If you're anything like me then at least once in our life you've loved an item of your wardrobe so much that you want to wear it everywhere!
Well, I'm having one of those moments again, bear with me!
Recently, I had the privelledge of meeting ALAS co-owner Kelly, excited to share the passion and vision of ALAS pyjamas, and I had an epiphany! With 100% Organic cotton, ethical production and collections to die for I suddenly understood why people actually want to wear their pyjamas to the supermaket. I wouldn't want to take them off either!
OK, OK, back down to earth,
I put my 'day-time' clothes on and sat down for an inspiring conversation with Kelly. Excited to learn all about their journey to finding small fair trade and organic factories in India.
So going back to the facts; ALAS produce via two factories in India. One is Fair Trade and GOTS certifed and the other has exceptional working standards and uses only organic cotton but without the certifications. Both factories employ small teams of people from the local community.
So naturally, I wanted to know more and I was struck by the difficulties that small batch production companies have in finding small factories that are fair trade and GOTS certified.
Let me explain, A few years ago there was a huge push to achieve Fair Trade and GOTS certification throughout Indian factories but as the years have gone on factories are not renewing their certifications. This is largely due to consumer demand for certified products. And because the certifications are reasonably expensive, if the customer doesn't want it to pay premiums for it then the factory can't afford to maintain it!
Why not move to a large Fair trade factory? Well it's not that easy, large factories prioritise large orders first and so your small batch may be pushed down the line or even outsourced to another factory, and ultimately your designs and production quality may not be as conisistent as you had hoped, this may also lead to more waste.
Hand-in-hand in this debate comes the ethical principle of 'factory surfing', This is something that Kelly feels strongly about. As mentioned, ALAS have consistently produced via two small factories and they have spent years building solid relationships with visits and constant communication. They were even invited to the wedding of one of the factory owners! Close factory relationships are absolutely key to ensuring product quality and of course high production standards too. Aside from these obvious benefits some of the greatest benefits lie within the factory walls. With factories that care for their staff and are committed to using 100% organic cotton it would be a shame for their bigger clients to let them go.
And so what can we do about this? and why bother talking about it? Well two things actually;
Firstly, each time you are in a shop, ask the retail assistants where and how the items are made. It's a simple, non-offensive question and in the past I have left shop attendants feeling very curious themselves!
What will this do? Well, the more the customer asks for better production standards and organic fabrics the more the business will look into prioritising it.
And most importantly, vote with your money. The more we buy ethically made products and those with Fair Trade and GOTS certifications, the louder the voice of ethical fashion becomes. All because each dollar that we spend is a sign of what we want more of, it also indicates the coming trends of the next generation when we buy ethically for our children too.
Plus, I spend heaps of time talking with companies that are changing the world of production with the way they do business, all so that I can put together an ethical shopping portal to help you find exactly what you're after.
And so, to all the 'pyjamas in public' folk this is your opportunity to glam it up a bit, these guys really know their bed time style. Not to mention up to 60% off throughout February!
And to everyone else struggling not to wear these pyjamas everywhere, well... sweet dreams! x
Psssst! You can find ALAS at http://alasthelabel.com/