Y'know that pungent, malodorous smell that fills the air when you first open a vinyl shower curtain? That so-called "new curtain" smell? Do you know what it is you are actually breathing in?
I didn't until recently.
Turns out this smell is not just unpleasant, but it's actually toxic. The "culprit" material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a polymer which releases a slew of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) linked to adverse health effect such as liver and kidney damage, nervous system depression and cancer. Thanks, but no thanks!! (If you're interested in learning more, you can download the report Volatile Vinyl which summarizes the results of a laboratory study of the toxic chemicals contained in and released from PVC shower curtains.)
Thankfully, we're not forced to choose between inhaling VOCs and drenching our bathroom floors, as more and more safe shower curtain options are becoming widely available in various materials and patterns.
One such option is from Rock Candy Life, a company which proves that high-end design and eco-friendly products can co-exist! From their website:
Our shower curtains are 100% recyclable, chlorine and PVC-free. They do not emit 'off-gasses' as traditional shower curtains do. By eliminating the need for a liner, you decrease waste as well.
If you share our passion for cool design and care about the environment, you will love our shower curtains. We don't believe 'green' products should be any less attractive, and we don't believe they should be more expensive. All our shower curtains are designed right here in Texas and shipped from our creative shop in North Austin!
Sounds pretty good so far, right?
Since the website doesn't list specifically what their curtains are made of, I checked with my contact who confirmed that the material is polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA). It sounds just as scary, but in reality it is a much safer alternative to PVC-based curtains as it is free from chlorine, phtalates and other harmful chemicals, and it is also biodegradable.
Here is a quick peek at Rock Candy Life's available products. View a complete photo gallery on their website.
As part of my ongoing quest to "green" our home, I decided to contact the company regarding a possible blog feature, and they were game! For review purposes, they generously sent me both a shower curtain of my choice (I picked Whimsical Birds) and a beautiful set of matching hooks!
I'm happy to report that there was only the teeniest scent when I first opened the curtain; nothing at all like the olfactory assault part and parcel of unveiling a "traditional" curtain.
As for the hooks, we've only ever used the cheap, plastic variety up until now so it's nice to have something a little more decorative! These hooks are lead-free and made from partially recycled aluminum. One particularly cool thing about them is that they coordinate with all of the available Rock Candy Life shower curtain styles.
Alright, time to replace our existing curtain (yes, the nasty PVC variety :-/ ) with our brand spankin' new one!
Normally we like to use a curtain with a liner, however during the exchange I noticed that the liner was getting gross along the bottom so I decided to toss it out. Rock Candy Life curtains are advertised as working without a liner, so I gave this approach a shot. I was pleasantly surprised - it looked great!
I think I even prefer this to the hanging outside look, so we might not bother getting a new liner after all! There's beauty in simplicity. :)
In case you're curious, here is how it looks hanging outside:
Yup, I'd say I definitely prefer the inside look myself! *nods*
As for the quality of the material, it certainly feels less flimsy and more durable than the traditional vinyl curtains we have used in the past.
From what I've read, it's easy-peasy to clean a PEVA curtain - just wipe 'er down periodically. Again, simple = good! :)
Another thing that's great about this curtain is that the holes are reinforced with grommets. There's nothing worse than when a cheap-o curtain starts ripping off its hooks, so I'm glad that Rock Candy Life put some thought into this aspect of the design!
Finally, the whimsical hooks really do add that special touch!
Any downsides to this curtain? I can only think of a couple minor ones. First of all, the material creases fairly easily and second, the hooks can come detached from the bar if you yank the curtain open quickly. So really, as long as you treat 'em with a little TLC, I can see this curtain and its hooks lasting a really long time!
All in all, I heartily recommend Rock Candy Life shower curtains if you are looking for a safe, eco-friendly option which is also affordable and stylish. The decorative hooks are a nice accessory as well if you're looking to kick things up a notch.
You can purchase Rock Candy Life curtains ($24.99 USD) and hooks ($14.99 USD) directly from their website. Shipping is free within the US, $5 to Canada and $10 to international destinations. Products are available from select third party retailers as well.
Rock Candy Life has generously offered a Rock Candy Life shower curtain and set of hooks to one lucky Manager to Mom reader! Open to Canada and the United States.
To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Comments do not count as entries, however feel free to add a comment to remind yourself that you entered!
Disclosure: The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Rock Candy Life. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.