Thursday, 10 January 2013

Fourzero is an Organic Clothing Label Born from Love


"A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it"- Frank A. Clark

Eco-friendly clothing and accessories shouldn't just be for us big kids! Babies deserve to be clothed in kindness too. Carolyn Chambers, CEO and designer of Fourzero, has made it possible for you to do just that!



Q. What inspired you to create an ethical designer brand for newborns?

After a decade long career as a Paediatric intensive care nurse in Europe, I have nursed and supported newborn babies from 24 weeks gestation to full term who have all required the same needs of love, support and comfort.

My passion is newborn babies and their families. I feel that Fourzero is an extension of the existing skills I acquired in nursing and although I am no longer a practicing neonatal nurse, my skills, experience, and nurturing nature is embedded into each and every stitch of the garments within my Fourzero brand.

Carolyn Chambers - CEO and designer of Fourzero
Developing an ethically made brand was an easy choice and staying within Australia to manufacture also seemed the best solution.  Because newborn babies have such delicate skin that has not come into contact with chemicals or harsh materials after growing in the protective womb environment, I feel that it is important to provide clothing that is natural and pure. 

Fourzero products are being very well received by families throughout the world. The feedback after a gift has been given has been very supportive and encouraging to hear for our brand.

Fourzero does not bleach or further colour the fabric chosen in our collections, nor do we stabilize the fabric with chemicals during manufacture.  

Q. How does Fourzero ensure that it treads lightly on the planet?

Fourzero is manufactured in Brisbane where our head office is situated. The Fourzero supply chain for materials have been sourced in Australia wherever possible.  If this is not possible then I source from Australian companies.  At times this becomes a long and arduous process but I believe that our local economy needs to be supported wherever possible.  


I have been known to carry bolts of fabric on the Brisbane City Cat Ferries to our manufacturing team in Fortitude Valley! Fourzero has made the conscious effort to also source organic fabric and sustainable materials in every design aspect of the brand.

Q. Has your previous life as a nurse helped to inform your choice of materials?

I believe that our brand is about educating consumers about why a baby needs to feel warm and secure after birth and because of my nursing background parents will rest assured that their babies have been dressed well in ethically manufactured clothing and accessories. 

The materials I’ve chosen for the Fourzero collection have been influenced by my nursing background.  I have sourced organic fabrics and the press studs in the collection are all nickel-free. 



I have dressed and cared for hundreds of babies in my nursing career and understand how clothing needs to fit after birth and what a huge impact clothing has on both a newborn baby and a new mother.  Babies need to wear clothing that fits them well.  A baby has been cocooned in the warm womb and has had boundaries within.  It is only natural that babies need to feel boundaries and comfort after birth.  

Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?

Gucci and Gap inspire me.  They make a conscious effort to keep their supply chains open for the consumer and are committed to paying fair wages to support their workers overseas.  

Cue and Veronika Maine are two Australian brands that I admire for continuing to also manufacture onshore in large volumes.  Manufacturing in Australia has many road blocks but with the effort and support from consumers it is a viable option long term because we demand that the quality of production is the highest standard for the retail market because our construction costs are so very high compared to manufacturing overseas. 

Q. You were named in the top eight emerging Australian designers of 2012 and Fourzero was awarded the "Fellowship 500' by the Ethical Fashion Forum in London. Do you think well designed eco-friendly baby and children’s clothing is becoming more mainstream?

No, I wouldn’t say it is becoming more mainstream, but I do believe consumers are taking more of an interest about where garments are manufactured and how.  If the consumer is involved in the story of how garments for babies and children’s wear is manufactured they are more inclined to buy quality goods. 

It has been a successful five months since launching the brand and I am honoured that awards such as those mentioned above are aware of our innovative design efforts for the baby wear market.  Our brand may be a niche product for the first ten weeks after birth, but parents and gift givers love the quality and concept behind our brand.


Q. Do you have a favourite item in store right now?

Yes, The babygrow and the star blankets.  The babygrows are similar to other designs in the market place and provide simple dressing and nappy changes for the baby. Yet the flappable feet cuffs are ideal to not only warm feet up but for nurses to take blood tests while in hospital and when the baby grows they still have longevity in the suit so that the parents can put socks on providing good cost per wear. 

Newborn Babygrow by Fourzero - made from organic bamboo and cotton

The star on the blanket has purposefully been made on a large scale so that the newborn baby can settle after bath time on the velour whilst the care-giver soothingly massages the baby's skin.  

Star Blanket by Fourzero - made from organic bamboo and cotton
  
Q. How would you sum up Fourzero in 10 words or less?

Organic, luxurious, ethical,  boutique, soft, comfortable.

Q. What does the future hold for Fourzero?

Fourzero is focusing on domestic sales growth by being stocked in boutique stores and online stores in Australia.  

In the following twelve months Fourzero hopes to also be stocked internationally in stores. I am very committed to keeping production within Australia and promoting the brand story behind these choices. 

Interestingly we have recently had more international sales than domestic through our website!

If you are interested in wholesaling fourzero in your boutique store please contact our team info@fourzero.com.au

You can also connect with Fourzero via Facebook and Twitter

9 comments:

  1. Great article Carolyn, well done.

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    1. Hi Meg - I'm so glad you enjoyed my article on Carolyn's amazing work! Thanks so much for reading Kindness by Design :-) x

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  2. Thats a great article. Lovely to read :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback :D x

      Carolyn is doing an amazing job! :D

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  3. I love the little 'star - jumpsuit' ! ! i found a great article recently with labels for grown-ups as well...
    hopefully you'll like it !

    http://betterymagazine.com/ideas/fashion-with-conscience/

    x K

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    1. Hi Karen!

      The jumpsuit is adorable isn't it? :D

      Thanks so much for sharing that article - it's looks fab!

      KB x

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  4. I love those bullion stitched baby singlets but haven't done them for ages. You know, I think I have the exact pattern pages you have worked from, as the diagrams match your work. They are very cute and I'm sure they will be loved Customised baby wear

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    1. Ava Avery Thank you for the feedback but all our patterns are designed and owned by Fourzero Pty Ltd. They are designed and customised in house with all Intellectual Property being owned, copy-write and trademarked by Fourzero Pty Ltd
      Kindest regards

      Carolyn Chambers
      CEO Fourzero Pty Ltd.

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