I'll never forget the first time I watched Andrew Morgan's documentary True Cost. I was a law student, happily buying fast clothing as quickly as fast food, when the documentary faced me with the reality of how the choices I make impact life all around the world (and not just human). I can't say I stopped buying cheap clothing altogether, or that I was being totally conscious of the effects my choices were making, but it was always in my mind.
Fast forward a few years, and a tiny, fragile little girl comes on the scene. And suddenly my choices seem even more important than ever. Especially when faced with the reality of how quickly babies can get through clothes! Poo stains, sick stains, stains that you can't explain. Items of clothings ruined and unsalvageable, and even worse when they only last a few months at a time!
That's one of the reasons Sleep Thief was created. We were fed up of making bad consumer choices, and noticing that the fashion industry wasn't doing much to step up and innovate in the baby clothing world. We needed generous-sized baby clothing, made from sustainable materials that didn't cost the earth. And so, after a year of planning and designing, the Mischiefsuit was born.
It was after Sleep Thief had been born that Stacey Dooley's documentary Fashion's Dirty Secrets and it reinvigorated us - we knew we were creating an ethical company and it is something we are so proud of! As the fashion industry continues to devastate wildlife and human life around the world, we know that we are part of the movement helping to stop that.
So does organic cotton really make a difference? In Fashion's Dirty Secret, it was shown just how terrible cotton production has been for habitats around the world, especially in terms of water usage. But organic cotton undoubtedly has a positive impact on the habitual practices of the fashion industry. The Textile Exchange (a global non-profit helping to encourage best practice in the fashion industry) has released this Quick Guide to Organic Cotton which highlights those positive impacts.
But why did we choose organic cotton? Well, we know that it is grown in a way that uses materials and practices that lessen the impact on the environment compared to conventional cotton. One key factor for us is that far less water is used.
Another crucial reason that we opted for organic cotton is that the crop is nasties-free. That means there are no pesticides, insecticides or other types of toxins that get into the plant and therefore onto the skin of your babies. These toxins don't just affect the wearers - they have a much more harmful impact on the farmers and wildlife systems that come into contact with them.
We were really lucky to be invited in late 2018 to a night with B Corp UK to a panel discussing transparency in the fashion industry. It reminded us just how important the work is that we are doing at Sleep Thief. And, as Patrick Grant explained so succinctly at the event, it's impossible to make good stuff for cheap. If you buy it, you know you are supporting very bad practices.
That's why we are transparent in all of our manufacturing. We have direct lines with our wonderful factories and can trace all of our processes. Our organic cotton is certified by GOTS, the leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. To be certified to GOTS standard, GOTS check every step of the supply chain, from harvesting through to production, processing, manufacturing and labelling.
Our dyes are all OEKO-TEX(R) Standard 100 certified. This means that they are tested for over 300 harmful chemicals and contain none.
Our sizes are generous so that our clothing lasts, and the quality is good enough for the grows to be passed on!
We know the importance of the future - we see it in our children. And that's why we are committed to making fashion future friendly!