A better night’s sleep for a baby. It’s enough to inspire any parent to take action, but for Melbourne-based mum of two Debbie Martin, that action has helped give many babes around the country a more comfortable sleep environment.
Debbie’s the founder of Australian made babywear and accessories label Billie and Bobbie. Struggling to find sleeping bags made from natural fibres that were compliant with Australian standards, she set out to design them herself.
“I was at a bit of a crossroads in my career after my role was retrenched while I was on maternity leave,” Debbie says. “So I decided to take the plunge and start my own label.”
Debbie’s vision was simple: Well made, locally made and natural fibres to ensure a better night’s sleep for babies.
“There’s something special about receiving an item that is well made and has attention to detail at its core. When that item has been made to the highest quality and is locally manufactured, you also get a level of traceability for the components, packaging and delivery,” she says.
I began sourcing beautiful natural fibre fabric and trims, dug out my sewing machine to start sampling along with the help of a small local production team, found a local Australian manufacturer and went from there!
“I was passionate about these two things along with using Merino Wool because of its ability to regulate temperature. I began sourcing beautiful natural fibre fabric and trims, dug out my sewing machine to start sampling along with the help of a small local production team, found a local Australian manufacturer and went from there!”
A safe sleeping range, made locally with love
Billie and Bobbie’s safe sleeping range includes winter and all-season merino wool sleeping bags, a merino wool swaddle sack for newborns, and organic cotton swaddle wraps. There’s also a matching linen robe for mums, too.
Impressively, the garments and accessories are made by a small local team at a long-standing factory in Brunswick, Melbourne, which Debbie visits on a regular basis to discuss new developments and check in how current production is going.
The sleeping bags get sent out to a specialist supplier also in Brunswick to get the snap fasteners attached to ensure that they meet the brand’s stringent safety requirements.
All Billie and Bobbie products are made using premium 100% natural fibres because they are safer and gentle on delicate skin by regulating temperature, reducing the risk of overheating and are breathable.
The brand specialises in Superfine Merino Wool (knitted in Melbourne) as Debbie says this fibre is the crème de la crème when it comes to natural fibres, especially for babies and young children.
“Little ones don’t yet have the ability to regulate their own temperature and so can become too hot or too cold very easily,” she says.
“The natural properties of merino allow it to create a micro environment around the skin keeping your baby warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot, maintaining the ideal temperature.”
The benefits of natural fibres such as merino wool go far beyond this – offering comfort and breathability, easy care, and moisture wicking and odour repelling properties.
As a bonus, wool is a natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre, and when farmed well can also be produced ethically.
“We source our certified non-mulesed merino wool right here in Australia which ensures not only premium quality but also that high ethical and environmental practices are upheld,” Debbie says.
For the brand’s cotton swaddles, Debbie sources certified organic cotton which is grown, farmed and manufactured to minimise the impact on people and the environment.
When you make the comparison to other sleeping bag options on the market, the Billie and Bobbie’s products stand out in quality, performance and sustainability.
“If you use regular TOG rated sleeping bags you could end up spending around $375 to cover all the different sizes and temperature ranges up to age 2,” Debbie says. “This range is covered by just one of our sleeping bags. Not to mention providing a more sustainable option, reducing contribution to landfill.”
With kids sleeping for over 10,000 hours in the first two years of their life, this sustainable, safe sleeping solution is a worthy investment.
Find out more and shop Billie and Bobbie here.
This article was produced in partnership with Billie and Bobbie.