By Julie Jarvis
Posted in REALthings Meditation Blog, on November 05, 2014
A high-quality sitting cushion is all about the details -- the fabrics and colours, the source of the materials, the design and the attention and care at every step of the creation process.
If it’s made well, with materials that feel good, look good and inspire joy, then it’s more likely to contribute to a meditation practice that makes you feel good. So if you want to sit on a cushion that’s good for you and the planet, here’s what to look for. Pictured above, Tao Porchon-Lynch 95 year old yoga teacher & ballroom dancer, on a Newada Azure Zabuton cushion.Materials
Choose a cushion made from natural and organic materials like cotton, bamboo or flax, and buckwheat hulls or kapok as filling. You want your cushion to breathe, and synthetic materials won’t usually allow for that. Cushions made with synthetic materials don’t offer the density or firmness that provides optimal support. Plus, they take longer to decompose, so they’re not environmentally friendly.
When we started REALthings, we set out to find the highest quality, most sustainable and respectfully made textiles. The search took us on a journey around the world, which you can read more about here. Today, we use natural (and often organic) materials for all of our cushions, so that your sitting experience is comfortable and authentic.
What determines the quality of a product? It’s a combination of things: the knowledge of the designer, the skills of the manufacturer, the details in the design, the materials used, the care and attention in its making. A quality sitting cushion should look good and feel good.
But we strive for something a little more at REALthings. We aim to make cushions that inspire you. Our cushions are made with the highest standards of quality, care and mindfulness, so that they reflect what you strive for in your everyday practice: happiness, joy and compassion.
REALthings designing cushion cases in Toronto
It’s rare to find products made in North America these days. That’s because manufacturing is a lot cheaper overseas. But imported products can have heavy environmental and social costs, and it’s harder to know how and by whom your cushion was made.
That’s why we make all REALthings products in our Toronto studio and, when we can, in our off-the-grid solar and wind-powered design studio on the Bruce peninsula in Northern Ontario. This allows us to be involved in every step of the production process. We not only know the people who make our cushions, they’re our family. We work creatively and collaboratively with our diverse team, in both Toronto and around the world. Our diversity makes us stronger and our proximity means you know exactly who made your cushion and how.Read more about our social commitment here.
If you’re looking for a cushion that will last you a long time, you’ll want to think about how it’s designed. Will it meet your sitting needs over the long term? Will it fit your body type? Is it the right height and width, so that your seat, knees and ankles all feel comfortable? Well-designed products are durable, beautiful and crafted to fit your unique body.
REALthings designs resulted from our efforts to understand many different body types. We sat with people, looked closely at their comfort needs, and created designs that would support the most common body types and pain points.
Our cushions are inspired by the Japanese notion of useable art -- easy to store, beautiful to look at and functional for daily use. They also come in custom sizes.
How much you’re willing to spend on a sitting cushion will determine what kind of cushion you’ll end up with. High-quality products cost more because of the materials, original designs and production costs, to name just a few factors.
Our cushion prices reflect the time, care and love we put into every product. Expect to spend $100-$250 for a high-quality cushion that’s handmade locally. We know you’ll be glad you did.
Learn more about how we make REALthings cushions