A conversation with Honest Sleep

FS Natural Home, and its three incredible divisions – The Futon Shop, Honest Sleep, and Organic Sofas, are the brainchild of Suzanne Diamond, a trailblazer in the world of sustainable furniture design. Throughout the four-decade run in the business, Diamond has made it her job to be involved in every stage of production, for a true farm to home experience. Take a look at what I learned through my recent conversation with her…

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your brand…

My name is Suzanne Diamond and I am the founder and CEO of FS Natural Home. My story dates back over 40 years. In 1976, over 4 decades ago while living in Los Angeles I was pregnant with my first child, living and breathing a macrobiotic lifestyle. I embraced the macrobiotic Japanese way of living, as it incorporated macrobiotic diet and lifestyle. Macrobiotic is a whole body and mind lifestyle including farm to table for food, (local and organic)   and natural clothing and bedding wherever possible. I learned to make Japanese style futon mattresses from natural cotton ingredients and this was my every night bed. 

Being a new mom, I wanted the best for my child and my search for a crib mattress was challenging because I only found mattresses made with polyurethane foam and toxic flame retardants. I decided to make my own mattress for my child which was high quality and toxic-free. My newborn loved his crib futon and friends started asking me to make futons for their homes. 

Once I started making futon mattresses for my family and friends, I started getting more requests from my eco-conscious neighbors. I decided to put a sign in the local health food store and the orders started coming in. The Futon Shop was born and now 4 decades later, FS Natural Home by The Futon Shop is a California family business that is a vertical retailer with 10 stores in California, a national dealer network of retailers selling our brands all around America and a large network in Canada and includes our e-commerce online presence.

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Talking innovative and sustainable lifestyle solutions with CasaOne’s Shashank PS

Following this dive into my favourite find since coming over to Los Angeles, I loved sitting down with one of CasaOne’s founders Shashank PS. The innovative business he runs with Madhusudan Kagwad, owns two brands, CasaOne which is focused on home furniture rentals, and BureauOne which caters to commercial spaces, and operates out of nine markets – Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, New Jersey, Philly, San Diego and Washington DC. It was a joy interviewing Shashank PS, one of the men behind the brand below.

Can you kindly introduce yourself?

I’m the founder and CEO of CasaOne. CasaOne is a furniture rental company — we serve customers that like to access and experience, rather than own furniture, furnishings, and decor. We operate another brand called BureauOne that helps businesses with commercial and office furniture on demand.

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Sustainable time-keeping? We love VOTCH Watches!

Sustainable fashion doesn’t end at clothes any more than fast fashion does. Accessorising is important to any fashion lover, even those of us who strive to be conscious about what we wear. What’s interesting is that there are more and more new brands that follow the path to sustainable wearables. One industry that has been a little slower on the uptake is watch making, as so many brands still work with less-than-ideal materials for straps – which is how Votch was born.

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Votch is a brand of faux leather watches launched in London but produced in Shenzhen, China. The brand stems from a fully vegan perspective, looking to create fashionable accessories that don’t damage animals and, ultimately, the environment. While they’re always working towards finding new materials, the latest Votch collection uses a mix of TPE, cotton and polyester in its straps. The brand is also free of PFC, PVC, plasticisers, phthalate, bromine and heavy metals; they’re REACH and RoHS compliant, PETA approved as vegan, and including recycled and renewable materials.

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We are crazy about Bel Kazan

Meet our new eco-favourite for prints and effortless glamour, BEL KAZAN. A womenswearbrand based in LA’s Echo Park, Bel Kazan is a quick-to-love brand, trust us! Designed with modern women in mind: empowered, adventurous, independent spirits. Inspiration is taken from around the globe to create bold prints and effortless silhouettes that easily take wearers from day to night, and quickly become wardrobe staples.

 

Every BEL KAZAN garment is crafted in the brands’ own factory in Bali, respectfully using traditional techniques for an authentic aesthetic. Using time-honoured methods such as hand printing and batik, a wax stamping art form that dates back to the sixth century with its design process, fabric choices, and the art of creating each print by hand, the pieces stand out for their quality and silhouette – your perfect day to night wardrobe piece, an absolute must for any serious eco-fashion advocate. BEL KAZAN delivers some real sustainable gems with its offering, thoughtfully designed to have a minimal footprint, with a meticulous selection of fabrics, dyes, and other materials. We love how honest they are too, the brand is clear that they remain on a learning curve and so remain responsive enough to adjust their production model to be as kind as possible to the environment. I caught up with Belinda Kazanci, the wonder woman behind sustainable fashion’s emerging champion brand, read our interview below…

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Rosie & Cooey – An Eco Baby Favourite!

Times are changing. It’s becoming easier and easier to find, and love, eco-baby wear which doesn’t cost us the earth. There is a plethora and range, it’s not all extortionately priced and the quality speaks for itself. We are in love with Rosie & Cooey in our house! They are a UK online baby and kids clothing shop for 0 to 10 years, which has a beautiful hand-picked a collection of fun, colourful, funky, and ethically made children’s clothing sourced from various sustainable brands. Parents can find scores of clothes designed with style, sustainability and social responsibility at heart. Rosie & Cooey have drawn their line by choosing to only work with brands trading ethically and striving to achieve sustainable production. Their brands do this in a number of ways including using non-conventional materials that have a lower impact on both human health and the environment, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Modal®, coupled with their commitment in ethical production.

Picture above: Småfolk’s Eltern Bodysuit with Panda in soft organic cotton.

What does this mean for parents concerned about their babywear? Well, take for example, Designer Småfolk who only use 100% organic cotton and have been OEKO-TEX certified for the last 9 years. Instead of throwing a lot of good clothing with small print mistakes away (a source of great waste in our industry), the brand donates these clothes to children in need. Or stocked brand CarlijnQ, who create products in an environment-friendly, sustainable, and healthy way and without the use of any hazardous chemicals. Their factories in Istanbul, Turkey only use certified organic cotton with approved dyes which are free from hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.  Read more…

Monkee Genes, A Q&A with the designer behind the phenom

Open your wardrobe and have a riffle around. It’s more thank likely that you will stumble upon a pair of jeans in less than 10 seconds.  With its durability and ease of wear, denim tends to be a staple in the wardrobe of most, and understandably so. If you are on the look-out for comfort wear or evening garments, denim – in all of its guises – is often the go-to.

Day to evening with Monkee Genes denim and Jumper from Beaumont Organic. Photo credit: Abdiwali Samatar

The impact of denim manufacturing on the environment is however, more than a little abysmal. Derived from cotton, denim is a labour-intensive and eco-abusive. At the start of their live, those jeans which finds themselves on the shelves retailing for as little as £4 (!) in a fast-fashion retailer may have passed through the hands of a Bangladesh garment workers earning as little as 23p an hour! As VICE explained, jeans are one of the few items we tend to keep for a long time, but their environmental toll is significant. We use huge amounts of water and chemicals to make them, though steps are now being taken to mitigate the impact. But with 2 billion jeans produced annually worldwide, it’s going to take a large-scale sustained effort to make a meaningful change. Read more…

Pink NouNou the ethical baby toy brand…meet the delightful handmade extravangaza for little ones

The best way to describe Pink Nounou? Modern and playful designs for both kids and those young at heart! The gorgeous brand offers a range of textile and paper products designed for little ones but to be admired and appreciated by the kind of parents who appreciate practical and unique pieces. Pink Nounou’s cheery little softie characters in particular present a visual delight, ones easy to become attached to! There are also a ton of eco products to discover! Designer and CEO Ana Carriço creates one-of-a-kind dolls and soft toysbibs with fairy talesbaby rattles, pillows (mini or square), art prints and so much more. I caught up with Ana, the dynamic creative genius, to discuss some of the coolest toys in our play box and find out more about this exciting brand.

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BRAND?

My name is Ana, I’m 42 years old. I LOVE to draw and travel (although I’m really afraid of flying), also I love chocolate, ice-cream & my beautiful daughter (not necessarily in this order!).

I was born in Mozambique lived in Portugal since I was 4 years old. I am currently based in Lisboa with my 10 year old daughter and my husband. I always lived by the sea which is also something I love and feel very connected to! I have a degree in Graphic Design and in these past few years I’ve been fully dedicated to my brand – PinkNounou.

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