SPOTLIGHT: ELKIN AND JENNY DREW OF ALL THE BABIES
Elkin and Jenny Drew, tell us what led you to start All The Babies?
I got the idea for all the babies studying in Paris my freshman year of University through a transfer program with The University of Southern California. I worked part time as a nanny in between classes for three beautiful French babies. I fell in love with the simplicity of their clothes, the quality of the fabrics. At the time, I didn't feel like the US had tapped into a simple baby market. I was always seeing bad quality onesies with "I pooped on mommy," and I was so driven to create something for lil' ones that I wanted to wear. Something cool, chic, and of course, comfortable. I have always had a passion for combining fashion and philanthropy. All of my past internships were at Marie Claire, The Giving Keys, Toms, and Sweetgreen. Fast forward to today, I combined a little bit of everything I learned from those brands. Babies outgrow their clothes so quickly in their first year of life, and that's how our wear - grow - give model was born. Enjoy the memories you create in our cozies, and once your lil' outgrows them send them back to us (free of charge) and we will hand deliver to babies in need. I will never forget the moment me and my mom came up with the giveback model. We were sitting outside having breakfast and brainstorming how to combine that fashion and philanthropy moment I so longed for in the business I wanted to start. Suddenly, my mom was like "I got it!" and ran inside and grabbed her printer ink. I was like "huh?". And she was like everytime I run out of my printer ink, I send back my old one to be recycled and then they send me a new one. Voila! Just like that, we "got it!". We launched in 2019 as solely a baby brand, then quickly parents kept saying how badly they wanted to match with their lil'. We started developing matching adult sets and right as we launched them, covid hit. And just like that, we really started to pick up and get noticed. It's been so rewarding and special. Everyday is a gift, a journey, a challenge, but especially, a dream come true.
Like LINNÉ, sustainability is at the forefront of everything you do and create. How do you maintain this ethos throughout every element of your business?
Sustainability has been a non-negotiable since we launched! I knew going into it that I would ensure all of my producers and factories were local. We proudly source 100% GOTS certified organic cotton that is milled and manufactured here in Los Angeles through a family run business, as well as produce and sew all of our clothing in Los Angeles in small batch production. We don't want our items to go to waste, so we do limited drops to reduce our economic footprint. We use low-impact dyes which have none of the bad stuff –– no leads, nasty sulphates, and that especially use less water. They are better for the environment, and of course, better for lil' ones skin. The best part, they don't compromise the organic nature of our cotton which is a huge win. Of course, through our giveback, our hope is to continue to give life to our clothes, to let them live on, be passed down, help those in need, the list goes on. We are trying everyday to create a circular economy through our clothes and our give back. When it comes to our packaging, we always avoid plastic. We keep our packaging as simple and minimal as possible –– everything is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We are constantly working to find ways to be a leading sustainable small business in the industry.
Back in April, you had a sample sale for your damaged pieces from production so that they don’t go to waste. Given the success, what do you have in store next?
I'm so happy you brought this up! Any time we have slightly damaged pieces we typically have our friend Savannah, an artisan and owner of Madder Goods, naturally tie dye them. She uses incredible ingredients, all sourced from the earth. We will also have fun online sales, and always always donate some of our slightly damaged pieces to our giveback partner, Elizabeth House. Anyways, back to the sample sale to answer your question! We recently moved our HQ to my old childhood home in Burbank. We have a big backyard with lots of space, so we are hoping to continue to offer these types of sales. Meeting our community, seeing people so excited to touch our pieces in person and feel the quality of the fabric, see the beautiful colors, it really had me bright eyed about what's to come. We hope that we can have our own storefront one day that will offer both our "gently used" baby donated pieces for a more affordable price point and our full priced items. And of course, be a space for more sample sales, and a beautiful spot where we can also showcase other amazing brands, like Linné !!!
What is one piece of advice you can give our community on making conscious decisions when it comes to clothing?
If you can, always opt for "100% cotton," or 100% ANYTHING that is pure. Rayon and polyester are just full of bad for you and especially for the environment, plastics and retardants. Also, always support local and small brands. You might be weary of their price points sometimes, but they are ACTUALLY sourcing the best quality and putting so much attention and love into every single detail of what they create. There is no mass over-production, and there especially are no crazy markups. Stop spending hundreds of dollars on dresses that don't come from pure, clean fabrics.
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