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This start-up says don’t wash your bed sheets

This start-up is actually encouraging college students not to wash their bed sheets.

Most students are too busy to wash their sheets, and the average dorm pillow contains 300,00 live bacteria colonies, said entrepreneurs Joan Ripple and Kirsten Lambert.

The two moms told CNBC they were horrified when they picked their children up for Thanksgiving during their freshman years of college and found that they hadn't washed their sheets once.

So they founded Massachusetts-based start-up, Beantown Bedding and Laundry-Free Linens, creating eco-friendly disposable bed sheets for college students, summer camp, hospitals and spas.

Beantown Bedding's Laundry-Free Linens are nonwoven, soft, plant-based sheets that the founders say can last up to 40 nights, and then are compostable — meaning you can actually bury the sheets in your backyard and they will breakdown into a pile of nutrient-rich soil.

Skipping the laundry room saves time, water, energy and carbon emissions, the founders told CNBC.

The company sells its sheets online at major stores like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and on its company's website. Retail prices start at $19.99.

The company also sells sheets to more than 100 companies in the hospitality space starting below $9.95, the owners said.

Beantown Bedding offers a subscription model option for consumers, like frequent travelers, starting at $14.99 per set.

Although there is no direct competition in the compostable bed sheet space, Beantown does compete with the countless traditional, washable bedsheet brands already on the market.

Beantown Bedding’s disposable bed sheets
Source: Beantown Bedding
Beantown Bedding’s disposable bed sheets

Venture capitalist Nir Liberboim asked what stops other companies from mimicking the start-up's concept. Although the sheets do not have a patent, the founders told CNBC that Beantown has exclusivity with its supplier, and has a license agreement to use Tencel, a premium fiber made from eucalyptus. They would not disclose any other specifics.

Angel investor Kelly Hoey asked if this was just a "solution for rich college students?" Lambert said that's only part of the solution, claiming there is a $5 billion opportunity just for the retail market and hospitality.

"But for us, the focus is on the college students and the on-demand economy, and the opportunity to reach those college kids and make it their solution," Lambert said.

The start-up currently has four full time employees. It said no funds have been raised, and it did not disclose specifics about revenue. Beantown Bedding does say it is on track to grow seven fold in 2017.

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Correction: This story was revised to correct that the sheets are designed to last 40 nights and that Lambert and Ripple picked up their children at Thanksgiving. It also corrected that the company said no funds have been raised and that wholesale prices start below $9.95.