Phoebe Yu couldn’t find a bedding fabric she liked, so she decided to create one herself.
Phoebe Yu was already well aware of the happenings within the textile industry, though she realised there was a massive gap between affordable and high-quality ethical and sustainable bedding. From here Ettitude came to life, and so too did the world’s first 100% organic bamboo lyocell.
What made you start Ettitude?
After moving countries and re-establishing my entire home, I used the opportunity to find the best bedding I could; to me, the ‘best’ means equally comfortable and sustainable without being extravagantly expensive. I couldn’t find the hotel-quality level I was after without having to fork out huge sums of money. My background in supply chains and logistics also had highlighted to me the huge ethical and sustainable issues plaguing the textile industry. Essentially, I felt there had to be a better alternative to all of this. And so, I set about developing the world’s first lyocell made from 100% organic bamboo – a highly sustainable textile that is incredibly soft and enjoyable to sleep in.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
I like to set my alarm 5-10 minutes before I need to get up, just so I can enjoy lying in bed and being comfortable for a moment. I then throw on my ettitude waffle-weave robe, wash my face and pour myself a warm glass of water with lemon. Luckily, in LA, there is almost always sunshine. If I don’t have an early meeting, I’ll go to the gym to do a cross fit class to get my energy up!
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
I wouldn’t call them barriers so much as challenges. Educating the consumer on the very real need to live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle remains the primary challenge, but luckily there is an ever-growing consumer voice that wants to support brands that reflect their own values of sustainability. We take a lot of care in partnering with the right manufacturing partners, and in ensuring our bamboo is sourced ethically and responsibly through FSC certified forests – these all mean greater focus and work, but ultimately it’s all worth it.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Ettitude, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?
We partner with WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) to ensure our manufacturing partners adhere to the highest ethical standards. This is a non-profit, independent global organisation that is dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world. Our factory in China specialises in the cut and sewn of bedding products is WRAP certified.
Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?
Bamboo lyocell is one of the world’s most sustainable textiles, and we actually partnered with a textile university in Shanghai to develop it. Organic bamboo lyocell is softer, more cooling and cleaner than cotton while needing less water to grow and produce. It’s free from harmful chemicals, artificial additives and allergens making it safe and healthy for everyone. Often referred to as ‘vegan silk’, Ettitude’s signature textile is made using a closed-loop system that recycles and reuses water up to 200 times, recycling 98% of the water in the process and minimizing waste. The textile is a highly sustainable alternative to cotton and linen while being a more affordable and ethical alternative to silk.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don’t listen to every piece of advice! Be picky; know your business and know how to apply advice thoughtfully.
What’s next for you and Ettitude?
We’re really excited to have just signed a partnership with 1% For The Planet, and to soon be opening our first physical pop-up space in LA! 2020 is set to be our biggest yet, and we are looking forward to partnering up with some really wonderful brands.
One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?
The True Cost is a harrowing but vital watch that underscores the devastating effects of fast fashion and the textile industry on the earth and communities. I also always gift people with This Is A Good Guide – it’s an essential book to read and keep, and provides clear tips on how to live more sustainably without compromising on style or quality.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
We are lucky to have partnered with some incredible people in the last 6 months including the wonderful Clare Press from Vogue Australia and Geneva Vanderzeil from Collective Gen. Working alongside women who share our vision is always rewarding.