When I set up The Pyjama House some 15 years ago, I was pretty clear about what I wanted to acheive. My goal was simply to set up a small company that I could run from my kitchen in North Yorkshire whilst also being a Mum, and that I would sell something that I liked, that I would wear and that I would dress my children in.
I was brought up, like anyone of my age group, to “make do and mend”. I had a few good clothes and things like pyjamas were always made of strong cottons that would wash and wear well, getting more and more comfortable as they aged and be passed on to younger siblings and even cousins and neighbours once they were grown out of. Bringing up my own children I was able with the elder ones to shop in the same way as my parents had, but by the time I had my youngest, the trends had changed to flashier, cheaper, synthetic fabrics that pulled out of shape or went bobbly.. in other words they could be worn for a bit, then chucked into landfill.
It is with a certain relief – coupled with horror at how far down the wrong path we have gone. and the impact that that has had on our environment – that today those values have reverted. I sell, and have also always sold, pyjamas and nighties for children and PJ pull-ons for adults that are made of good strong cotton. We have the fabrics made in India and they are shipped by slow boat to the UK for a once a year delivery. This is the antithesis of fast fashion!
Our prices are fair for all concerned and we make approximately one third of the profit margin of our main competitors.. despite the fact that we share a manufacturer with those companies! We don’t send out printed brochures which reduces paper waste, and we keep our packaging to a miniumum. I am thrilled when customers tell me that they are just buying for their eldest child as the little brothers and sisters are wearing the hand-me-downs!
The bizarre events of the last year have focused my attention on another issue however that I felt I needed to address. As all my events were cancelled, I have mailed a far greater volume of orders directly to customers and although I am driving myself to less events, I am very conscious of the damage that all those Royal Mail delivery vans will be doing to the environment.
To counter this I have decided to invest in TREES .. not in the UK as that sector is already well funded, but in the rainforests of Madagascar. Here trees grow extremely fast because of the warm, humid conditions. They are also planted by locals, providing much needed employment. And in addition to this much of the project I am supporting is planting mangroves which have a very considerable advantage over traditional re-aforestation projects in that mangrove are planted with their roots in water and the sedement that is held between their roots is an enormous source of carbon capture.
I have not entered blindly into this project but have taken the advice of Terra Neutra who facilitate the regular donation by individuals and companies, large and small, into ecologically sustainable projects. If you’d like to find out more about them – and I really hope you will – please click on this link https://terraneutra.com/
You may also like to read the page on my website about this project and our investment in trees. Join me on my little eco-adventure and together we can make a difference.