April is Earth Month, and we’re excited to highlight some of our favorite female-founded brands with a focus on sustainability.
Twenty years ago, the idea for Boob came to me. It was a cold autumn day in 1999 when I saw my sister, Lotta, breastfeeding her newborn son. This was in Stockholm, so of course, we were sitting outside having coffee and the wind was sweeping around Lotta’s bare waist. I figured there must be a way to make smart clothes with easy access for nursing without having to undress and mess with buttons or zips. Who has time to fuss when a hungry child is clawing at your breasts? And so, the idea for Boob’s classical nursing wear was born and one year later launched to the market.
As a company that started out of concern for moms, it has always been natural that we make our clothes with great concern for people, the planet, and future generations. The nature of maternity clothes is so inherently disposable, but we knew there was a better model. From the start, we’ve worked with factories that share our core values when it comes to caring for the environment and ensuring fair conditions for the people who make our garments.
Considering Our Social and Environmental Impact
In 2008, we made an active decision to exchange all materials in the collection to reflect better environmental choices. Since then, we have proudly gone from 20 percent sustainable materials to 100 percent, utilizing materials like recycled polyamide, organic cotton, and lyocell. While we’re proud of the strides we’ve made, getting here hasn’t been a walk in the park. For one, when we started this journey as a small player in the fashion world, getting access to sustainable options wasn’t easy and our influence on the factories was limited. Luckily, through patience and dedication to the cause (and LOTS of emails and conversations), we’ve been able to forge meaningful relationships with our factory partners who were willing to take the journey to a more sustainable future with us.
Sustainable thinking goes into everything we do; when it comes to our clothes, the first question is always, what purpose does this fill? Every new item we bring into the world has to be here for a clear reason. This is why our entire collection is made with double functionality for pregnancy and nursing with smart solutions that make everyday life just a bit smoother and increase the longevity of every item we make. And as much as we love smart ideas and functionality, it is equally important to us to make sure our clothes make women look and feel their best while also lasting a long time. Being pregnant and becoming a new mom can be a challenging period in life, so it’s important to us that the clothes you invest in work as hard as they can for you while minimizing their environmental impact.
In addition to making clothes that matter, it’s also important that our consumers feel safe with how our clothes are treated in the production process. According to the Mistra Future Fashion Research Program, “80 percent of the climate impact from the average Swede’s use of clothes comes from the production line.“ This is why all our clothes are certified according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and/or GOTS. OEKO-TEX guarantees that all components in garments have been tested for harmful chemicals. GOTS goes even deeper and guarantees meeting strict criteria from chemical use to the environmental and social impact, all the way from seed to final product.
How Consumers Can Make a Difference
We’re all consumers and we encourage our customers to ask the same questions we ask when deciding to bring new items into our homes. So how can the average consumer have an impact and push brands to make real strides in producing more sustainable options?
Ask questions about how clothes are made. Where are they made and are the factory workers receiving a fair wage? Are there programs in place now or in the future that support re-use? For Boob, transparency is paramount; we keep track of our production process all the way from fiber to the final garment. Being a conscious consumer, asking questions and placing demands on brands and producers is a great way of challenging the norm and ensuring everyone is raising their standards and ambitions.
What else can we do? Always think twice when buying new products (even ours!) and ask yourself if this is something that you really need and will use. If possible, buy second hand. And why not share your wardrobe with friends and make quarterly swaps a fun reason to get everyone together?
Care for your clothes sustainably—only wash when needed and in lower temperatures. Mend when they’ve been loved and worn for a long time. Your clothes will last longer and can be kept in the loop.
Always make sure to recycle what you no longer use or need. Pass your clothes forward to friends or charity or sell them second hand. If they’re really worn out, sew something new or use them as a cleaning cloth. Just as our journey to 100% sustainable materials didn’t happen overnight, it’ll take time for us all to reduce our impact and consume fewer new items.
While we can’t strive for perfection, we can strive for better. That’s an unofficial slogan at Boob HQ.