But after a few months of not sleeping well and breakouts, a visit to the dermatologist sparked an idea that Liu would eventually transform into Eucalypso — an organic bedding brand made from natural eucalyptus.
“My dermatologist was saying my breakouts could have something to do with the sheets I was using,” recalls Liu. “I started doing more research and I discovered that the way cotton sheets are woven tends to trap sweat and bacteria; which causes things like sensitivity, breakouts, night sweats, and all of those things.”
During her research, Liu also discovered that cotton is one of the “dirtiest and thirstiest crops.” “It takes a lot of water and pesticides to grow and to harvest,” she says. So she set out to find an alternative that could be made in a more sustainable way and would allow people to sleep better.
Liu spent a year and a half traveling and talking to different mills and manufacturers — learning as much about fabric and sustainable fabrics as possible along the way. Then after a number of false starts, she discovered a mill in Austria that had a lot of experience making sustainable fabrics.
“They really care about doing things in a way that's very eco-friendly,” she says. “ And since I wanted to create a company that was focused on sustainability and making things the right way, working with this mill was a natural decision.” And the mill introduced Liu to eucalyptus fabric, “I thought it was just so wonderful,” she recalls. “Then when I finally slept in it, I just knew it was just everything I was looking for.”
Eucalypso makes all of its sheets from natural eucalyptus fibers and it was one of the first few companies to launch eucalyptus bedding to market in the US. “Eucalyptus sheets are actually much softer than cotton,” explains Liu. “They're 2x softer, 3x more breathable, 10x more sustainable than cotton, and they also wick moisture 70% better.”
“When you first feel it, it just feels so comfortable and so good on the skin.”
Each Eucalypso product is OEKO-TEX® certified to be free of harmful chemicals and have a small eco-friendly footprint. Its sheets are also created in a closed-loop process that is free of toxic chemicals, ensuring that 99.9% of all water and solvents are recycled.
“Eucalyptus is really great for people who like soft sheets,” notes Liu. “When you first feel it, it just feels so comfortable and so good on the skin.”
Liu believes that transparency is especially important in the bedding industry “where greenwashing happens so much.” “I spend a lot of time and energy and effort into trying to make sure that we do things the right way,” she says.
“It's easy to market something as organic... as good for you,” she explains. “And I know a lot of companies do that and that's why it's important to have the story to back up what you're saying.”
“Everything we do is really sustainable from how we're harvesting the eucalyptus fibers, to the way that we are manufacturing.”
On Eucalypso’s website, it shares all the details about how it produces its sheets, stories about where they are made, and the people making them. “Everything we do is really sustainable from how we're harvesting the eucalyptus fibers, to the way that we are manufacturing” says Liu. “I think that's really important for people to know so that when they do make the decision [to buy from us], they're making a very informed decision.”
Giving back is also really important to Eucalypso. “I want to be transparent about not only how things are made, but also where your money is going,” says Liu. “Almost every month we try to pick an organization that is relevant to give back to.” And for many months Eucalypso donated a percentage of its profits to the COVID Relief Fund and prior to that supported causes related to the Australian wildfires.
Liu also believes that modern consumers want to buy products that make them feel good about where their money is going. And alongside giving back to causes, Liu also focuses on ensuring that money is spent responsibly during Eucalpyso’s manufacturing process.
“We have a lot of initiatives with the manufacturing facilities that we work with, like making sure that we have adult education programs that we have childcare, that people are being paid fairly,” says Liu. “All of these things that are really important to me.”
Eucalypso is trying to change the way people sleep by providing a more sustainable eco-friendly option for bedding and Liu sees the brand’s sustainable and responsible manufacturing as a part of delivering on that promise.
“You want to buy something that makes you feel good that makes you sleep well. But another aspect of sleeping well is knowing that they are supporting good causes and your products are coming from a good place,” she explains.