A Q&A with Frances and Nichola, co-founders of Organic Nights
We spoke with Frances Gillies and Nichola Powell, sisters and co-founders of Organic Nights children’s sleepwear, to discover their vision for pure, organic sleep for young children.
What was the initial vision for founding Organic Nights?
We launched Organic Nights in 2018 because we wanted to play our part in bringing beauty, goodness and health to our world.
We created this label with heart, care and conscious intention. From the moment Organic Nights began, we have been mindful to meet the highest ethical, environmental and social standards in the world. This gives our customers the peace of mind that when they choose Organic Nights for their child’s sleep, they are choosing the healthiest, best quality, most ethical, conscious and environmentally sustainable sleepwear available.
We are sisters living on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with our families. Nichola is a veterinarian by trade, with an MBA, and I (Frances) am a writer. As sisters and mothers, we felt that we could create something special together. Many years ago we were looking for beautiful organic sleepwear for our young children (we have three little ones each) and soon realised there were few options for pyjamas that were beautiful, simple and soothing while being produced to the strictest 100% GOTS-Certified Organic standards with no nasty toxins involved – all at the same time.
There also weren’t many options for children as they grew out of the toddler years – we wanted to keep our children young for as long as possible.
Like most mothers, we believe sleep is precious and paramount. We too worship it like the sun! We suddenly realised that sleepwear would give us, and other parents, the peace of mind that for at least 12 hours each day our children would be free of toxins and nourished. If we can offer our children a pure, toxin-free environment in which to slumber for half of their every day, then we are winning. And we all need to celebrate the wins!
Can you please share the main ethos that Organic Nights stands by?
Organic Nights’ mission is to provide the healthiest ethical organic sleepwear cocoon for children while they sleep. Our ethos is that sleep should be pure, healthy and kind – socially ethical and environmen-tally sustainable pyjamas should be mainstream so that no harm is done to people nor our planet in the process of making this sleepwear garment.
We create 100% GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton sleepwear and muslins for children, from newborns to 11 years of age, to give families peace of mind that their little ones are nurtured while they slumber. After all, when children enjoy quality sleep, they heal, recharge, dream and grow.
Our vision is to not only create beautiful, soft, health-supporting sleepwear for little bodies, but also to support parents in creating nurturing, connected and loving bedtimes for their children (and themselves!) to care for their little minds, bodies and souls as they drift off to sleep feeling loved, safe and secure.
What are the health benefits associated with wearing 100% GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton pyjamas?
We know that parents want to make healthy choices for their families. They are hungry for knowledge and support as they learn more about how to reduce the toxic load in their homes. Sleep-wear is an important piece in the puzzle because children sleep for up to 12 hours every day. If a child’s sleep time is clean and healthy, then that equates to half of their young life being toxin-free.
More parents are learning that there is a dangerous slew of synthetic chemicals and treatments used in conventional pyjama production, with trace residues left in the material.
With our range, parents can be sure that their children’s sleepwear is free of toxic dyes, bleaches, softeners or treatments – that means NO:
· heavy metals
· flame retardants
· endocrine hormone disruptors
· BPA or
· GMO ingredients.
…all of which have the potential to negatively impact their children’s health and wellbeing as well as damage the environment, local waterways and aquatic life.
We want parents to have peace of mind and know that they can safely strike the resulting health implications and risks off their list of concerns when their children wear our Organic Nights’ pieces.
In terms of our social ethical commitment, Organic Nights meets the strictest 100% GOTS-Certified Organic standard. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. For official information about GOTS, you can visit this link: https://www.global-standard.org/the-standard/general-description.html
This GOTS certification ensures Organic Nights’ natural fabric is 100% GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton; and also ensures the entire garment process from start to finish (from seed to seam) follows the highest GOTS standards, ensuring farming practices are organic and also the production chain (from the processing, dyeing and manufacturing, to the packaging and labelling) follows international labour standards to protect human social, health and fair pay work standards, as well as follow sustainable environmental practices.
Organic Nights works with a GOTS-Certified Mill in India which strives to meet strict social criteria and is governed by International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards. This ensures zero tolerance for child labour or forced labour, safe and hygienic working condition, fair wages and working hours and no discrimination.
In terms of environmental criteria and the impact on the health of the child wearing the garment, GOTS prohibits toxic inputs and synthetic chemicals during the entire farming and manufacturing process. This protects the health of the farmers and the workers in the Mill and also the local environment from being exposed to toxic wastewater and discharges that would result from using such dangerous materials.
In terms of packaging, there is no PVC permitted in GOTS-Certified Mills. Recycled and certified paper or cardboard is used in packaging material, even down to the swing tags! We pack orders using minimal wrapping with recycled paper and post packages in compostable, biodegradable bags.
Organic Nights is also one of the few businesses in Australia to be approved to be GOTS-Certified as a business, and the only Australian Children’s Organic Label to achieve this certification, allowing us to be a part of the official GOTS-chain and trade fairly and ethically Business to Business with wholesalers.
What are some of the amazing community ventures that Organic Nights are a part of?
We proudly join in local community markets that support local, ethical business; and we support many local charities, publications and children and families in need within our community and beyond. We donate Organic Nights Sleepwear as well as donate funds to people in need who are facing circumstances of domestic violence, illness in hospital or requiring therapy to rebuild their health.
Our boutique label is Australian designed and owned and we work with and support many other wonderful women in small businesses who are also wanting to be part of this conscious change that is need-ed in our world. We choose to work with businesswomen within our community and beyond, for example, working with our Queensland-based artisan illustrator, Cass Deller and photographer Kit Wise; Jessica McCleod of The Conscious Space event; local printers; eco publications and eco directories; as well as collaborate with creative businesses. We are open to investing in women and conscious business, and believe this world is better when we work kindly together.
What is your favourite product from the Organic Nights collection?
Just like parents must not have a favourite child, we cannot have a favourite product in our sleepwear collection! We find beauty in all our pyjamas and muslins, and we honestly cannot decide which one we love to see our children in the most! The Watercolour Whales print is pretty divine, though. But, we believe the colour palettes across all of our pieces are the ultimate colours – we don’t know how to beat them in coming collections!
We hope parents notice that we have purposefully created designs that celebrate the simplicity, purity and innocence of childhood. We trust that when you see and touch our pieces you can imagine children feeling soothed, loved and nurtured to sleep in our soft and sweet patterns. We hope you feel the goodness and authenticity behind our label.
We don’t follow trends; we don’t make little children look older nor have more of an attitude than they should at their age and with their innocent essence at heart. We are committed to being a part of this pure, kind and honest wave of business that we are fortunately seeing in Australia, such as with WellBeing Magazine (thank you!) and other authentic, conscious creators across the globe.
What’s next for Organic Nights?
Well, we recently achieved a MAJOR goal, after a very arduous application process. We are very proud to share that we have achieved an extra certification – GOTS-Certification as a Business!
This additional certification (on top of our manufacturing GOTS Certification relating to the actual garments) makes us one of a few in Australia to achieve this gold stamp of approval by the Global Organic Textile Standard governing body.
This is important as it gives our customers the confidence and surety that when they consciously choose to spend their money with us, they are making the difference that they believe they are – with their children and this earth – as our sleepwear is what it says it is. This certification demands full transparency in our business with no greenwashing allowed! We are also so excited to find out recently that we are finalists in the 2020 Australian Non-Toxic Awards across three categories for our children’s sleepwear, our baby sleepwear, and our muslin wraps. We are so grateful for this stamp of approval and recognition of our efforts to be as ethical, healthy and kind to people an planet as is possible.
Aside from this, we have so many dreams and goals, we just need a few extra hours in our day to get to them! We are sure many mums can empathise. We are excited to bring to life many beautiful pyja-ma designs that we have already created and have waiting in the wings.
We are also creating ebooks, videos and resources to help parents. We believe that parents want to learn how to feel and be that loving connection at bedtimes for their children that they know they can be in their heart of hearts. Sleep is one of the greatest gifts and life skills that we can teach our children, so any information that helps parents to feel more confident and sure of themselves during the bedtime routine is a positive thing.
A fun project to share is that we have just created a beautiful night song for bedtimes – sung by Nichola’s husband and their 13-year-old daughter – that is just so dreamy. We we are about to share the song with our tribe along with a charity link. We hope it inspires more creativity, love and light at bed-times for families.