Considering that we spend approximately 1/3 of our day in our pjs (I wish) it makes sense to me that they should be considered carefully. I have a thing for pjs. No matter how bad the day nothing beats a shower, followed by clean comfortable pjs and fresh bed linen. Everything just seems so much better after a nights sleep started this way. Over recent years I’ve moved away from away from synthetic fibres and any natural / synthetic blends but finding 100% cotton pjs isn’t easy. Dunnes Stores and Heatons do stock 100% cotton pyjamas them and at very reasonable prices but if you’re looking for more sustainable, healthier options here are some brands to consider.
I’ve compiled a post on the the sustainability / ethics of the most popular fibre types, which might help you to make your own decision on what suits your values best.
The Ethical Silk Company (see image above) is an Irish clothing brand specialising in ethical silk clothing and bedlinen. As far as I’m aware they are the only company offering silk made without silk worms being boiled alive as part of the process. Dyes used are low impact, AZO free dyes. All water used is treated and recycled. The Ethical Silk Company has also pledged to donate 10% profits to charity.
UK brand Nomads offer a small range pyjamas made from brushed organic cotton. Nomads make fair trade clothing in certified organic cotton and non-organic cotton, are a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) and the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS). Also a percentage of Nomads profits are used to support TAMWED, a non-profit charity based in south India.
Love Yawn‘s main factory in India has SA8000 and ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and Oeko Tex 100 standards with respect to employee treatment. They also have achieved water conservation and waste management to GOTS certification level and their fabric printing process has been shown through independent testing to be free of nasty chemicals such as PCP, ASO, formaldehyde and CFCs. To minimize air miles they manufacture in the same country as the cotton is grown in. They ship in recyclable cardboard boxes. They reuse and recycle packing materials where possible and their. All of their internships are paid and they pay the London living wage as a minimum. They support financially and practically through mentoring one charity a year.
Mayamiko sell garments including pyjama sets made by a local cooperative of women tradersin Malawi from local fabrics. Their batik and tie-dye fabrics are hand-dyed by artisans at the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MaCoHa), which are paid a fair price for their work. The tshirt that comes with the Malawi fabric shorts is made of 100% GOTS® certified organic combed cotton by ethical and fairtrade manufacturer Mantis World in Africa. The workshop that makes the shorts aims to use 90-100% of the fabric when cutting and upcycle every off-cut or any unsold item into a new wonderful piece for you to enjoy. They also donate some fabric to the community, and hold workshops to teach upcycling to others.
People Tree sell organic cotton pyjamas and has been named as the Best Ethical Fashion Brand by the Observer and Best Ethical e-tailor by Cosmopolitan, twice. They are accredited by the WFTO, the Fairtrade Foundation, and the Soil Association. Most of People Tree’s organic cotton also carries the Fairtrade Mark and is certified in India by Control Union (an international Dutch based organic certification body). Their new colours for organic clothing are also said to meet stringent requirements for organic dyes and they explain that although some of our organic cotton products use low impact dyes they don’t carry the mark because the screen print workshop they want to support a small family run business that are working towards meeting the organic criteria. Other garments are dyed using with safe GOTS certified and azo-free dyes. They also have 9 stockists around Ireland.
Based in the UK and Norway Noctu makes 100% organic cotton fair trade nightwear for men, women and children. They say that their factory is committed to helping those who have been affected by the chemicals and fertilisers used in growing crops by establishing a dedicated cancer hospital. All of their cotton products are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Fair Trade and SA8000 certified.
Do You Green offers lounge wear made from organic pinewood fibres from sustainable forests, which the company says absorbs perspiration twice as much as cotton and is softer than any other cloth. All of their materials are made in France, as is the dying, and both are is done to the Oekotex standard. Their packaging is also plastic free. The company uses the term organic pinewood fibres but doesn’t give any details on the process involved in converting them to fibre. I’ve emailed to ask if it is fact Rayon, a very popular cellulose based fibre, that they’re using. I’ll let you know what they tell me.
UK company Thought (formerly Braintree) sells pyjamas made from organic cotton and viscose made from bamboo. This company aims to ensure that their fabrics and how our garments are designed, made and delivered is carefully considered and done so ethically, with the greater aim of minimising their environmental footprint. The dyes they use are free from Azo (which they say is a harmful carcinogen) and they claim that their finishes are as environmentally friendly as possible. Each piece of their collection is made in the same country so never needs to be shipped from place to place and when it is time to transport them they claim to choose a slow option with great consideration for the environment. They’re also a founding member of the Ethical Fashion Forum.
UK Based Green Fibres sell underwear, nightwear and leisure wear for men, women and children, in organic cotton, organic wool, silk and hemp. They also have organic cotton tights (pantyhose) and organic cotton, wool and silk tights. Organizations that supply Greenfibres must comply with the Code of Conduct as contained in the Global Organic Textile Standards, and the company make every effort to use local and small-scale labour as much as possible. Furthermore they are against increasing disparities of incomes and undertake to never have the highest earner in the company making more than 5 times the wage of the lowest earner. They also use banks and phone companies that are ethical, renewal electricity companies and use a high post-consumer content recycled paper in all their stationary and catalogues. They also participate in the following forums: the Soil Association, the Fair Trade Foundation, Pesticide Action Network UK, Environmental Justice Foundation, Global Organic Textiles Standards, Labour Behind the Label, and the Organic Trade Board. They also donate time and money to organisations, including the Transition Towns and Transition Network and the UK Biodynamic Association.
The Bright Collection in the UK sell a couple of styles of women’s pyjamas in organic cotton made in Portugal.
German Company Living Crafts offer reasonably priced organic cotton bras, knickers, vests, t-shirts, long pants and pyjamas.
French brand Peau Ethique make pyjamas GOTS certified organic cotton in a factory in India that is SA8000 standard for fair working conditions. Their garments also comply with REACH regulations and are free of formaldehyde, azo dyes and aromatic solvents. UK based By Nature is is a stockist of theirs along with Do you Green (see above) and German company Living Crafts (see above).
Hejhog sell nightwear in organic cotton, organic wool or organic silk.
Cambridge baby sell women’s nightwear in organic cotton, wool and silk.
Traidcraft offer fair trade cotton pyjamas and dressing gowns.
The Ethical Superstore and The Natural Colleciton are online retailers selling nightwear from the following brands; Thought, Peopletree, Patagonia and Nomads. These two websites seem to be run by the same company and I often find that you can pick up items cheaper here than on the home company’s website.
Rankabrand is a very useful website that, as the name suggests, ranks brands based on their sustainability.