Our decision to create a new product and a new enterprise based on compassionate design criteria might have been inconsequential if not for the fact that today, finding functioning economic models for worthwhile products that, 1) last a long time, 2) do not poison life, and 3) do not undermine the climatic conditions necessary to sustain human life, are now urgent necessities.

We know Earth’s environment was created before humans took up residence. We know Earth can live (for it is indeed a living thing) without humans, but humans cannot live without Earth. We know ‘the economy’ is a human invention that we’ve been re-inventing ever since two ancient humans bartered wild berries for bee’s honey. Far later in time we invented jobs, later money, much later banks, and only yesterday, e-commerce and now blockchain. The economy exists only if humans exist. Humans exist only if Earth’s climate permits us to exist. There is an undeniable fixed order of priority here. People may delude themselves, but these are the existential facts.

Products designed with compassion do not undermine climatic conditions necessary for life.

As all human prosperity springs forth from Earth alone, a planet with finite resources, the conventional ideology of infinite economic expansion that degrades and depletes life’s sustaining necessities is an obvious dead end for humanity. We cannot accept the climate destroying policies and products most of our major institutions are actively engaged in. Not accepting, and acting to change this, automatically rejects conventional business practices and governmental norms. That is why Horizontal is an outlier.

There is a growing global movement of outliers in civil society, social movements, indigenous groups, environmentalists, political activists, social enterprises, benefit corporations, and triple bottom line companies, one of which is Horizontal. We outliers are redefining success in business by competing to be not just the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. We understand that how a product gets made matters a great deal more today than ever before; and why a product gets made matters even more than that.

Great nights in bed imbue our days with greater possibilities

Horizontal’s commercial arena is human life at night. We provide a holistic solution for sleeping well in the time of Climate Breakdown. A Night Shift. A personal shift that goes beyond the many benefits of great sleep and goes beyond the bedroom, too. It recognizes we humans are interdependent and inseparable from this complete system called nature. Acknowledging the truth releases our better angels, changes our thoughts and behaviour, shifts our priorities at home, at play, and when we go to work.

When we sleep well, nature’s design restores our melatonin, regulates our circadian rhythm, strengthens our memory, anti-oxidizes our chemistry and boosts our immune system. Body, mind, and spirit are rejuvenated for the coming day. But there’s more percolating in the night, because our beds and mattresses are stuffed with memory, myth and meaning. In bed we feel secure, experience intimacy, share secrets or lie in solitude, remember the past, ponder our future or fear the dark. We dream, wrestle our thoughts and conceive our babies. We are born in bed and will likely die there. We live one third of our entire lives in bed. Night Shifting’s revelation is this: How we sleep, who we sleep with, what we choose to sleep on, and why, have far reaching consequences.

Isaac of Nineveh
Horizontal is our creative, practical and compassionate solution for human sleep in the twenty-first century.

Great nights in bed imbue our days with greater possibilities. We need that now more than ever. The urgent necessity to insure this world will remain habitable makes it very clear that conventional commercial considerations are no longer adequate standards for conducting business. Horizontal is our creative, practical and compassionate solution for human sleep in the twenty-first century.

In the seventh century, the theologian and ascetic Isaac of Nineveh was asked, “What is a compassionate heart?” He replied, “It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for animals, for demons and for all that exists”.

Author’s Note: All facts and information referenced in the Why Now? series, including facts and information about chemicals and their impacts on human health and environment, have been drawn from previously published sources in the European Union, United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and India. Sources include national and state government documents, government funded agencies, national and international corporations, peer reviewed research from universities, the industrial safety industry, material data safety sheets, worker’s compensation board records, articles published in major newspapers, articles published by national and international news reporting services, published authors respected in their fields, and reports and studies published by reputable nonprofits and environmental organizations. Len Laycock


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