Sunshine Coast Organic Children’s Sleepwear Label Wins Australian Non-Toxic Awards 2020
Two sisters on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland have won the Australian Non-Toxic Awards 2020 ‘Kids’ category for their 100% certified organic cotton children’s sleepwear label, Organic Nights.
Based at Moffat Beach with their young families, sisters Nichola Powell and Frances Gillies launched their first Organic Nights collection in January 2018. Organic Nights creates the healthiest and most ethical and sustainable 100% GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton sleepwear for children from newborns to 11 years of age.
The sisters’ hard work and ethical values has been recognised by the Australian Non-Toxic Awards 2020.
After an extended period of hands-on reviewing by a panel of experts, Organic Nights’ sleepwear won the Gold Medal as well as the Editor’s Choice Award in the ‘Kids Apparel’ Category.
Organic Nights also won the Silver Medal in the ‘Baby’ Category, and the Bronze Medal in the ‘Muslin/Swaddle’ category.
Now running in their second year, the Australian Non-Toxic Awards Awards recognise products, across a range of categories, that are safe, ethical, sustainable and socially responsible.
The two sisters are new to fashion – Nichola having worked previously as a veterinary surgeon and Frances is a freelance writer – however, they know about the pressures that parents face to raise healthy children.
With three young children each, and the weekly juggle of businesses and school runs, they appreciate that for children and parents to feel healthy, they need to prioritise sleep and learn about low-tox living.
“We are so honoured to be recognised by the Australian Non-Toxic Awards with a Gold Medal as well as the Editor’s Choice in the Kids category!” says Nichola, whose children are ages 14, 10 and 8.
“Awards like these are important because they remind us that we can all make a positive impact in the world, simply through the conscious choices we make as consumers,” she said.
“As you can imagine, starting a children’s label from scratch has been a steep learning curve, especially when we committed to meeting the strictest global standard for organics and manufacturing at every step along the way.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported, and who choose our Organic Nights sleepwear for their little ones.
“Like us, our customers and supporters care about children’s health and an environmentally sustainable and kind future; we all just want to do our best.”
“It has been so rewarding to see our customer base growing exponentially since we launched in 2018; this is our third Christmas as a start-up!”
The sisters decided to launch Organic Nights when they realised that the sleep space is one of the few areas that parents have control over when it comes to their children’s health.
“Children sleep for up to 12 hours every day, so if we can make the pyjamas they wear on their skin as healthy and safe as can be, then we will count that as a win!” said Frances, whose children are ages 9, 7 and 5.
“Children are only young for a short time, and with Organic Nights we want to make their childhood years as pure as possible,” she said.
“Valuing sleep is one of the most important life skills that we can teach our children because when we sleep we rest, recharge, heal, grow and find a sense of peace.”
The sleepwear label is popular with parents increasingly concerned about toxins in the environment as well as the welfare of the people who make the clothes. Many parents are disturbed to learn that conventional pyjama manufacturing involves dangerous flame retardants and toxic colour dyes, bleaches, softeners and treatments involving formaldehyde, heavy metals and other nasty chemicals.
These toxins are embedded into the pyjama fabric and can irritate young children’s skin and lungs. Non-organic cotton production is also one of the most toxic processes with high insecticide reliance, and it is widely reported that millions of cotton farmers across the globe suffer poisoning from insecticides each year.
“From the very beginning, we committed to the highest GOTS certification for our sleepwear label and to work with a GOTS-Certified Mill in India with a sterling reputation and long history of supporting fair trade practices,” Frances said.
“Then we took it one step further to become GOTS certified as a business, which makes us unique in Australia,” she said.
“It is a strict and arduous process but absolutely worth it because it gives our customers peace of mind that there is no ‘greenwashing’ with Organic Nights – we are authentic.”
GOTS certification is the world governing standard for organics, and strives to ensure that every person involved is protected and respected, from the organic cotton farmers to the seamstresses and factory workers who receive fair wages and safe and healthy work conditions. Importantly, with GOTS, there is no tolerance for slave or child labour.
GOTS also ensures the surrounding environment is protected too, with sustainable factory processes and no toxic chemical run-off to harm the waterways.
“We are heartened to see that big names in fashion like Tiger Lily are making a conscious choice to go back through their manufacturing processes to find out where they can be more sustainable in their approach,” Frances said.
“The wonderful thing about being a new start-up is that you can stick strictly to your values from the very start”
“There is a lot of doom and gloom at the moment in the media and people are talking in general conversations in the home and the school playground about how to be more conscious, less-wasteful consumers.”
“We believe that if everyone makes healthy choices in the areas of their lives that matter to them, then it will all add up to a significant positive change for the planet.
“We are proving that ethical and sustainable sleepwear can also be beautiful with our soft colour palette and sweet designs, created by Sunshine Coast designer and illustrator Cass Deller.
“One of the best things that makes our work worthwhile is the messages we get from our customers who say their children want to wear our pyjamas all day – not just to bed at night!
“And also when we hear that their children with eczema or sensitive skin are happily choosing our pyjamas and sleeping in them throughout the night without feeling itchy, hot or uncomfortable.”
“That makes our hearts sing because we know what a sweet blessing a good night’s sleep is for a parent!”