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I’m Sashe, the owner and founder of Pop My Way. I’m married to an incredible guy and am the proudest mama to an amazing 6 year old girl. Before Pop My Way popped, I spent 6 years in a senior position within ‘Buying and Merchandising’ at Burberry. Before that, I spent 15 years in the fashion industry for some iconic brands and also worked with numerous designer children’s brands in the UK including Prada, Baby Dior and Roberto Cavalli.
A tricky pregnancy and birth of my daughter prompted me to start thinking about ways to make the early days with new babies easier. Frustrated by nappy changes and feeds complicated by inflexible and impractical clothing, the idea of a simpler way was born. Curious about where and how my daughter’s clothes were produced, I began to weave my other passion, sustainability, into the concept.
I was born in Durban, South Africa at the time the country was segregated under apartheid. As a child of colour, I got to hear all the stories about what my parents, grandparents and others had to endure. I noticed the injustices and the massive divide between those who were privileged and those who had nothing. Importantly, I noticed what everyday people did with the little that they had. I saw the informal housing settlements that people built by themselves from scraps of metal, plastic bags or other throwaway items that they found.
Sustainability is a way of life in South Africa because people are forced to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Old clothes and leftover food are always welcomed by someone, and one man’s scrap is another man’s treasure. Bottles and cans are collected to be traded in for cash, and any usable material is used to build homes, toys, or ornamental items to be sold. This is so inspiring to see, and I want the world to know that my beautiful country is about so much more than violent crime – it is also about sustainability, ingenuity and innovation.
I started Pop My Way with these ideas of sustainability and innovation at the forefront of my mind. Unlike other brands who claim to be ‘sustainable’ just by using organic fabrics, Pop My Way’s entire supply chain is fully GOTS-certified, so everything from energy and water use, to hazardous chemicals /use of non-chemical dyes, to the social responsibility and wages the factory workers get paid is monitored and audited regularly. Our factory in Peru is GOTS-certified by Control Union (Licence No 866191).” Pop My Way is a culmination of my knowledge and experience in the fashion industry, and my ambition to create a transparent childrenwear brand that parents can trust.
The Pop My Way collection features mix-and-match baby essentials with interchangeable accessories that are designed to “pop” onto the garment. Attach collars, bibs or dummy/toy straps to the shoulder poppers on the bodysuits, cardigans or two-way zippered sleepsuit. Lost socks are also a thing of the past thanks to Pop My Way’s clever ankle poppers on the trousers and socks.
Being manufactured in a registered GOTS-certified factory means that everything is measurably sustainable, from the harvesting of our cotton, to the rights of workers in our factories, all the way through to our packaging and even beyond with the new “Pop My Way Preloved” scheme.
The collection comes in 7 delicious pastel colours and is made from certified organic Peruvian pima cotton, so it is luxurious, super soft and durable. Pima cotton is the finest cotton on the market and is hypo-allergenic, free from impurities and highly resistant to pilling. This makes it the perfect fabric for baby clothing, while also ensuring garments stand the test of time so they can be passed down.
“Pop My Way Preloved” launched recently to allow customers to return their used Pop My Way clothing to us in exchange for a discount. Our hope is that more quality used clothing items will remain in circulation and more people will be encouraged to buy preloved clothing, thus reducing the amount of garments produced and reducing textile waste in landfills. This will introduce circularity into the brand and will allow Pop My Way to be accessible to more customers.
We created our beautiful range to make life easier for parents and keep babies comfortable. Each Pop My Way item comes with resilient poppers, so accessories can be quickly and securely layered onto the bodysuits, cardigans, zippered sleepsuits, and trousers, creating a never-ending array of mix-and-match outfit choices from just a few simple items.
Sustainability is fashion’s buzz word at the moment, but what does it mean to be a truly sustainable brand? Throughout the process of building our brand, we were shocked and saddened to see so many brands jumping on the eco bandwagon without fully understanding things. So how can you tell if a brand is truly sustainable or just making claims?
A brand uses “GOTS certified cotton”, so they must be sustainable.
GOTS certification refers to the whole production process, so it is not possible to have “GOTS certified cotton” on its own. Reference to GOTS and use of the logo must be accompanied by a valid licence number. Pop My Way has a registered GOTS licence number (Control Union – Licence No 866191) and permission to use the GOTS logo correctly. This license number is extremely important as we cannot make our sustainability claims without it.
A brand uses organic cotton, no harmful chemicals and they donate a portion of sales to a good cause. This is great!
Whilst a lot of companies are taking steps in the right direction on their journey to being sustainable, anyone can make claims. A valid third party certification like GOTS is the only way to check that a company is actually doing what they say they are.
Thankfully, there will soon be regulations coming into place to stop companies from making misleading environmental claims. Pop My Way is extremely proud to be ahead of the curve as we have maintained high, measurable environmental and social standards since our inception in addition to creating unique and practical baby clothing.
Visit us at www.popmyway.co.uk or on Instagram @pop_my_way