- Natural materials that once it reaches the end of its life span will naturally decompose and go back into the earth.
- Not all alternatives are going to be all natural…but they can be better and less wasteful of resources. For example, updating the look of your outdated kitchen tiles: Do you have a few accent tiles in your kitchen or bathroom that don’t fit your design theme of your home? Maybe a few tiles with seascapes, birds, geometric shapes…or some other design that is reminiscent of 1984. Bringing your kitchen up to date and coordinating with your home can be as easy as adhesive tile stickers. You can go online and find just about any kind of tile design and size to make a kitchen spruce up super easy. And when you change your mind again next season, you can skip the construction mayhem and dust and find another design that suits the ever-changing trends.
Carolina says that many people just don’t know yet about how important sleep is and the harm their pillows may be causing for their own health and for the health of the environment. “Healthy living is a lifestyle, not just one thing. Sleeping on a safe and healthy sleep source is simply part of a healthy lifestyle, not just something you do when you have a pinched nerve or a slipped disk. Our mission is to bring safe and healthy sleep to the entire planet one Killapilla at a time, thus leaving a timeless legacy. We believe : Better Sleep, Better Life, Healthier Planet,” she finishes.
You can find more about Killapilla here