25 January 2011
In a time where most Australian companies are manufacturing offshore to increase profit margins or just to stay competitive, it’s difficult to find Australian made products.
Sustainababy is constantly on the lookout for top quality eco friendly Aussie-made baby gear and are proud to stock the following local brands that manufacture their products in this fantastic country of ours: Aromababy, Belkiz, Billie Goat Soap, Left Hand Make, Little Extensions, Little Pumpkin Organics, Little Squirt, Studio SKINKY, Twinkle Lily, Uimi and as of this week, Cheeky Chickies.
Why do we actively source Australian-made products? Because we believe the less distance products travel from their place of manufacture to you the better it is for our environment. Keeping local workers in jobs also helps to keep our economy strong.
On the eve of Australia Day, we spoke with the founders of two proud Australian brands, Little Pumpkin Organics and Cheeky Chickies, to find out what makes them tick.
Sascha Mather (co-owner and founder of Little Pumpkin Organics)
What prompted you to start Little Pumpkin Organics?
Little Pumpkin has enabled us to realise our long-standing passion to develop benefit-driven, beautiful products. We're particularly passionate about creating high quality skincare and ointments for babies and kids, and believe that natural, wild-crafted and organic ingredients offer the best quality, in the purest form - and therefore the best outcome possible. We also wanted to embrace the challenge of bringing elegant, sophisticated artisan products to the organic market.
How do you describe your range?
Little Pumpkin has the following two premium organic, natural and wild-crafted collections made from the finest natural, wild-crafted and organic ingredients:
- Little Pumpkin Organics is a collection of eco-luxe skin care made from the finest natural ingredients and designed specifically to nurture and nourish the delicate skin of newborns.
- Little Pumpkin Organic Tonics is a suite of six purpose-specific and highly functional balms for babies and kids, that are gentle and nurturing, whilst providing relief and protection.
Designed and made in Australia, both collections are pure, organic and 100% fragrance-free and cruelty-free. Little Pumpkin actively supports fair trade operations and is committed to developing artisan creations that look, smell and feel divine.
What is your favourite Little Pumpkin product?
So hard to say (and it also changes all the time!) At the moment, I’m in love with the Calm Baby Balm. This balm has a particularly rare and exotic ingredient - wild Atlas Mountain Blue Tansy that's sourced from a remote area of Morocco. As well as smelling beyond divine, it has renowned calming abilities.
Why did you decide to have your range made in Australia?
We're completely meticulous about the entire design and production process and believe this would be significantly impacted if handled offshore.
What does Australia Day mean to you and how will you celebrate this year?
To us, Australia Day reinforces how absolutely privileged we are to be living in such a beautiful country of endless opportunity and choice. We'll celebrate this year by taking the little ones to watch the yacht races on the harbour, followed by lunch with friends.
Sascha Mather and Suzannah Hogan, founders of Little Pumpkin Organics
Click here to purchase Little Pumpkin Organics
Deni Fowle (founder and owner of Cheeky Chickies)
What prompted you to start Cheeky Chickies?
I first started Cheeky Chickies as an online retail store for unique, colourful labels in August 2006 when my first born, Amalia, was four months old. I met many fantastic women though this business endeavour, and was inspired by Australian designers who also manufactured in Australia.
After the birth of my son Taelan, in August 2008, I made the decision to make a change to my business, and move away from retail. I had found myself, for some time, dreaming up my own designs, and so decided to start the research and development stages of our own clothing label. The main focus of the label was to be bright, bold colours, but I was also interested in designing a range of very comfy cotton wardrobe essentials.
At three months of age Tae was diagnosed with a rare condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Although he has some developmental delays, his condition is relatively mild and he’s doing well. His diagnosis highlighted to me how special and fragile our children are, and was even more reason for Cheeky Chickies to work with fabrics that are made from 100% certified organic cotton, grown and manufactured without the use of hazardous chemicals and pesticides that could potentially bring harm to our environment and our children. The fact that organic cotton is superior in quality to conventional cotton is an added bonus!
How do you describe Cheeky Chickies clothing?
Well, our motto is "let your light shine LOUD and stand out from the crowd!" I head out frequently with my kids to busy gatherings and can spot them among all the other children in a split second because Cheeky Chickies clothing is so bright and bold.
Why did you decide to have your range made in Australia?
It’s very important to me to manufacture in Australia - and even more so now, given our current economic climate, and how severely our retail industry has been hit.
When our clothing range is stocked in a retail store, the retailer purchases Cheeky Chickies clothing from me. That money in turn, supports the following Australian businesses:
- my pattern-maker, based in Sydney, with three children of her own
- my seamstress, based in Sydney, with two university aged kids of her own
- my fabric manufacturers, who knit our fabrics in Queensland, and also manufacture some of our garments in their Sydney factory, and custom eco-dye some of our fabrics in Melbourne.
- my graphic designer for technical drawings, based in Sydney, mum to a two year old child
- my graphic designer for advertising/marketing, based in Newcastle, mum of three children under 6 years of age
- my photographer, based in Wollongong, mum of two children under four years of age
- my printing company, based in Sydney
- my web designer/host, also based in Sydney
In short, by choosing to manufacture in Australia, I am helping to support the livelihoods of many, many Aussie families, who in turn, would also spend this money on groceries and other necessities that would continue to keep money local and stimulate our economy.
What does Australia Day mean to you and how will you celebrate this year?
Australia Day means family, freedom and fun! We are very lucky to live in a very beautiful part of the country, in Sydney's Sutherland Shire, surrounded by national parks and coastal beaches. We will spend the day setting up new bedroom furniture for the kids, have many trips across to the beach and finish off with a family barbeque.
Deni Fowle with her two chickies Amalia and Taelan
Click here to purchase Cheeky Chickies
Until 31 January 2011, save 20% on Little Pumpkin Organics and Cheeky Chickies at Sustainababy with code "AUSSIE"
15 January 2011
The Sustainababy Queensland Disaster Relief Raffle is now closed. Winners are announced here.
Queensland is currently facing its worst natural disaster in recent history. The combination of the flood event in mid January 2011 in the State's South East, and the destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in early February in North and Far North Queensland, has resulted in several confirmed deaths and has devasted communities. Many families have lost everything.
The Queensland Flood Relief Raffle launched by Sustainababy on 15 January to raise much needed funds for the people of flood affected areas has now been extended to help families afftected in the north of the State. ALL proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.
Currently over $2700 of superior eco baby products are able to be won. Goods have been kindly donated by both Sustainababy and several of our generous suppliers.
How Does the Raffle Work?
- Each entry to the raffle is $10
- Simply select the item you would like to win and purchase it as you would do when online shopping
- You may increase the number of entries in each item if you like, or select to buy entries in more than one item
- If you are purchasing raffle entries only and not purchasing any other items from our website, select Flood Appeal Only from the shipping options in your shopping basket so you are not charged for postage.
- If you would like to purchase items from the Sustainababy online store, continue adding store items to your shopping basket. Your raffle entries and purchases will show on the same invoice. You will need to select the appropriate shipping dropdown (eg. AU, New Zealand) to pay for shipping of goods purchased.
- Winners for each raffle item will be drawn using a random number generator tool on Sunday 20 February 2011. Winners will be listed on this blog and will also be contacted by email.
- All monies collected from raffle entry sales will be donated to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal on Monday 21 February 2011 and the final total will be posted on this blog and the Sustainababy Facebook page. Updates in the tally will be posted on a regular basis and should the totals accumulate quickly, donations will be made throughout the raffle period.
Of course, such a significant raffle would not be possible without the support of our suppliers, service providers and advertisers. Sustainababy would like to acknowledge the following Australian and New Zealand businesses for their contributions:
Scanbrands - Two BabyBjörn Original Organic Baby Carriers with combined rrp of $299.90
Eco peko - Eco peko Bamboodie Natural and Organic Cotton Statement Tees to combined rrp $289.65
Babes In Arms - ERGObaby Organic Cotton Baby Carrier rrp $189
Les Folies - Sophie The Giraffe "My First Hours" Case rrp $179.95
Habitat Baby - Two organic cotton cot sheet sets with combined rrp $169.90
Lou & Olly - Lou & Olly Classic Merino Blanket rrp $169
Serena & Lily - Serena & Lily Organic Cotton Peacock Market Sling rrp $149.95
Left Hand Make - Small One Children's Chair rrp $149
Merino Kids - Oatmeal Merino GO GO Bag rrp $129.95
Little Pumpkin Organics - Little Pumpkin Organics Tonic Collection rrp $125.70
Uimi - Organic Cotton Lola Rib Wrap rrp $124.95
Cushie Tushies - Cushie Tushies Trial Pack rrp $102
Kaitler Marketing - Little Squirt Nappy Cleaner rrp $89
Cheeky Little Soles - Two pairs of soft soled leather baby shoes with combined rrp $79.90
BeesKnees Imports - Keptin Jr Rag Doll and Hess-Spielzeug Pram String to combined value of $76.95
FLATOUTaustralia - FLATOUTbear honey rrp $50
Natural Origins - Dandelion Organic Cotton Toddler Doll rrp $44.95
Rockin' Green Australia - Rockin' Green Starter Pack rrp $34.95
Billie Goat Soap - BillieBaby Gift Set rrp $32.95
Sustainababy - clothing voucher, Baby BeeHinds night nappy set rrp $284
4 January 2011
Australia is renowned for its long hot summers and our enviable outdoor lifestyle. What we’re not envied for is our skin cancer rates.
Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 701 and that over 1,850 Australians die from skin cancer each year.2
Current evidence suggests that overexposure to the sun during childhood is a key factor in the development of skin cancer in later life. Babies have delicate skin which can be very easily damaged by the sun’s ultra violet rays, even on cloudy days.
How Can I Best Protect my Baby from the Sun?
The Cancer Council Australia recommends keeping babies and children out of the sun as much as possible.3 When this is not possible, exposure to UV radiation should be minimised by:
- Reducing your baby’s exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Covering as much of the baby’s skin as possible with loose fitting clothes and wraps made from closely woven fabrics
- Choosing a hat that protects the child’s face, neck and ears
- Stay in the shade where possible
- Install a sunshade on your pram or stroller. The material used should cast a dark shadow.
- Apply sunscreen that is labelled broad spectrum, SPF30+ and water resistant on any exposed areas of skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Note: Sunscreen should be regarded as the last line of defence and should not be used to extend the amount of time you would be in the sun.
Is Sunscreen Safe for Babies?
There is no evidence that sunscreen used on small areas of a baby’s skin has any harmful effects.3
When selecting a sunscreen for yourself and baby, opt for a physical sunscreen, rather than one whose active ingredients are entirely chemical absorbers.
What are the Differences between Physical and Chemical Sunscreens?
Chemical sunscreens act by absorbing ultraviolet light for a limited period (related to the Sun Protection Factor, SPF). These chemicals are able to reach the bloodstream and have been detected in the liver 72 hours after application!4 Furthermore, these chemicals are only able to absorb UVB rays (the rays responsible for sunburn) and not UVA rays (the dermally penetrating rays responsible for photoageing, collagen degradation and some forms of skin cancer).
Physical sunscreens act by adhering to the surface of the skin and physically reflecting all of the harmful rays (UVA and UVB). They do not penetrate the skin's surface and are therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream. Comprised primarily of inert minerals (such as Titanium Dioxide), physical sunscreens are significantly less allergenic or irritating and are therefore a safer choice for babies.
How do I Distinguish between Physical and Chemical Sunscreens?
Always check the ingredient list on the label.
- Physical sunscreens: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Zirconium Oxide
- Chemical sunscreens: PABA, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Oxygenzone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Benzophenone.
Sustainababy recommends Little Innoscents Sun Lotion. Comprised of Zinc Oxide base with soothing Aloe Vera and Calendula it offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. RRP $19.95.
1. Staples M, Elwood M, Burton R, Williams J, Marks R, Giles G. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia: the 2002 national survey and trends since 1985. Medical Journal of Australia 2006; 184: 6–10.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death 2008. 3303.0. Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra, Australia 2010. Available from www.abs.gov.au.
4. Cosmedix Cosmeceuticals,2010, Sunscreens – the Choices. Pamphlet available from Adelaide Acne Clinic.