Can You ‘Go Green’ on Your Luxury Yacht?

Now to most of us the idea of a luxury super yacht being at all green is pretty strange. After all, aren’t they the floating gin palaces of the very rich that guzzle huge amounts of fuel and have every electrical gadget and gizmo known to man onboard? So you may be surprised to find that a lot of yacht owners are very conscious of green issues and want to make their luxury sailing vessels as sustainable as they can.  Yacht owners who charter their vessels are also very aware that more and more of their customers are becoming very conscious of green issues and of trying to protect our planet.

So what can you do to improve the green credentials of your super yacht?  Probably one of the biggest concerns for a large, luxury yacht owner is the huge amounts of fuel that they use.  One way to counteract this large fuel use is to enter into a yacht carbon offset scheme. These schemes have been set up to balance the carbon emissions of your super yacht’s engines through carbon offsetting. The principle behind these schemes is that for every tonne of carbon dioxide that is created by your luxury yacht’s engines, the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is saved elsewhere by projects such as methane recovery or producing renewable power. A super yacht owner can also ensure that when they purchase a new vessel that they choose the latest technology when it comes to the engines and exhaust systems, so that fuel efficiency is optimised and that the engines produce the lowest level of emissions possible.  For owners of older vessels who are concerned about protecting the environment, they could even look into retro-fitting systems that lower dangerous emissions or improve fuel consumption.

But there are also green choices that you can make when fitting out the interior of your super yacht. Many yachts use wood panelling to line interior walls and expensive wood for the furnishings, but if your luxury yacht does use a lot of wood as a design feature, you can make sure that you only use wood from sustainable sources and that is preferably organic.   Rare, exotic woods such as teak and mahogany are very expensive and luxurious and look gorgeous, but you need to be careful that any hardwoods you buy are from sustainable sources and have not been ripped out of a rainforest somewhere, causing huge damage. Organic wood is free from all the nasty chemicals that are used in the fertilisers and pest control when non-organic commercial wood is grown, which is not only better for your health and the health of your passengers, but is also kinder to the environment. As you are outfitting your luxury super yacht also check that you are using solid wood panelling as pressed wood can contain large amounts of formaldehyde, which is a very harsh chemical.

A luxury yacht will also be lavishly stocked with beautiful bed linen, soft fluffy towels and robes, comfortable cushions, elegant curtains and other soft furnishings.  If you are committed to going as green as possible you will want to look for items that have been made from organic cotton and natural fibres. There is still a perception out there that organic cotton bedding looks slightly dingy, feels a bit rough and that the design is just not first class. Nothing could be further from the truth, as modern organic cotton duvet covers, sheets, and pillowcases come in crisp, bright whites, soft pastel colours and feels sleek and cosy as you snuggle down into your bed.  Look at The Fine Cotton Company’s amazing organic cotton bed linen ranges to find luxurious, well-designed organic bed linen at reasonable prices.   Organic cotton is grown without using chemical pesticides and fertilisers, the farmers are properly recompensed for their labour and no chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are used when spinning and processing the cotton. Remember, even on a luxury cruise you will spend many hours sleeping, so wouldn’t you rather wrap yourself in organic cotton sheets and not have to breathe in or absorb any dangerous chemicals?

You can also do your bit for the environment when it comes to the catering, even if you are cooking large feasts for your fellow passengers each night.  You can now buy excellent organic wines, champagnes and spirits, so why not stock your bar with organic booze when you can? Likewise, stock the kitchen with organic meat, fruit, vegetables, baked goods and dairy products when you can get hold of them. Not only will they be delicious for your family and guests, but organic food is also very healthy and is grown in a way that helps to protect our planet.

So when you are stretched out on the organic cotton cushions of your sustainable wood lounger, sipping organic champagne, by the side of the swimming pool on the deck of your super yachts as it cuts through the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or the Med, you can truly relaxing knowing that you have done your best to create a truly green luxury yacht!

Superyachtdesign.com interviews The Fine Cotton Company

Read our interview with Superyachtdesign.com

Fine Cotton

By Angela Audretsch. May 05, 2011

Cotton is one of natures super materials. It is breathable, hypoallergenic, practical, sustainable, recyclable and robust. But can it be luxurious as well? According to Jane Robson, founder of The Fine Cotton Company, it can be. As suppliers to superyachts and the hospitality industry, The Fine Cotton Company is well versed in the world of high-quality textiles. Sourcing all of its cotton from Italy, Portugal and Turkey, it delivers an ethically superior collection of chic designs in organic cottons of up to 1000 thread count. Jane took the time to answer some of SuperyachtDesigns questions about this time-honoured textile.

SYD: Cotton can feel a bit utilitarian – can it be a luxury product too?
JR: Yes. The feel of the cotton very much depends on four main things: the length of the cotton fibres (we use extra long staple yarns for most of our fabrics) the yarn count, i.e. the coarseness of the yarn if the yarn is carded or combed and the weave of the fabric. The cotton yarn needs to be fully combed, removing all the short fibres resulting in a smoother thread. Once woven into the bed linen a combed yarn gives a much smoother fabric compared to a carded one. The higher the number of threads per inch, the better the quality of the bed linen and the more luxurious. For example, our Seville 600 thread count sateen weave, our latest stock collection, is a luxurious cotton fabric with a silk like feel. It also drapes beautifully. We offer up to 1000 thread count in our special order ranges.

SYD: What are the benefits of organic cotton?

JR: Organic cotton is unrivalled and will last longer than ‘easy care’ cotton fabrics where formaldehyde has often been used and weakened the fabric. This is why organic cotton can withstand laundering at high temperatures better than non-organic cottons. The Fine Cotton Company ensures optimum quality by offering natural and organic fabrics, all ethically produced without any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Non-organic cotton and polyester blends within the superyacht or hospitality markets should be avoided, as they can feel hot and sticky with a tendency to ‘pill’ after washing. Organic cottons are far more effective in absorbing moisture and perspiration than non-organic fabrics, which allows bed linen to ‘breathe’ and aid heat regulation during sleep for the comfort of guests and end users.

SYD: What makes high thread count organic cotton so durable?
JR: It is all down to the weave of the fabric. Because organic cotton is grown naturally without any chemicals or pesticides, the fibres are allowed to grow to their natural length without breaking, resulting in a longer, smoother fibre. The cotton threads are then combed and then woven into a variety of bed linens, which are softer and extremely durable because of the lack of chemicals that are used during growing and manufacture. For softness and durability organic cotton really is hard to beat.

SYD: What are your superyacht clients looking for?

JR: A discreet and confidential service offering high quality bed linen, as well as anything from duvets, pillows, mattress protectors, blankets, monogrammed towels and bath robes, to slippers, laundry bags and table linens. We are able to advise clients on the most suitable products for their needs and customers can order one-offs of most products. For bedding we make to the exact sizes and unusual shapes.

SYD: Are there any special care considerations for organic cotton on board yachts?
JR:
Keep bedding fresh by allowing air to flow through. Launder the cotton regularly using non-biological washing powder. If the yacht has drying facilities, do not dry completely as cotton is far easier to iron whilst damp. Our most popular collection for yachts is the Trieste, a 410 thread count percale with one line satin stitch. Made in Italy, this ranges combines luxury and durability.

 

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