Here at Born, we’ve always prided ourselves on our ethics – we support organic, fair trade, local, sustainable and healthy products and love working with those that manufacture their goods in line with our principles. ¬†But we also believe in good design, in having objects in your home and life that will bring you pleasure as well as serve you practically. ¬†William Morris said¬†‚ÄúHave nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful‚ÄĚ, and that is how I approach my buying for Born. ¬†Is it healthy? Beautiful? Practical? Will it last? ¬†Can I see parents – my friends, myself even! – handing this down to their children, being proud to have it in their homes? ¬†If yes, then I know I am on to a winner.
Our customers know we stock our shops and website with this ethos, and therefore have come to expect certain things from Born;¬†our toiletries contain no harmful chemicals, our plastics are all BPA free,¬†our disposable nappies are as ‘eco’ as possible. ¬†People visit us from quite a distance to see our large range of good quality ‘proper’ slings and baby carriers, to be able to see¬†cloth nappies in the flesh, to try on a¬†good range of decent nursing bras. ¬†And we love this! ¬†But did you know that we also stock many items that might not fit into the ‘crunchy’ mould? ¬†Or did you see them and wonder – hmm, why do they sell¬†buggies? ¬†And what is with¬†that dress, it’s not organic?
We realise that not all parents are going to make the same parenting choices. ¬†So while we believe that carrying babies, especially tiny newborns, is best for them, we do also understand that this isn’t always going to be how your baby is transported around. ¬†Eva and I both have¬†Bugaboo buggies – and loved them! ¬†Why? ¬†Because they are designed and built so well, allowing you to have your child rear-facing. ¬†Our kids have obviously all gone into car seats, so we stock what we feel are the best car seats on the market in our shops. ¬†Many parents don’t bed-share, for many reasons, so we offer¬†cots which are more than just a large piece of nursery furniture; the¬†Sleepi cot for example grows with your child and becomes a toddler bed.
With clothing, we do feel that there is room in Born for lovely goodies that aren’t 100% organic. ¬†Sometimes we find a local designer whose work we love – like Hana at¬†Itsy Do. She makes one-off dresses for us, available to buy in both shops – they usually fly out! ¬†And you won’t find them anywhere else unless you sign up to her classes and learn to make your own. ¬†Sometimes, at a trade show, we will see a range and just ‘know’ that it will be right for our customers; James had this gut feeling with Noa Noa Miniature Baby which is hitting our London shop right now. ¬†Sometimes, I will see a range and it will be a slow-burner, with a bit of persuasion needed to stock it, such as Swiss brand¬†L’Asticot – who are organic but not our usual style! ¬†This season we have quite a few new brands coming into the shop:¬†Hucklebones,¬†Shampoodle, Tapete – as well as shoes by¬†Livie & Luca.
What they all have in common is outstanding quality and first-class design. ¬†And that is what Born is all about. ¬†We truly believe that if you can make something in organic cotton, then that adds to the quality, that ‘clean’ plastics are superior to standard ones and that a brilliant buggy helps you be closer to your baby; and then you have satisfied William Morris’ design criteria!