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Image / Style / Sustainable Style

Sustainable Style Spotlight: BambooBaby


By Enda Barton
19th Feb 2023
Sustainable Style Spotlight: BambooBaby

Set up by Enda Barton when he and his wife were expecting their first child, BambooBaby specialises in children’s apparel that is made entirely from bamboo fabric – better for the planet and for baby too. Here he tells more about the brand and what inspires him.

Tell us about your brand
BambooBaby is a small family-run business that launched in October 2021. We are currently focused on providing high-quality sustainable baby clothes made from bamboo fabric. All of the bamboo used to produce our clothes comes from an FSC-certified bamboo forest. FSC-certified forests are the way to go for people who care about the planet. They make sure forests are managed responsibly, help out local communities, and protect all the wonderful plants and animals living there. It’s a win-win! All of our fabric is OEKO-TEX 100 certified which means no potentially harmful chemicals are left on the clothes so our customers can be confident and happy that their baby’s skin is protected. On top of that, our fabric supplier uses a closed-loop system in the production process which means any chemicals used are recaptured and reused instead of being discarded into the environment which can be quite typical in the production of fabrics. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our product and our sustainability as a business so watch this space for more amazing bamboo products coming soon! 

Some interesting sustainability facts about bamboo and bamboo fabric:
The fabric
Bamboo fabric is sustainable due to its durability. It will outlast cotton in keeping shape, strength, and durability three times over when cared for properly, which means it doesn’t end up in the bin as frequently as other types of clothing – so it can be handed down from generation to generation.

The plant
The bamboo plant is the fastest-growing plant on the planet, growing up to 3ft per day. As with other crops that are turned into fabrics, bamboo does not require fertiliser, or other harmful pesticides and chemicals to be harvested, and it requires 1/3 less water than cotton. Cultivation of the plant is completely natural and it self-regenerates from its own roots so it doesn’t need to be replanted.  In fact, one acre of bamboo will yield 10 times more than 1 acre of cotton which is one of the most common fabrics found in baby clothing today.

Packaging
All our packaging comes from local Irish suppliers and is 100% recyclable. Our boxes come from an FSC-certified supplier. Our tissue paper is made using 100% recycled material and is also acid-free which means that it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. To reduce the amount of packaging we use, orders with one item are sent out in a small plain boarded envelope which, like our boxes, is 100% recyclable. The only addition to our boarded envelope is our mark of quality – the BambooBaby stamp.

What is your mission?
Our mission is to create beautiful, high-quality, sustainable bamboo products that bring comfort and happiness to lots of babies around the world and have a positive impact on the people that buy them (parents get a better night’s sleep because their baby sleeps better) and on the planet we live on. 

Did you always want to work in children’s apparel?
Funnily enough, it hadn’t ever crossed my mind! I knew I always wanted to run my own business but it was only when my wife, Madeleine, and I were expecting our first baby that the thought of running a baby business came to mind, and the thought came at a pretty crazy time. I, like many others, was made redundant from my job as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, myself and Madeleine were expecting our first baby, and as so many expecting parents do, I started to research baby clothing to see what the best clothing for our baby was. That’s when I discovered Bamboo fabric and all its amazing benefits. I then went to search for bamboo baby clothing in Ireland and couldn’t find any store selling it exclusively so that’s when I started down the route of bringing a bamboo-dedicated store to Irish parents like us. I invested everything I had in the business so I really had to make sure everything about the business and the product was of the highest standard. It’s really a make-or-break type of situation. 

What kind of items do you stock?
Our range includes a sleeping bag, sleepsuit, bodysuit, hooded panda towel and washcloths. The sleeping bag, sleepsuit, and bodysuit are all part of our first design, which we’ve named the GreenLeaf collection. As a fabric, bamboo is quite remarkable – it’s anti-bacterial, breathable, super soft and hypoallergenic (often being compared to silk) making it ideal for babies with sensitive skin and conditions like eczemaOutside of providing high-quality baby clothing, our key focus is providing a high level of service to our customers. Each order is hand packed, includes a handwritten note (when requested) and is sent via tracked delivery. Ultimately, we focus on making our customers happy and that’s the reason we have a 5-star rating on Google.

What new brands or items are on your radar?
I am actually in the process of creating a new set of products which I am very excited about. I am keeping the details to myself for now as I want it to be a surprise! On this particular occasion, I will be expanding outside of clothing so I can’t wait to bring more great bamboo products to Ireland. 

Best business advice you’ve gotten
Focus on providing a high-quality product and making customers happy, the rest will follow. 

Favourite sustainable accounts to follow online
Willow Wild Jewellery (@willowwildjewellery) are a west of Ireland-based business that makes beautiful handmade jewellery and accessories. Dlulukaloo (@dlulukaloo) sell wooden toys but they also rent them. It’s a lovely idea and their toys are really nice. Fiadh & Finn (@fiadhandfinn) make fine art keepsakes. The business is owned by a woman named Tanya based in Kildare and she produces stunning watercolour art for children. 

Other sustainable Irish brands you love
Scintilla Suncatchers (@scintilla_suncatchers) is owned by a 14-year-old based in Wicklow, Eben Pascoe. I love this business for 2 reasons: 1) I love that Eben has got that entrepreneurial drive at such a young age, 2) he makes beautiful products that can last a lifetime. 

Most useful learning since setting your business up
As I sit here today, reflecting on my journey as an entrepreneur, I can’t help but smile at the lessons I’ve learned along the way. The biggest one, without a doubt, is the power of persistence.  You see, when I first started my business, I had grand aspirations of cracking the market wide open from day one. But as we all know, things don’t always go as planned. Despite the setbacks, I kept pushing forward, reminding myself to be easy on myself. And you know what? It’s paid off. Today, we’re getting more and more 5-star reviews, our brand recognition is increasing, people are talking about us to their friends, and people are returning to buy from us. It’s been a gradual build, but it’s been so worth it. So, to anyone out there who’s just starting their entrepreneurial journey, I want to say this: don’t give up, keep chasing your dream, and most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen if you stay consistent and persistent.

Proudest moment so far
My proudest moment so far has to be getting the first order from an ‘actual customer’ (not a family member or friend). Don’t get me wrong, I am always so grateful to family and friends that support the business but it’s hard to beat that first customer that comes to your site, decides they love your product, and spends their hard-earned money to buy from you. That has to be the proudest moment because as you’re building your business and getting ready to unveil it to the public, it’s a very vulnerable moment not knowing whether people will love it as much as you do. So when that first real customer decides to spend with you, it’s validation of all the effort and love put into the business.

I want my brand to be remembered for… its unwavering commitment to offering not just superior, eco-friendly products, but also for providing a level of customer care that exceeds all expectations, leaving a lasting impact on every person who interacts with us.

My advice for shopping more sustainably is… spend more to buy better, that way, you don’t have to spend more later replacing cheap, unsustainable products that don’t last.  I have a little story that changed my own thinking towards clothing purchases. When I was younger I would buy cheaper clothes, and on one particular occasion, I went to a well-known department store to buy some trousers for work. I got a pair that fit well and looked good so I wore them to work the next day.  Halfway through the day, I sat down and they ripped right along the crotch. Embarrassing, to say the least. I figured this might have been a faulty pair so I went back and got a replacement pair. The exact same thing happened again the next day. Two pairs of trousers wasted in two days. It was at that moment, I decided to spend more to buy better. Not only do you end up with clothes that won’t rip easily, you end up with clothes that will last longer too – they don’t end up in the bin within the year, and can often be passed on to siblings or charity shops when you feel like refreshing your wardrobe. Plus you won’t have the stress of going back to the store or returning items via post. 

Best sustainability tips for parents?
Buy better for your baby and our planet. Buy BambooBaby! We also have a blog on our website dedicated to providing helpful content for parents.

When you sign up as a member of the BambooBaby family, you get a welcome to the family code that gives you 10% off your entire first order. Follow them on Instagram at @bamboobaby.