Interview with Irregular Sleep Pattern x The Eco News

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Posted 1 month ago
  1. Can you tell us why you begun Irregular Sleep Pattern

We saw a gap in the market for responsibly produced design-led bedding and sleepwear that takes a confident approach to maximalist pattern and colour paired with an attention to detail in fit, cut and tailoring. Our ambition for Irregular Sleep Pattern is to make fabulous and durable products in a responsible manner. Our mantra is: Serious about Design. Serious about Joy 

  1. Tell us about you..

We are a wife & husband team, Jolene Crawford & Mil Stricevic. I am a former arts tv producer, and Mil is a product designer who teaches at Glasgow School of Art and runs his own design consultancy. The year we turned 40 and 50 respectively (2017), I was ready for a change of career, and as we’d jokingly talked about starting this business on and off for a few years, it seemed like a good watershed moment to actually go for it. 

  1. Where are your clothes made and why?

Our bedding & sleepwear are tailored in organic cotton in India. When we started, we had ambitions to produce our garments in the UK, but having produced our sample collection in London, we knew we’d have to charge £600 for a pair of pyjamas if this was to be a financially viable business. We found our amazing SMETA regulated family business factory in India with the help of UKFT (UK Fashion & Textiles Association), and manufacturing there allows us to sell our products for a more realistic price point. The general population is very disconnected with how much clothes should cost, seeing cheap garments as a human right. We advocate for buy less buy better / wear what you already have / shop secondhand which is what we do. 

The Irregular in our name is about the outsized bold nature of our prints, but it also refers to our values as a business. As well as the ‘responsible’ production ethos I outline below, we are a genderless brand, we have 8 size offerings extending to the equivalent of 4XL, we bank with an ethical bank, we only use people we know as models, we like to collaborate with artists (most recently for the launch film we made to celebrate our new collection. For us, the joy we have gained in building a community of like minded people as as important as actually selling stuff…. 

  1. How does your brand support sustainability? 

We’d never claim to support sustainability, as we are producing new products which is never going to be sustainable. We prefer to describe ourselves as a responsible brand. We don’t follow seasons, we only have a core collection of garments and refresh the prints when the time is right for us, we use organic cotton, we produce in small batches, we have physically designed the garment construction to be durable, we cut our fabric to minimise fabric waste, the small scraps we do produce are sent to a refugee charity in India who are repurposing them into small products (scarves available soon, and eye pillows in production). We also encourage responsible consumerism: we use custom sizing due to being a genderless brand, which necessitates measurement / thought before purchase. We don’t offer free returns as we think this encourages impulse buying (we do offer a free exchange). 

Mil still works full time in two other jobs, while I do everything else on my own, but we have ambition when time allows to continue researching how we could do things better, for example using smarter ‘eco’ fabrics, because we understand that although organic cotton is better than regular cotton, it is still a problematic crop to produce. 

  1. Explain your slogan, “designed, not designer” 

NB. this is a kind of sub slogan. Our main one is ‘bedding & sleepwear designed at the intersection of art + utility” 

Mil says, “The term ‘designer’ has become misappropriated over the past few decades to the point where the term really only signifies a label ie. a brand name. ‘Designer’ frequently only means the application of a logo and this is not the same as something that has actually been ‘designed’. For us, an example of a designer garment is an entirely generic thing like a t-shirt, whose price point is elevated simply by the application of a brand label which is seen to represent good quality, with very little thought given to the actual design of the garment. We are more interested in good design – the construction of the garment – where the things that make it special are all the details in the design, rather than the appropriation of a fashionable ‘designer’ name”

In contrast, following the Charles Eames maxim, ’The details are not the details. They make the design’, Mil developed the unique cut of our sleepwear – lightly tailored with a nod to workwear – to be both practical and flattering, as well as built to last: twin needle stitching, french seams, generous patch pockets, reinforced joins, shawl collar, high waisted trousers….. these are no ordinary pyjamas! 

As a result of all our design details, 90% of our customers choose to wear our sleepwear as daywear, so we describe it as being ’suitable for 24/7 fabulousness’! 

Serious about Design + Serious about Joy | Irregular Sleep Pattern