Manufacturer Spotlight: Ogallala Comfort Company – From Bed to Butterfly
Preserving the Monarch butterfly is one of Ogallala Comfort Company’s major goals. We are happy to work together with them to that end.
At The Clean Bedroom, we carefully choose the brands we sell. We look for companies that source ethically and construct their products with the highest quality so they will last. Many of the companies we work with were started and continued because of the commitment and passion of their founder to an idea, a principle, or a commitment – and these companies have some incredible stories.
One of those stories is the fantastic and inspiring start of Ogallala Comfort Company. This company began its journey in 1986 as a seemingly small project involving milkweed, which is the only food of the monarch butterfly.
What is milkweed?
Milkweed is indeed a weed that grows primarily in the Midwest, but you can find it throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada along the North American Monarch Butterfly migration route. There are over 800 varieties of milkweed worldwide, and milkweed is the sole food source of the Monarch Butterfly, now an endangered species.
So what do butterflies have to do with Ogallala down bedding?
When he discovered milkweed, founder and owner Herb Knudsen tried to sell “syriaca clusters” (the silky fibers of the milkweed) to down companies to be used as a blending product. After being laughed out of many meetings, Herb thought about starting his own company – and Ogallala Comfort Company was born.
The company remains true to its roots, making its products in Ogallala, Nebraska, a rural ranching community of 4,500. Ogallala Comfort Company is a family-owned business in its 35th year of operation. Coining the term “Hypodown,” Herb proved that Ogallala down is better than down alone. Hypodown (now called Ogallala down) increases fill power, is hypo-allergenic, and better transfers moisture away from the body. As a blend of the silky milkweed fiber and ethically sourced down, the Ogalalla blend can’t be beat for breathability, durability, and overall comfort. Over twenty years later, customers know Ogallala throughout the industry as having some of the finest down products on the market.
Let’s explain syriaca(otherwise known as milkweed).
Syriaca is not a synthetic, nor is it used as a down filler. Syriaca is the natural and non-treated product of milkweed. Milkweed traps and suppresses allergens found in down that cause allergic reactions, making the product naturally hypo-allergenic. Syriaca makes the down more breathable and durable and helps the body regulate temperature.
Ogallala Down is about more than just a better night’s sleep
When you buy milkweed products, like those from Ogallala, you are helping to save the endangered Monarch population. Monarch Flyway, Herb’s dream that birthed Ogallala Comfort Company, is still very much the heart of Ogallala. They strive to protect the Monarchs in many ways:
- Ogallala is a for-profit business that creates products from sustainable, wild-harvested milkweed.
- The company believes that increasing demand for milkweed raw materials will increase Monarch habitat throughout North America.
- Ogallala partners with Monarch scientists, gardeners, and enthusiasts to create awareness and educate the public.
- They know they must help preserve over-wintering habitats in Mexico and California to protect the monarch migration.
- They create a symbiotic relationship between nature and humans by encouraging people to provide money for their families by protecting wild milkweed stands and harvesting pods.
So go ahead; we urge you to visit any of our locations and try out the Ogallala blend of down products available to you. In addition to a healthier you, you’ll be helping to save the monarch butterfly. For more information on Monarch Flyway and how you can help save the endangered Monarch butterfly, visit Monarch Flyway on Facebook.
First published April 2nd, 2014.